By: Leanne Ely
If you were to name five tropical fruits, there’s a chance guava wouldn’t make your list. But this fruit, while quite obscure, is extremely nutritious.
The guava is a large berry that grows on tropical evergreen shrubs and has a delicious sweet taste that gets more intense as you eat it. The taste of a guava is a bit like strawberry, only more tropical. You almost have to taste it for yourself to see what I’m talking about.
Guavas are fantastic because you can eat the whole thing, right from the outer rind to the inner seeds, leaving no waste. Commonly referred to as a “sand plum” in Central America, where it is believed to have originated, guava is generally light green or yellow on the outside, and its flesh can vary in color from white to pink to red.
This wonderful fruit is packed with Vitamin C, and it’s higher in lycopene than any other plant food. This antioxidant has been linked to fighting prostate cancer, protecting against UV rays and even reducing signs of aging! (Sign me up, sister!)
Guava contains more potassium than a medium banana, and it also has about 9 grams of fiber in one cup. Guava is also high in Vitamin A, folate, manganese and magnesium. Magnesium acts as a natural nervous relaxant, and because guava is also high in Vitamin B6 (great for nerve health), reaching for a fresh ripe guava after a hard workout will make you feel amazing!
When shopping for guavas, look for fruits free of bruises or cuts. Pink guavas (the more common variety) should be nice and firm, and they shouldn’t have any soft spots. The skin of a pink guava is green with a hint of yellow.
Store your guavas at room temperature. To speed up the ripening of a guava, wrap it in a paper bag with a banana. When the guava is ripe, you can store it in the fridge for a few days, though ripe guavas should be eaten within a day or two.
You can use guava in your juices or smoothies or eat them right out of hand just like an apple. Don’t discard that skin! It contains huge amounts of Vitamin C. Some folks like to roast guava and serve with feta cheese and some balsamic vinegar.
A great way to get more of this antioxidant rich fruit into your body is with a smoothie!