What is guava?

Guava is the fruit of the Guava Gujava L. species belonging to the Myrtacee family of trees of which there are several varieties. Native to Mexico and Central America today this plant is widespread in all areas with warmer climates and in tropical areas.

Its peel is colored in shades of yellow and green while the pulp can be white, yellowish, pink or deep red. It is consumed either fresh or in the form of juices, canned or dehydrated. It is also used in the production of various beverages, cheese, ice cream, jams, syrups, candy and jellies.


What are the nutritional properties of guava?

The edible part of the guava provides 20 calories per 100 grams corresponding to:

  • 64% carbohydrates

  • 22% to lipids

  • 14% proteins

  • and with 87.2g of water

Soluble sugars are 3.5g, while fiber intake is equal to 5.4g per 100g of fruit.

Among the micronutrients there are:

  • 423mg of vitamin C

  • 82 micrograms of  vitamin A (retinol equivalent)

  • 1mg of vitamin B3 or PP (niacin)

  • 0.04mg of vitamin B2 (riboflavin)

  • 0.03mg of vitamin B1 (thiamine)

  • 150mg of potassium

  • 10mg of calcium

  • 0.2mg of iron

  • 4mg of sodium

The characteristic smell of this fruit is due to the presence of carbonyl compounds; when it is not mature it is also rich in tannins. The main compound present in the peel is ascorbic acid.

In guava leaves there are:

  • alkaloids

  • anthocyanins

  • carotenoids

  • essential oils

  • fatty acids

  • flavonoids

  • lectins

  • phenols

  • saponins

  • tannins

  • triterpenes

Even the bark contains tannins, which are added to calcium oxalate crystals. Finally, the seeds are rich in glycine, starch, flavonoids and phenolic compounds. While the essential oil is a source of alpha-pinene, caryophyllene, cineol, D-limonene, eugenol and miricina.


When should you not be eating guava?

From a purely theoretical point of view guava may potentiate the effect of medicines used in the treatment of diabetes or diarrhea. However there is no clinical evidence of this interaction.


Seasonality of guava

There is no specific seasonality for the collection of guava. In some areas of the plant fruit might even grow twice in a year, and usually guava is available throughout the year.


Possible benefits of guava

No studies are available that can confirm without doubt the effectiveness of taking guava for medicinal purposes. Some clues however, suggest that this fruit or its derivatives may be useful in cases of diarrhea, diabetes type 2, dysmenorrhea, hyperlipidemia and hypertension. In particular, studies have evaluated the efficacy of an extract of guava as antidiarrheal. For dysmenorrhea its effectiveness was valued by testing a leaf extract. In the case of hyperlipidemia and hypertension the effect of the consumption of the fruit at doses of 0.4-1 kg per day for 4-12 weeks was evaluated.

In regards to its use as a remedy of folk medicine, the fruit is used as a tonic and a laxative and to treat bleeding gums.


Possible contraindications of guava

The only contraindications to its intake appear to be cases of hypersensitivity and allergy.