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Saturday, November 3, 2012
Guava is a pear-shaped fruit native to Central and South America, although it is now grown in parts of Asia. It is characterized by a thin, smooth rind that turns yellow when the fruit is ripe and by juicy flesh containing small, hard seeds. Guava, commonly used in salads, desserts and smoothies, may offer several health benefits.
Guava is a rich natural source of natural vitamin C, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A cup of fresh guava contains about 372 mg of vitamin C -- more than four times the recommended daily intake for adults; however this vitamin is considered safe in dosages up to 1,000 mg per day. Vitamin C may help boost immune system function to help your body prevent fungal, bacterial and vital infections. It is also an anti-oxidant that may help prevent formation of cancerous tumors.
FolateA cup of guava contains about 81 mcg of folate, about 20 percent of the recommended daily intake for adults. Also called folic acid or vitamin B9, folate is a B-complex vitamin that aids in the metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates for fuel. This vitamin also helps your body produce red blood cells for anemia prevention and helps support brain and nervous system function. Folate is particularly important for pregnant women; deficiency may contribute to birth defects, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Guava is a rich source of dietary fiber; one cup of fresh guava provides about 8.9 g of fiber, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. There is no official daily recommended intake of dietary fiber, although the American Dietetic Association recommends consuming at least 20 g per day. Dietary fiber is necessary for proper digestion and absorption of nutrients from food sources. It may also help control cholesterol levels to reduce your risk of heart disease.
A cup of guava provides about 688 mg of the mineral potassium, about 28 percent of the recommended daily intake. In conjunction with sodium, potassium helps regulate the fluid balance in your body. It improves the absorption of nutrients through cell membranes, according to Phyllis Balch, author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Potassium also plays a role in regulating blood pressure and preventing stroke.