Tuesday, November 1, 2011

My Superfood: Guava

     Guava is a tropical fruit, found throughout the tropics and subtropics of Asia, Hawaii and Africa. The common guava, or apple guava, is the most frequently encountered species, which can be either white or red (pigmented) in color. 

     Guava is very rich in fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C, and is low in calories, which is very ideal for weight management. The entire guava fruit is edible, including the skin and seeds, but some people would prefer to remove the part with the seeds, which is actually the sweeter portion of the entire fruit. 

     I like to snack on guava whenever they're in season. It's juicy and crunchy, and tastes like apple. It's my superfood because not only does it has loads of Vitamin C, it makes me full for a long period of time which helps me with my cravings.



     As a fruit, most of the calories in guava come from its carbohydrate content. A 1 cup serving contains 24 g of carbohydrates and 8.9 g of fiber. You should get 45 percent to 65 percent of your calories from carbohydrates. In addition to being high in carbohydrates, guava also is a good source of fiber. Fiber is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest and offers a number of health benefits including appetite control, alleviation of constipation and improvements in blood cholesterol levels. Women need 21 to 25 g of fiber a day and men need 30 to 37 g. One cup of guava meets more than 20 percent of your daily needs.

Protein and Fat

     Unlike most fruits, guava contains some protein and fat. A 1 cup serving contains 4.2 g of protein and 1.6 g of total fat. Protein in the diet is necessary for growth, tissue repair and preservation of lean body mass. Fat helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamins and acts as a source of energy. You should get 10 percent to 35 percent of your calories from protein and 20 percent to 35 percent of your calories from fat.


     Guava is a good source of both vitamins A and C. A 1 cup serving contains 1,030 IU of vitamin A and 376 mg of vitamin C, which is 4 times the amount of that found in orange. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin necessary for normal growth and development, eye health and bone strength. Adult women need 2,310 IU of vitamin A a day and adult men need 3,000 IU. Vitamin C helps with the synthesis of collagen and acts as an important antioxidant. Adult women need 75 mg of vitamin C a day and men need 90 mg.


     Guava also contains small amounts of calcium and iron. A 1 cup serving contains 30 mg of calcium and 0.4 mg of iron. Calcium is necessary for bone health, and adults need 1,000 to 1,300 mg a day. Iron assists with oxygen transport throughout your body. Adult women ages 19 to 50 need 18 mg of iron a day and adult men and women over the age 51 need 8 mg a day.


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