The benefits of eating a guava

Growing up in Zambia, I ate tons of guavas. Guava trees were seemingly everywhere and I’d often eatGuavas
the fruit right off the tree, then spend the next hour or so picking the seeds out of my teeth. Some guavas were overripe and I had to be careful not to chomp on them too quickly, lest I get some extra protein in the form of worms. But most were tasty, nutritious and worm-free.

Unfortunately, guavas aren’t popular in North America, except among immigrants. If you find them in a grocery store, it’s probably an ethnic one, a Chinese or Indian store where you might find them labeled as "Gwawas."

But guavas might be gaining some respect, at least in health circles. An article from Men’s Health magazine lists the "obscure tropical fruit" as one of "The 10 best foods you aren’t eating."

Why it’s healthy: Guava has a higher concentration of lycopene–an
antioxidant that fights prostate cancer–than any other plant food, including
tomatoes and watermelon. In addition, 1 cup of the stuff provides 688 milligrams
(mg) of potassium, which is 63 percent more than you’ll find in a medium banana.
And guava may be the ultimate high-fiber food: There’s almost 9 grams (g) of
fiber in every cup.

I knew it! As I always said to the other kids in Zambia, "Guavas are loaded with lycopene!"

How to eat it: Down the entire fruit, from the rind to the seeds. It’s
all edible–and nutritious. The rind alone has more vitamin C than you’d find in
the flesh of an orange. You can score guava in the produce section of higher-end
supermarkets or in Latin grocery stores.

Latin grocery stores? I’m going to have to brush up on my Latin. I’ll do anything to score some guava.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. I miss guava too….. 😦
    Pammy was here

  2. Guava is excellent for strengthening the body’s defenses by stimulating production of white blood cells. Helps fight and prevent infectious diseases is very useful for treating respiratory problems like cough, bronchitis, asthma, colds, influenza, flu, ectétera. Helps maintain the right balance in blood pressure. Improves circulation
    Helps fight cholesterol. It protects against infectious diseases of the eyes. Favors the activity of repair enzymes. It has a mild anti-coagulant action. It promotes skin health. Helps fight infections. Useful in the diets of the elderly, helps invigorate the body and keep you in good general health.

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