Guava (Psidium guajava) is one of the most loved tropical fruits by the people of India. This fruit grows in wild places or in commercial groves all over the subtropics and tropics. It comes in various shapes, colors and sizes.
The fruit is not only consumed for its nutritional purpose but also for its medicinal properties. Various researches have also found anti-carcinogenicity properties from the crude guava leaf extracts and fruits. This is why this fruit is also known as potent anticancer fruit.
Food plays an essential role in improving the cancer patients health who are at chemotherapeutic treatment, along reducing risk for cancer progression. Like other cancer fighting foods, the health-promoting and anticancer properties of this fruit is also due to its potent phytochemicals.
Let’s explore what are these and what health benefits this fruit provides your body:
- Phytochemicals of guava
- Health benefits of guava
- Anticancer components of guava
- Various ways to consume guava plant parts
Phytochemicals of Guava
The guava seed, fruit and leaves contain potent phytochemicals which are the reason behind its excellent health properties. These are β-flavonoids, vitamins, folic acid, fibre, lectins, tannins, essential oils, phenols, carotenoids, fatty acids and saponins. These nutrients fight against bacterial infection, diabetes, free radical generation, menstrual disorders, digestive disorders, neurodegenerative disease, lung problems, cancer and mutations.
Health benefits of guava
- There is a long record of traditional and medicinal uses of this plant in a given review (Hawrelak, 2003). The study showed that this plant is consumed for its antimicrobial, emmenagogue, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antispasmodic and gastrointestinal benefits.
- In India, the guava leaves have a special place in Ayurveda. The leaves of this plant are used against various diseases (like toothaches, rheumatic diseases, gastrointestinal problems, skin wounds, certain microbial infections)
- In Southeast Asian countries, this fruit is consumed to treat influenza infection and hypertension (high blood pressure).
- In Malaysia. The leaves of this plant used to treat stomach ache, diarrhea and to expel the placenta while childbirth.
- Some animal studies also show that this plant is known to lower high blood sugar levels.
- In China, it is acts antiseptic, anti-diarrhea, anti-diabetic agent.
- In other regions like Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil also, this plant has great medicinal importance.
Possible Anticancer Guava Components
In 2010 a human study was conducted to explore the beneficial impact of this plant on prostate cancer. The results exhibited that guava extract aids in reducing the size of the tumor. In another analysis conducted by Journal of Medicinal Food (2012), the anticancer action of this plant against human prostate cancer has been noticed.
Along with other health benefits, this fruit is also a potent anticancer fruit. Particularly, guava leaves by possessing potent polyphenols. These polyphenolic components exhibit potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Other than these, the anticancer nutrients found in guava are: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Apigenin, Lycopene and Kaempferol.
Let’s study about these nutrients little more:
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C):
The leaves of this plant found to have high levels of antioxidant activity. This antioxidant activity is due to the high vitamin C content present in the leaves. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant which efficiently acts upon free radicals and helps in body detoxification. Other sources of vitamin C, which can also provide you ample of dietary vitamin C are oranges, kiwi, broccoli and lemon.
It is one of the most common flavonoids known to be found in vegetables and fruits. This nutrient inhibits the cell proliferation of various cancer cell lines (especially against human colon cancer and human mouth epidermal carcinoma).
Guava juice is embedded with potential quantities of nutrient lycopene. It is found in higher quantities in guava than watermelon.
It is one of the carotenoids which provides pigment to the fruit. This component is a potent free radical scavenger, thereby significantly neutralizes the free radicals in the body. Other than this, it also acts as an anti-proliferative, anti-metastatic and apoptotic agent.
According to an analysis, the extract of red guava fruits exhibits significant actions against ER-positive breast cancer.
This component of guava fruit possesses potential anti carcinogenic and anti-proliferative properties (especially against thyroid cancer cell lines). Other than these, this component also exhibits potent antioxidant properties.
This fruit is also rich in terpenes (guajadial, psiguadial A, B and psidial A). This nutrient shows potent antiproliferative action against nine human cancer cell lines (colon, ovarian, melanoma, kidney, breast, lung, leukemia and prostate).
The essential oils extracted from this plant also possess significant anticancer properties against human-mouth epidermal carcinoma. The hexane extraction from the leaves also shows cytotoxic impact against leukemia.
Various ways to consume guava plant parts
- Eat one guava daily for its health benefits.
- Other than that, Blend the two cups of Greek yogurt, one sliced banana, three to four sliced guava fruit. The smoothie is ready to consume.
- You can also consume the decoction of its leaves. Take some leaves from this plant and add in water. Boil the water till it remains half of its initial volume. Add lemon or jaggery to enhance flavor and enjoy the hot decoction.
The extract of its leaves might cause temporary stomach pain or nausea in some people. Therefore, avoid taking this in high quantities.
The fruit of this plant is renowned as high-nutritional food, whereas its bark and leaves for its medicinal properties.
Guava is very beneficial in preventing cancer of various types due to these phytochemicals, high in fiber and other vitamins. Such components help to slow the growth of various types of cancers.
Moreover, its high availability in middle to low income countries make this an economical option for cancer prevention and treatment. There is more to explore in this context. However, regular consumption of this fruit definitely helps your body in detoxification and getting salubrious health.
Take guava and its extract along with other healthy fruits and vegetables (cruciferous vegetables, omega-3 fatty acids foods, berries, and spices).