Plant Description  

Description:

Exact origin of guava is unknown. Researchers believe that it originates from Central America and Mexico. If pineapple is known as the “king” of fruits, guava is considered the queen. Apart from guava it is also known as Apple Guava, Guava, Pear Guava, Round Guava and Tropical Guava. With its unique flavor, taste, and health-promoting qualities, the fruit easily fits into the category of new functional foods, often labeled as “super-fruits.” White Indian, South African, Red Malaysian, Mexican Cream, China White, Beaumont, Pineapple Guava and Strawberry Guava are some of the popular varieties of guava that are grown throughout the world. Different cultivar types of guava grown all over the world which may vary widely in flavor, pulp color, and seed composition.

Plant

Guava is an evergreen, tropical shrub or low-growing small tree, 8–10 m high with smooth grayish brown bark that peels off in strips, spreading branches and quadrangular, pubescent branchlets. Guava plant normally grows in areas with a tropical or equatorial climate. It also grows well in the warm, sub-arid, savannah areas as it is quite drought tolerant but adequate irrigation is necessary for good growth and high yields. It can tolerate many soil conditions, but will produce better in rich soils high in organic matter. They also prefer a well-drained soil. The tree will take temporary waterlogging but will not tolerate salty soils.

Leaves

Leaves are opposite, ovate-elliptic or oblong elliptic, acute-acuminate, pubescent beneath, rough adaxially, prominent midrib impressed, lateral nerves 10–20 pairs; blades mostly 7–15 cm long and 3–5 cm wide, rounded at base, apex acute to obtuse, dull green.

Flowers

Flowers are usually fragrant, white, large, 2.5 cm across, solitary or 2 or 3 in axillary cymes. Peduncle 1–2 cm long, pubescent. calyx 4–5-lobed, 6–8 mm long, persistent on fruit; petals white, 10–15 mm long, fugacious, usually 4 or 5, obovate, slightly concave; stamens numerous (200–250), white, about as long as petals with pale yellowish anthers; style 10–12 mm long, stigma peltate.

Fruit

Guava fruits may be round, ovoid or pear-shaped, 3–10 cm long and weighs around 50–200 g, and have 4 or 5 protruding floral remnants (sepals) at the apex. The fruit is green while young turning to whitish yellow or faintly pink when ripe. Varieties differ widely in flavor and seediness. The better varieties are soft when ripe, creamy in texture with a rind that softens to be fully edible. The flesh may be white, pink, yellow, or red depending on the cultivar. The strong, sweet, musky odor is pungent and penetrating with sweet tart taste. Fruit consists of numerous tiny, yellowish, reniform, semi-hard edible seeds, concentrated especially at its center. Some varieties are seedless. Actual seed counts have ranged from 112 to 535. The quality of the fruit of guavas grown in cooler areas is often disappointing.

There is a completely maroon-colored cultivar with maroon branchlets and leaves, crimson flower with crimson stamens and maroon fruit with maroon-colored flesh. Guava starts to produce fruit 2 to 8 years after planting. Fruit has strong, lemon-like musky odor. Rind can be bitter or sweet, while flesh has creamy texture and sweet-tart taste. Under the optimal climate conditions, guava produces fruit two times per year. Guava is perennial plant that usually lives around 40 years.

History

Guavas are native to Mexico, Central America and the north of South America. Historians show that these fruits were originally cultivated in tropical America, possibly Brazil, but were improved in the West Indies. At the start of the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced guavas all around the Pacific, till it reached the Philippines. A few years later, the Spanish brought this delicious fruit to India. Early Spanish travellers, in the 1500s, discovered the Strawberry Guava as a tree native to America. Records prove that Seminole Indians grew this fruit widely in Northern Florida around 1816. Progressively, it became popular and spread to other parts of the world. Since 1950, guavas have become a major subject of research in order to decipher the chemical identity of its constituents, pharmacological properties and its history in folk medicine. The fruit is now commercially cultivated in Southeast Asia, Hawaii, the Caribbean, Florida and Africa.

Use and Preparation

Traditional uses and benefits of Guava

  • Roots, bark, leaves and immature fruits are used in folk medicine because of their astringency, are normally used to halt gastroenteritis, diarrhea and dysentery, throughout the tropics.
  • Guava leaf tea has been approved as one of the Foods for specified Health Uses and is commonly used for diabetes in Japan.
  • Leaves are used for diarrhea, stomach-ache and gastroenteritis and as vermifuge in Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Decoction of leaves is used for skin complaints.
  • Combined decoction of leaves and bark is given to expel the placenta after childbirth and as emenagogue.
  • Leaf decoction is used for leucorrhoea, bark used for hystero-epilepsy in Indonesia.
  • Leaves have been used as an antidiarrheal and anti-dysenteric; externally, they have been used as a deodorant of mouth odor in Thailand.
  • Unripe fruit, the leaves, the cortex of the bark and roots – through more often the leaves only – in the form of a decoction are used for washing ulcers and wounds in Philippines.
  • Bark and leaves are stated to be astringent, vulnerary, and when decocted, anti-diarrheic.
  • Bark decoction is used in chronic diarrhea of children and sometimes adults; a decoction of the root-bark is recommended as a mouthwash for swollen gums and as local application in prolapses in India.
  • Guava jelly is supposed as tonic for the heart and good for constipation and ripe fruit is good aperients.
  • Leaves are chewed as remedy for toothache.
  • Leaf infusion is recommended in India in cerebral ailments, nephritis and cachexia.
  • An extract is given in epilepsy and chorea and a tincture is rubbed on the spine of children in convulsions.
  • Guava leaf is an important ingredient in many Ayurvedic preparations, for diabetes and other ailments.
  • Leaf decoction is taken as a remedy for coughs, throat and chest ailments, gargled to relieve oral ulcers and inflamed gums.
  • Decoction of the flower buds is considered an effective remedy for diarrhea and flow of blood in Costa Rica.
  • Fruit is considered anthelmintic and the leaves used as remedy for itches and decocted leaves are used for cleansing ulcers in Mexico.
  • Decoction of the leaves is used as a vaginal and uterine wash, especially in leucorrhoea in Uruguay.
  • Decoction of the young leaves and shoots is prescribed in the West Indies for febrifuge and antispasmodic baths, and an infusion of the leaves for cerebral affections, nephritis, and cachexia; the pounded leaves are applied locally for rheumatism; an extract is used for epilepsy and chorea; and the tincture is rubbed into the spine of children suffering from convulsions.
  • Leaf extract have been used for diarrhea and for diabetes in Brazil.

Other Facts

  • Guava tree provides a yellow to reddish, fine grained, compact, reasonably strong wood which is used for carpentry and turnery.
  • Wood is used for spear handles, wood engravings and instruments, household and agricultural implements, tree nails, post for small houses, fence posts, fuel wood and charcoal in Peninsular Malaysia.
  • It is valued for engravings in India.
  • Guatemalans use guava wood to make spinning tops, and in El Salvador it is fashioned into hair combs.
  • Leaves and bark are rich in tannin.
  • Bark is used in Central America for tanning hides.
  • Leaves are used by dyers in Pekan, Peninsular Malaysia to dye silk black; and in Indo-China, to dye cotton black and for dyeing mattings in Indonesia.

How to Eat

  • Raw fully mature and ripe, aromatic guavas are eaten out-of-hand, but are favored deseeded and served sliced as dessert or in fruit salads.
  • Fruits are made into puree, marmalade, juice, guava cheese, canned, stewed, chutney, baked or utilized in pies, cakes, catsup, puddings, sauce, jam, jellies, guava butter, beverages, wine, relish, ice cream and other products.
  • A stewed guava shell is one of the standard desserts throughout Latin America and the Spanish-speaking islands of the West Indies.
  • Guavas are mixed with cornmeal and other ingredients to make breakfast-food flakes in South Africa.
  • Some popular recipes are guava dumplings, guava sauce and stew guava slices in Pacific islands.
  • Ripe guava, lemon juice, ground cinnamon (optional), margarine, flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and margarine are used to make guava dumplings.
  • Special guava sauce is made from guava pulp, vinegar, onion, chopped chili, or ground pepper, garlic, ground allspice (optional) ground cinnamon(optional), ground cloves, sugar and salt.
  • Stewed guava slices are boiled with guava juice and served hot or cold with coconut cream.
  • Ripe guava fruit is used as a vegetable or seasoning for the Filipino sour stew or soup called “sinigang” in Philippines.
  • Matured or firm ripe fruits are sliced and eaten chilled with a sprinkle of salt or more popularly with a sprinkle of finely ground, preserved dried plum called “Assam Boi” in Malaysia.
  • Guava fruit can be preserved whole or in slices in vinegar and also used for making chutney.
  • Dried guava slices are also dried and preserved with salt or sugar and consumed as snacks.
  • Ready-to-use dehydrated guava products such as dehydrated guava slices and leather can be prepared from firm and ripe guava fruits.
  • “Kampuchea” cultivar is processed into a much-relished, fresh, chilled guava juice drink in Malaysia.
  • Ripe guava fruits are placed into porcelain jars and allowed to ferment into a beverage akin to a light wine in Taiwan.
  • Ripe guava fruits are also processed into guava wine and brandy in India.
  • Guava extract prepared from small and overripe fruits is used as ascorbic acid enrichment for soft drinks and various foods.
  • Economically important guava food products are the processed juice or puree products which are canned or aseptically packaged, chilled or frozen, canned guavas and dehydrated guavas.
  • Guava puree or pulp is the starting ingredient for a host of guava food products.
  • It can be made into a nectar drink, fruit punch, syrup or used directly with commercial mixes for making ice-cream, sherbet, yoghurt, smoothies, guava cheese or guava paste.

Recipe

Guava Barbeque Sauce

One of the best slathers for ribs and ham. Its exotic fruitiness goes well with chicken, turkey, duck and even game. Guava paste is much beloved by Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans, and South Americans too!

Prep: 20 mins

Cook: 15 mins

Total: 35 mins

Servings: 24

Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup guava paste
  • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup dark rum
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ scotch bonnet chile pepper (or to taste), minced
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1
  • Place the water, guava paste, vinegar, rum, tomato paste, lemon juice, onion, ginger, soy sauce, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and scotch bonnet pepper into a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, whisking until evenly blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce has slightly thickened and is richly flavored, 10 to 15 minutes. The sauce should be pourable. If it has become too thick, thin it with some water. Serve hot or cold.n

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:

43 calories; protein 0.2g; carbohydrates 9.5g; sodium 85.9mg. Full Nutrition

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/197088/guava-barbeque-sauce/

Nutritional value

Nutritional Value

Apart from their sweet-tart taste, guava is a good source of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Consuming 165 gram of guavas offers 376.7 mg of Vitamin C, 8587 µg of Lycopene, 0.38 mg of Copper, 8.9 g of Total dietary Fiber, 81 µg of Vitamin B9 and 23.63 g of Carbohydrate. Moreover many Amino acids  0.036 g of Tryptophan, 0.158 g of Threonine, 0.153 g of Isoleucine, 0.282 g of Leucine, 0.119 g of Lysine, 0.026 g of Methionine and 0.01 g of Phenylalanine are also found in 165 gram of guavas.

Health benefits of Guavas

Guava fruit is a wonderful method of obtaining vitamin C and is also a pleasant exotic option to the orange or even grapefruit. Try out developing a fruit salad making use of this amazing fruit or even make use of a juice machine to create refreshing guava juice. Guava fruit is provided in certain standard food markets as well as the juice are available in several natural super markets.

Guavas really are a treasure-trove of nutrition. It is referred as one of many “Super foods” as it is loaded with huge amount of anti-oxidants. Also, they are recognized for their higher pectin content. Listed below are some of the popular health benefits of consuming guava:

1. Weight loss

Guava is quite helpful for those who want to lose weight without compromising their intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber. Guava is good source of roughage and rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals, but it has no cholesterol and a low number of digestible carbohydrates. It is a very filling snack and satisfies the appetite very easily. Guava, particularly raw guava has far less sugar as compared to apples, oranges, grapes, and other fruit. Including a medium-sized guava to your lunch and you will not feel hungry again until the evening. Ironically, it can also help with weight gain in lean, thin people. This is perhaps due to its wealth of nutrients, which keep the metabolism regulates and helps to promote the proper absorption of nutrients.(1)

2. Immunity

Guava is an excellent source of Vitamin C. It contains 337 mg of Vitamin C which is equal to 628% of RDA required in the daily diet. A guava a day can restore the loss of this vitamin completely.

Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and help to increase immune system function of our body. It is known to develop resistance in the body against common diseases like a cough, cold and flu.

Vitamin C as an antioxidant contributes in maintaining a good skin health by cleaning the body off the free radicals and other impurities thus delaying skin ageing. It also plays a significant role in growth and repair of body tissues. In studies, it was found to quicken healing of scars and wounds.(2), (3), (4)

3. Eye & Skin Health

Vitamin A is one of the powerful antioxidant and is recommended for improving eye health. It acts as a barrier between the vulnerable eye parts and the potential bacterial and viral infections.

Apart from that it has been found to be effective in avoiding retinal damage caused due to free radicals by removing them from our system regularly. Therefore, it improves eye vision and protect from cataract.

Another common eye condition macular degeneration is efficiently undertaken by Beta Carotene in combination with other anti-oxidants in Guava.(5), (6), (7)

4. Beats Toothache

Guava leaves have a powerful anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ability which fights infection and kills germs. Therefore, consuming guava leaves works as a wonderful home remedy for toothache. The juice of guava leaves has also been known to cure toothaches, swollen gums and oral ulcers.