Archive for May, 2015

Guava nutrition facts

Monday, May 4th, 2015

 

Guava is another tropical fruit rich in high-profile nutrients. With its unique flavor, taste, and health-promoting qualities, the fruit easily fits in the new functional foods category, often called “super-fruits.”

It is an evergreen, tropical shrub or low-growing small tree probably originated in the central Americas. Guavas actually thrive in both humid and dry climates and can tolerate brief periods of cold spells, but can survive only a few degrees of frost. Adaptability makes it a favorite commercial crop in some tropical areas.

Botanically, this wonderful fruit belongs within the family of Myrtaceae, in the genus: Psidium. Scientific name: Psidium guajava.

During each season, the guava tree bears numerous round, ovoid or pear-shaped fruits that are about 5-10 cm long and weigh around 50–200 g. Different cultivar types of guava grown all over the world which, vary widely in flavor, pulp color, and seeds.

The fruit is soft when ripe with sweet musky aroma and creamy in texture. Internally, its flesh varies in color depending up on the cultivar and may be white, pink, yellow, or red. Ripe fruits have rich flavor with sweet-tart taste. Each fruit contains numerous tiny, semi-hard edible seeds, concentrated especially at its center.

 

Health benefits of guava fruit

  • Guava is low in calories and fats but contain several vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant poly-phenolic and flavonoid compounds that play a pivotal role in prevention of cancers, anti-aging, etc.
  • The fruit is very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (5.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 14% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
  • Guava-fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 228 mg of this vitamin, more than three times the DRI (daily-recommended intake). The flesh just underneath its outer thick rind contains exceptionally higher levels of vitamin C than its inner creamy pulp.
  • Scientific studies shown that regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin C helps human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body. Further, it is required for collagen synthesis within the body. Collagen is the main structural protein in the human body required for maintaining integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones.
  • The fruit is a very good source of Vitamin-A, and flavonoids like beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and cryptoxanthin. The compounds are known to have antioxidant properties and therefore essential for optimum health. Further, vitamin-A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in carotene is known to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • 100 g of pink guava fruit provides 5204 µg of lycopene, nearly twice the amount than in  tomatoes . (100 g tomato contains 2573 µg of lycopene). Studies suggest that lycopene in pink guavas prevents skin damage from UV rays and offers protection from prostate cancer.
  • Fresh fruit is a very rich source of potassium. It contains more potassium than other fruits like banana weight per weight. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Further, the fruit is also a moderate source of B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like magnesium, copper, and manganese. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells

Coconut Water

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

 

Coconut water is the clear liquid found inside immature coconuts. As the coconut matures, the water is replaced by coconut meat.

Coconut water is sometimes referred to as green coconut water because the immature coconuts are green in color.

Coconut water is different than coconut milk. Coconut milk is produced from an emulsion of the grated meat of a mature coconut.

Coconut water is commonly used as a beverage and as a solution for treating dehydration related to diarrhea or exercise. It is also tried for high blood pressure.

How does it work?

Coconut water is rich in carbohydrates and electrolytes such as potassium, sodium, and magnesium. Because of this electrolyte composition, there is a lot of interest in using coconut water to treat and prevent dehydration. But some experts suggest that the electrolyte composition in coconut water is not adequate to be used as a rehydration solution.

Insufficient Evidence for:

1.Diarrhea-related dehydration. Some research shows that consuming coconut water can help prevent dehydration in children with mild diarrhea. But there is no reliable evidence that it is any more effective than other beverages for this use.

2.Exercise-related dehydration. Some athletes use coconut water to replace fluids after exercise. Coconut water seems to help rehydrate after exercise, but it does not appear to be more effective than sports drinks or plain water.

3.High blood pressure. Some research suggests that drinking coconut water might lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure.

Coconut water is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when consumed as a drink. There are no known serious side effects.

Coconut water is POSSIBLY SAFE for children.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Not enough is known about the use of coconut water during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

High blood pressure: Coconut water might lower blood pressure. It can increase the effects of medications used to lower blood pressure. Discuss your use of coconut water with your healthcare provider if you have blood pressure problems.

Surgery: Coconut water might interfere with blood pressure control during and after surgery. Stop using coconut water at least two weeks before a scheduled surgery.

Pregnancy: Avoiding Papaya

Friday, May 1st, 2015

 

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, avoid eating unripe papaya. Papaya that is unripe contains a latex substance that may cause contractions of the uterus. Papaya or papaya enzymes are sometimes recommended for soothing indigestion, which is common during pregnancy. Although a fully ripe papaya is not thought to be a problem, it is not known for sure if papaya is completely safe during pregnancy.

The papaya enzyme that helps soothe indigestion is called papain, or vegetable pepsin. Papain is found in the fruit’s latex and leaves.Unripe papaya latex may act like prostaglandin and oxytocin, which the body makes to start labor. Synthetic prostaglandin and oxytocin are commonly used to start or strengthen labor contractions.