Health Benefits of Guava Leaves
Guavas are tropical trees with origins in Central America. They produce oval-shaped fruits with light green or yellow skin that contains edible seeds. Additionally, guava leaves are utilized to make herbal tea, and the leaf extract is used as a supplement. Guava fruits are renowned for their high content of antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, which contribute to a variety of health benefits. Here are eight evidence-based health benefits of guava fruits and leaves:
- May Help Lower Blood Sugar Levels: Some research suggests that guava can enhance blood sugar control. Several studies involving test tubes and animals have shown that guava leaf extract can improve blood sugar levels, long-term blood sugar control, and insulin resistance. This is particularly promising for individuals with diabetes or those at risk. Human studies have also demonstrated positive results, with guava leaf tea reducing blood sugar levels after a meal.
- Boost Heart Health: Guavas may have a positive impact on heart health. The high levels of antioxidants and vitamins in guava leaves are believed to protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals. Guavas are also rich in potassium and soluble fiber, contributing to improved heart health. Guava leaf extract has been associated with lower blood pressure, decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol, and increased “good” HDL cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Relieve Painful Menstrual Symptoms: Guava leaf extract may reduce the intensity of painful menstrual symptoms, such as cramps. A study with 197 women experiencing painful menstruation found that daily intake of 6 mg of guava leaf extract led to reduced pain intensity, potentially surpassing the effectiveness of some painkillers. Guava leaf extract is also thought to alleviate uterine cramps.
- Benefit the Digestive System: Guavas are an excellent source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy bowel movements and preventing constipation. Just one guava can provide 12% of your recommended daily fiber intake. Additionally, guava leaf extract may aid digestive health by reducing the intensity and duration of diarrhea. It also exhibits antimicrobial properties, neutralizing harmful gut microbes that can cause diarrhea.
- May Aid Weight Loss: Guavas are a weight-loss-friendly food, offering only 37 calories per fruit and 12% of your recommended daily fiber intake. They are filling and low in calories, unlike some other low-calorie snacks, and they provide essential vitamins and minerals.
- May Have an Anticancer Effect: Guava leaf extract has demonstrated potential anticancer effects in test-tube and animal studies, preventing the growth of cancer cells. This is attributed to the high levels of antioxidants that protect cells from damage, a major factor in cancer development. While promising, further research is needed to confirm its efficacy in humans.
- Boost Immunity: Guavas are an excellent source of vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in enhancing the immune system. Adequate vitamin C levels reduce the risk of infections and illnesses, and guavas provide a rich source of this nutrient.
- Eating Guavas Good for Your Skin: Guavas contain a wide range of vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your skin by protecting it from damage and slowing down the aging process. Guava leaf extract has also shown potential in treating acne due to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Please note that guavas and guava leaf extract should be consumed as part of a balanced diet and not relied upon as sole treatments for medical conditions. It’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized health guidance.