Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Pulpy Munch

By Fabian Odum
Guava is gradually slipping off the season but make it a duty to get some anytime you come across it. Some may not like it as a fruit but the health benefit is compelling enough to snack on it and serve guests at mealtimes. It remains a pleasurable after-meal bite or part of a fruit snack in spite of the hard little seeds embedded in the fruit.
Fortunately, some improved variety though not common, is available. This affords those averse to the seeds the opportunity to have a mouthful of pulpy flesh to the bargain.

Nutritional benefits
A tropical fruit, guava has served to enrich the diet of people in several ways. Like the tomato, it is a good source of lycopene, a nutrient that has the reputation of being an anti-cancer compound. It has anti-oxidants that help the body war against free radicals that can interfere with normal cell growth and activity potentially leading to cancer, heart disease and premature ageing. For a moment, the money spent for anti-oxidants from the pharmacy could be directed to stocking guava (although its storing ability is poor).

Fibre, vitamins It is also a good source of soluble fibre and vitamin C, a proven aid to fighting cold and scurvy. Current research suggests that consumption of the fruit may reduce the ‘bad’ serum cholesterol. This is good news to health and heart watchers as bad cholesterol ultimately translates to negative heart condition.

Vitamin C
It may be in the mind of consumers that orange has a higher vitamin C content than guava but to the contrary, one medium size fresh guava has 165milligram vitamin C. Eating only a third of it offers the daily body requirement. For oranges you need to eat one whole to achieve what a third of guava gives.

Another benefit attributed to the fruit is its ability to fight against the microorganisms implicated in staphylococcus auerus infection. This disease has been reported to affect man in several ways -- bowel disorder, negative impact on fertility and related conditions.

Storage Ripe guava bruises easily and highly perishable and may not be suitable for consumption on the third day. Though refrigeration can be helpful in the storage, it can only last for 2-3 days when the firmness and the texture (as well as the flavour) begin to change.