Season’s delight: 8 Incredible benefits of the humble ‘amrood’

Published: January 13, 2016
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Pakistanis enjoy delish portions of guavas from street hawkers. Inexpensive and scrumptious, when speckled with chaat masala — they taste divine. Locally adored and devoured as amrood, it is brimming with a cluster of health benefits and there’s no reason you should hold back this season. As compiled from thehealthsite.com and NDTV, take advantage of these benefits and get your guava fix already.

Boosts immunity

Amrood are one of the richest sources of vitamin C — comprising four times the vitamin C content present in oranges. A single, medium-sized guava offers two times the daily requirement of the very-much-needed-nutrient, one that is closely associated with improved immunity and protecting you against common infections. The role of guavas in immunity is also attributed to its anti-inflammatory action and its ability to inhibit inflammatory molecules like prostaglandins released in autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Lowers risk of cancer

It’s a fact. Guavas are anti-cancer warriors. The cancer-slashing or anti-tumour properties of guavas has been linked to the presence of its compounds, which include lycopene, quercitin, vitamin C and various polyphenols present in them. These compounds acts as potent antioxidants that neutralise free radicals generated in the body, which can trigger cancerous growth. Latest research suggests that the yummy fruit has potential to prevent cancer of the prostate, breast, skin, colon and lungs.

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Good for diabetics

The anti-diabetic influence of guavas has been mentioned long back in Chinese medicine. A study published in The American Journal of Chinese Medicine proves that guavas and their juice significantly reduced sugar levels in diabetic patients. The study suggested that guavas improve as well as prevent the development of diabetes. Apart from the insulin-like activity that guavas possess, their rich fibre content and low glycaemic index makes them extremely beneficial for diabetic patients. While fibre content ensures the sugar levels are well regulated, low glycemic index constrains a sudden spike in sugar levels.

Protects the heart

A study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension presented that dietary adherence to guavas improves the sodium/potassium balance of the body, thereby regulating blood pressure in patients with hypertension. Besides, guavas also help lower the levels of triglycerides and bad cholesterol, which contribute to development of heart disease. They also improve the levels the good cholesterol or HDL.

Improves vision

Even though, guavas are not as rich in Vitamin A as our beloved carrots, they still are an exceptionally good source of the nutrient. Vitamin A helps keep your eyes healthy, and also helps improve your vision. Night blindness is one of the diseases associated with a Vitamin A deficiency. Dry eyes lately? Load up on amrood and help relieve that dreaded eye itch whilst improving your eyesight.

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They’re brain food

Surprise! Amrood join the list of foods like fish and nuts since they now qualify as brain food. Brain is one of the major organs of our body, and it needs nutrition, just like all our other organs. Guavas help nourish your brain — chock-full of vitamin B3 and vitamin B6, also known as niacin and pyridoxine, guavas help in improving blood circulation to the brain and are proven to relax your nerves.

Anti-aging agents

Did you know this fam-favourite fruit has anti-ageing properties — especially beneficial for your skin? Free radical damage to the skin can trigger wrinkle formation and early ageing. Guavas being rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A and antioxidants like lycopene and carotene, help protect your skin from wrinkles and fine lines, thus making you look younger and your skin appearing more supple. None of us can escape ageing but consuming a guava a day can undoubtedly protract the process.

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Protects against flu-blues

The last thing we need in our lives, but get plenty of in the winters, is the dreaded cough and cold. Guavas, not only have one of the highest quantities of vitamin-C among fruits, but also iron.  Iron is proven to be preventive against cold and viral infections. The juice of raw guavas or a mixture of guava-leaves is extremely helpful in relieving cough and cold since it helps get rid of mucus and disinfects the respiratory tract, throat and lungs.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2016.

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