A new study has found that guavas are the 'ultimate superfood' with the highest concentration of antioxidants that protect against cell damage which ages skin and can cause cancer.
Guavas are rich in dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, folic acid, and the dietary minerals, potassium, copper and manganese. Having a generally broad, low-calorie profile of essential nutrients, a single common guava fruit contains about four times the amount of vitamin C as an orange.
A series of tests conducted on fruits found in India, including Himalayan apples and pomegranates, bananas and grapes, found that the guava, the poor man's fruit in India, has the highest concentration of antioxidants as compared to all the other fruits.
According to scientists from India's National Institute in Hyderabad, the Indian plum, the custard apple and India's beloved mangoes, come after guavas in antioxidant richness.
The study found that while there is a presence of antioxidant concentrations of just under 500 milligrams per 100 grams in guavas, 330mg in plums and 135mg in pomegranates, apples have a quarter of the antioxidants in guavas and bananas merely have a tiny fraction with 30 mg per 100 grams.
Foliage diseases, such as anthracnose, can be a problem in humid climates where guava is grown. They are regularly controlled with fungicide applications so it is important for the consumer to access organic varities that use natural methods to control pests.
Watermelons and pineapples were found to offer the least protection for the body's fight against free radicals, which can cause cell damage, whereas mangoes, despite a high fructose content, have 170 mg of antioxidants, which is more than three times that of papaya, and grapes were found to be three times more beneficial to the body than oranges.
"Guava is a rich source of antioxidants, a rich source of fibre. It's a poor mans fruit because they're quite cheap. A guava a day keeps a doctor away," the Telegraph quoted Dr Sreeramulu as saying.
The study will be published in the Food Research International journal.