Guava is a sweet and tasty fruit whether it is raw or fully ripe, crunchy or soft and smooth. Those who enjoy it wouldn’t mind eating it every day, especially because of its multiple health benefits. However, you may not be sure if you can eat guava in pregnancy, as it is a time when you should eat only foods that are generally considered innocuous and are fundamentally safe. You might wish to know if guava figures in the list of “safe foods.” and post to learn if you should eat guava while pregnant and the benefits it provides.
Is It Safe To Eat Guava During Pregnancy?
Yes, it is generally safe and healthy to eat guava in all stages of pregnancy. It is rich in nutrients and provides several health benefits. But you should ensure that you consume only ripe and peeled fruit in small amounts to avoid any health risks and get the maximum benefit out of the fruit. Quantity of the fruit eaten matters and you must ensure that you do not eat more than one fully ripe guava weighing approximately 100-125 grams. Remember that excess of anything is detrimental to health and must be avoided in order to prevent adverse effects to the fetus.
Health Benefits Of Guava Fruit During Pregnancy
In this section, we list all the nutrients and benefits of Guava during pregnancy.
1. Improves immunity:
Guava is rich in vitamin C that plays a vital role in strengthening the immune system. It increases the metabolismiXChemical processes in the body that converts food to energy, breaks down complex compounds, and clear wastes and immunity of the body, protecting the body from various diseases and infections (1).
2. Balances blood pressure levels:
You are susceptible to high blood pressure levels during pregnancy. Guava can help in keeping the blood pressure levels under control as and avoid risks such as miscarriage and premature births (2).Guava is rich in potassium and consuming this fruit helps in maintaining the optimal blood pressure and prevents spikes in blood pressure.
3. Regulates blood sugar levels:
Gestational diabetesiXThe inability of the body to produce sufficient insulin during pregnancy is one of the common medical conditions faced during pregnancy, especially in the 24th week. Guava has the potential to control the blood sugar levels due to its high fiber content and presence of complex carbohydrates thus, keeping gestational diabetes at bay (3).
4. Prevents constipation and hemorrhoids:
Constipation and hemorrhoidsiXSwelling of veins in the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) and around the anus (external hemorrhoids) are one of the issues pregnant women face due to slow hormones. Guavas being rich in fiber play a prominent role in preventing these conditions (4). The high fiber content of guavas ensures timely transit of bowel contents and prevents constipation.
5. Improves digestion:
Consuming guava during pregnancy helps to keep the digestive system healthy. It prevents digestive issues such as heartburn and nausea (3).Eating alkaline foods is recommended during pregnancy since they lower the risk of developing acidity and gastroesophageal reflux. Guava is alkaline in nature and helps balance the acid content of the stomach. Eating a guava between meals ensures that the pH content of your stomach is well maintained and balanced.
6. Lowers cancer risk:
Cancer is rare in pregnant women with its incidence of 1 in 1,000. But prevention is better than cure. It contains antioxidants that fight against cancer. Guava is also rich in lycopeneiXA type of carotenoid that gives fruits and vegetables their red pigment and vitamin C, which can help detoxify the body (3).
7. Improves eyesight:
Guava is rich in vitamin A and prevents the chance of blindness and improves the vision of both the mother and fetus (5).
8. Nervous system in babies:
Guava contains folic acid and vitamin B9, which aid in brain and nervous system development in the babies. Folic acid is an important vitamin for pregnant women and to prevent neural tube defects such as spina bifidaiXA birth defect in which the spine and the spinal cord do not form completely , it is advised to consume fully ripe guavas throughout pregnancy.
9. Fights germs and infections:
Guava is rich in vitamin C, E, carotenoids, isoflavonoids, and polyphenols, which are known for their antioxidant properties. They help combat germs and infections and lower your chances of falling ill (3).
10. Calms mind:
Stress during pregnancy releases cortisol, which can adversely affect your condition. Guava is a rich source of magnesium that relaxes nerves and muscles. It, therefore, relieves stress and makes you feel light (3).
11. Controls blood cholesterol:
The fiber in guava is good for your heart.. It helps control the blood cholesterol levels that are otherwise a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases (2). A high fiber intake is reported to lead to significant improvement in HDL and consequent decline in LDL levels. Guavas are high in soluble fiber which lowers LDL or bad cholesterol.
12. Treats anemia:
The iron requirement increases during pregnancy, and guava has sufficient iron content that keeps the hemoglobin levels in check (6).
13. Rich source of Vitamin B3 and B6:
Guava is also an excellent natural source of vitamin B3 and B6, which are very important to include in your pregnancy diet as they contribute towards sound cognitive health. These vitamins enhance brain health of the fetus and improve focus and concentration levels in pregnant women.
14. Curbs morning sickness:
The vitamin C content in guava is good for controlling morning sickness. Bite into a guava as soon as you feel nauseous. And, eating it without seeds along with buttermilk stabilizes the tummy and prevents vomiting.
Everything you consume should be in moderation to ensure good health. The same goes applies to guava too because if you overeat it could be problematic.
Risks Of Eating Guava During Pregnancy
There are a few minuses to the pluses, and, here we have listed some adverse effects of eating guava:
- Since guava is rich in fiber, excess consumption could cause diarrhea.
- Consumption of unripe or semi-ripe guavas during pregnancy should be avoided, as it may lead to toothache or dental problems.
- Unwashed or unpeeled guavas could contain infections leading to listeriosisiXA food infection caused by the bacteria called listeria and the like (7).
- Do not take any medication or supplemental sources of guava – it is best to consume the fruit in its natural form.
You can avoid the risks if you take care while eating a guava.
Tips To Eat Guavas During Pregnancy
Here are some tips to help you avoid any side-effects of eating guava:
- The white pulp of guava is more nutritious than red pulp. So, cut to check the pulp before having the fruit.
- Guavas can be had along with breakfast or as evening snacks.
- If you are allergic to guavas, go for alternatives such as oranges and strawberries (8).
Guava is a delicious fruit that is loaded with vitamins and minerals. It helps curb morning sickness, helps treat anemia, calms the mind, and provides several other benefits. Therefore, it is safe to include it in your diet at all stages of your pregnancy. Nevertheless, ensure that you consume guava in a moderate quantity since eating too many guavas may cause diarrhea. Remember to wash the fruit properly before consuming it and stay alert to allergies if you have a history of food allergies. So, indulge in guavas and maintain good health during pregnancy.
Infographic: Ways To Include Guava In Your Pregnancy Diet
Guava is packed with nutrients, and there are several ways to include this delicious fruit in your pregnancy diet. It can be a part of your breakfast or mid-day snacks. The infographic below helps you explore the various options.
- Guava is a nutrient-rich fruit that can provide you with several health benefits during pregnancy.
- Improved immunity, the balance of blood pressure, and regulation of sugar levels are some benefits of guava for a pregnant woman.
- You may consume washed and clean guavas in moderation. However, avoid guava supplementations and eat fresh guavas during pregnancy.
- K. Ravi and P. Divyashree; (2014); Psidium guajava: A review on its potential as an adjunct in treating periodontal disease.
- R B Singh et al.; (1993); Can guava fruit intake decrease blood pressure and blood lipids?
- Poonam G. Daswani et al.; (2017); Psidium guajava: A Single Plant for Multiple Health Problems of Rural Indian Population.
- Kanjana Mahattanatawee et al.; (2006); Total Antioxidant Activity and Fiber Content of Select Florida-Grown Tropical Fruits.
- Look to Fruits and Vegetables for Good Eye Health.
- Krishnapillai Madhavan Nair et al.; (2013); Inclusion of Guava Enhances Non-Heme Iron Bioavailability but Not Fractional Zinc Absorption from a Rice-Based Meal in Adolescents.
- Fruit and Vegetable Safety.
- Creating Health & Nutrition.
- Guava common raw.
- Oranges raw navels.
- Iron and vitamin C: the perfect pair?