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Guava: The New “Superfruit”?

Ever since Goji Berry Juice became a big MLM craze, as expected, other antioxidant-rich “Superfruit” juices have joined this ever-growing health food market segment, including Pomegranate, Noni and Acai, to now even a coffee fruit harvested right here in Hawaii under the brand Kona Red.

Or are these just more “snake oils” opportunistic entrepreneurs and manufacturers are using to mark a product way up in price because of the health benefits they claim that consumers are clearly buying into?

Well I know several people who’ve religiously drank Goji Juice for an extended period of time (several months to more than a year), and SWEAR they felt better, being more alert and energetic at work, to even having better sex, while also not getting sick or “ill feeling” as often as they did before taking it. Of course, in the back of my mind I’m thinking they’re just “psyching” themselves into believing that due to the manufacturer’s and salesperson’s claims, added by the OUTRAGEOUS price they paid for a 1 quart bottle of the stuff @ around $35 a pop. If it’s expensive, it must really work, right?

That said, one of our people from accounting recently brought a bag of nice-sized quavas grown right in their backyard to share with us. Not having researched it before, upon looking up the health benefits of Guava, I wasn’t surprised one website actually labeled it as qualifying to be a “Superfruit”, especially tell-tale by its tart, meets sweet, meets slightly bitter flavor profile, along with the abundance of gelatinous edible seeds buried in its flesh and thick, yet edible skin. Traits that are common amongst fruits and vegetables packed with nutritional value.

While a majority of listed Superfruits are indeed exotic, as far as their availability in the western hemisphere, there’s several common fruits widely available in the US included in the Superfruits list as well, including Grapes, Blueberries, Cranberries and Avocado.

As for quava, one study by scientists from India’s National Institute in Hyderabad found antioxidant concentrations of just under 500 milligrams per 100 grams in guavas, beating out plums, which have 330mg and 135mg in pomegranates, deeming quava to be “the ultimate superfood with the highest concentration of antioxidants which protects against cell damage which ages skin and can cause cancer.”

For a complete description and list of health benefits of Guava, see this link and this link. Again, I’m not surprised to read how healthy a “common” quava is for you, a fruit many of us locals take for granted due their wide availability here in Hawaii.

What actually did surprise me were the long list of health benefits and uses of guava LEAVES, from weight loss, to digestive problems, to controlling blood glucose levels (diabetes) to treating wounds.

Then there’s the Guava tree stumps and branches, which are another popular wood used for smoking meats here in Hawaii, next to Kiawe (Mesquite). Case-in-point, this onolicious-looking presentation of smoked fish (Uhu tails and Marlin) by competitor Guava Smoked, which landed on our judging table at this past 4th Annual Up in Smoke Cook-off at Aloha Stadium…

That’s a very akamai (smart) presentation, as it tells us judges they’re using “Waiawi” or Strawberry Guava branches for the smoking wood. Which, like Kiawe, “Waiawi” are actually considered an invasive species here in Hawaii. Which is all the better that Guava Smoked is making good use out of something “bad”. Try DELICIOUS use, as Guava Smoked won first place in the Smoked Pork Category ($1000 cash), and second place in Smoked Fish ($100), Smoked Chicken ($100) and anything Goes ($100) categories. Congratulations!

For you readers not living here, a very popular way guava is consumed here in Hawaii is in the form of mass produced juices, jellies and jams, widely distributed here by local manufacturer Hawaiian Sun, amongst several other labels. Oddly, I don’t ever recall seeing any locally manufactured guava flavored ice cream or sorbet, which you’d think would be a no-brainer. I’ll have to contact someone at Roselani and ask what’s the deal on that, and I’ll post a comment update later.

Well there you have it. Whether fighting aging, to cancer, to losing weight, to controlling blood sugar levels, to healing, to smoking award-winning $$$ meats, Give it up for the nutrionally-packed SUPER GUAVA! Best of all, as likely as you’ll find some all around Hawaii, if it grows in your, or your family or friends backyard, it’s FREE!

7 thoughts on “Guava: The New “Superfruit”?

  • September 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm

    When I was a kid on a vacation to Honolulu we were visiting relatives and they had fresh quavas from their tree. I always liked guava but on this occasion my Aunt sliced one open and for me. There were so many maggots inside and that was the last time I ate anything guava. It’s been permanently etched into my brain.
    Why is Kiawe and Waiawi considered an invasive species? Do they destroy native species?
    They sell Hawaiian Sun at Marukai in California in the Hawaiian food section. I was amazed to see people literally buying cases of the stuff at outrageous prices. I’ve even seen Hawaiian Sun drinks here in Japan. I like Luau Punch and Pineapple Orange. When I was living in Honolulu recently I think I kind of O’D on the stuff.

    • September 7, 2012 at 5:37 am

      Maggots (fly larvae) typically are laid in overripe fruit or rotting ones, either on the tree, or those that fell to the ground, however there are exceptions. You’ll find maggots in mangoes and papayas too that are overripe or rotten as well, as like you’ll find it in many other rotting foods. Gross, right?

      When my dad was head of Hawaii’s Papaya industry in the 80’s and 90’s, his arch enemy was fruit flies. The federal government spent HUNDRED$ of THOUSAND$ fighting Hawaii’s Papaya fruit fly problem, trying everything from irradiation to chemical treatments. I’m not sure where the industry is now. I’ll have to look it up.

      As for Strawberry Guava being an invasive species in Hawaii, according to this website, “Introduced to Hawaii from Brazil in 1825, strawberry guava is an invasive species that many enjoy. People eat the fruit fresh or in jam, or use the wood for smoking meat. However, strawberry guava’s potential damage may outweigh its utility. Strawberry guava has no natural enemies or competitors in Hawaii. It forms dense thickets replacing native Hawaiian plants, and damages the watershed services that diverse forests provide. Its spread over thousands of acres is beyond the possibility of control by existing methods. These are just some of the reasons why there is a public conversation about the proposed introduction to Hawaii of a scale insect that is the natural population control of strawberry guava in Brazil.”

      Most likely the reason you OD’d on those Hawaiian Sun drinks is because they’re laden with SUGAR. I don’t drink that stuff anymore. Stick with the natural fruit in its whole form. One that doesn’t have bugs in it, of course. lol

      • November 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

        Ahhh yes, bring in another non-native species to control a pest. That’s never backfired… especially in Hawaii.

  • September 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    When I was going to school on the mainland I would bring back jars of guava jelly so that we could eat guava jelly on grilled cheese sandwich lol. Never really cared for guava juice though since it was always so grainy.

    • September 8, 2012 at 1:07 pm

      If I were living on the mainland, Hawaiian Sun Guava Jelly and Jam would definitely be on my Hawaii grindz care-package wish list.

  • September 8, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    Aloha Pomai,

    I just love love love your website. Very very creative, funny, well written, respectful, superlative! No wonder you were featured on CNN’s Eatocracy. You’re a natural!!


    • September 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

      Aloha Erica, and huge mahalo for the wonderful compliments. As always, it’s highly, highly appreciated! :-)


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