How to Choose a Good Guava
Pink or red guava is a great source of the potent carotenoid antioxidant, lycopene. This powerful antioxidant travels through the body neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are substances in the body that can cause a great deal of damage. Free radicals oxidize cholesterol, making it stick to blood vessel walls, where it can lead to a heart attack or stroke. They can add to the severity of asthma attacks by causing airways to clamp down and close. Free radicals can increase the inflammation that occurs in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and cause most of the joint damage that occurs in these conditions. They can also damage cells lining the colon, turning them into cancer cells. Eating guava is a simple and effective way of combating free radicals and stay healthy. The two most common types of guava available in stores are strawberry and pineapple guava.
Strawberry guavas are round yellow colored fruits with a creamy pink flesh and rock hard seeds. Because of their unbreakable seeds, these fruits are commonly used in smoothies and juices. (Please note: Chewing the seeds with one's teeth is inadvisable.)
Pineapple guavas are a green oval shaped fruit, with a soft white flesh. Pineapple guavas are known for their appetizing fragrance.
What to Look For: Although these two varieties are quite different in appearance and flavor, the selection process is the same for both. Softness is the clearest indication of quality. Choose a soft, unblemished fruit, free of dark spots, cuts, or splits. Guavas should have a strong aromatic fragrance, and yield considerably to the touch.
What to avoid: Avoid guavas that are hard and have no fragrance, as well as guavas with dark, sunken-in spots, and a fermented odor.
Storage: Guavas are highly perishable and have a two week shelf life when refrigerated. They are frost sensitive, and should not be placed in refrigerators that may frost their contents.
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