Guava, a delectable fruit native to Central America, is a rich source of fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Many people claim that it promotes a healthy pregnancy and boosts fertility. Guava supplements, extracts, and tea made from the fruit or leaves are said to provide similar benefits.
Possible benefits during pregnancy
Guava is rich in nutrients and plant compounds that promote a healthy pregnancy and may help prevent associated complications. All the same, though it’s used in traditional and folk medicines across the globe, few clinical studies have assessed the effects of guava and its extracts in humans.
High in necessary nutrients
To support healthy fetal development, pregnant women have higher needs for protein, vitamin C, folate, and several other nutrients. In particular, vitamin C is important for your baby’s optimal growth. It also helps increase the absorption of iron, a nutrient that pregnant women need more of to help deliver oxygen to their baby.
Furthermore, adequate folate intake during pregnancy helps prevent birth defects and spinal development issues. One cup (165 grams) of guava fruit provides over 20% of the Daily Value (DV) for folate and over 400% of the DV for vitamin C, making it an excellent food to eat during pregnancy.
May relieve digestive issues
Research suggests that guava may relieve digestive issues like acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation, which are common during pregnancy. Specifically, rodent studies indicate that guava leaf extracts reduce stomach acid secretion and delay stomach emptying to prevent diarrhea.
Guava is also an excellent source of fiber, providing close to 9 grams in 1 cup (165 grams). Eating enough fiber during pregnancy can help prevent constipation.
While eating fresh guava fruit is likely beneficial, the safety of guava extracts and supplements for relieving digestive issues during pregnancy is less clear.
May reduce your risk of high blood pressure
Some pregnant women experience preeclampsia, a complication marked by high blood pressure and possible kidney or liver damage.
Guava may lower your risk of this condition, as test-tube studies suggest that compounds in its leaves inhibit enzymes that contribute to high blood pressure.
Furthermore, a 4-week study in 145 adults found that eating guava before meals led to a significant reduction in blood pressure, compared with a control group.
Still, it’s important to note that this study is several decades old. No recent human studies have examined the effects of guava intake on blood pressure.
Guava leaf tea may improve blood sugar control
Gestational diabetes affects approximately 10% of pregnant women in the United States. This condition occurs either when your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or your cells become insulin resistant during pregnancy. This leads to high blood sugar levels and is linked to complications like early birth or high birth weight.
Test-tube and animal studies suggest that guava leaf extracts may help improve blood sugar control and insulin resistance, and some human studies indicate that guava leaf tea may help lower blood sugar.
In a study in 19 adults with an average fasting blood sugar over 100 mg/dL, drinking 6.5 ounces (190 mL) of guava leaf tea containing 400 mg of guava extract significantly lowered blood sugar levels after eating, compared with a control group.
However, it’s very important to note that this research is preliminary and only uses tea and extracts. Furthermore, no studies specifically examine guava’s effects on gestational diabetes.
Thus, you should not use guava to treat this condition.
Guava is rich in folate and other nutrients that may support pregnancy. Furthermore, it may relieve digestive issues, lower blood pressure, and improve blood sugar control — though more research is necessary.
Possible benefits for fertility
Due to its abundance of nutrients, including fiber, folate, and vitamin C, guava is thought to help boost fertility.
Observational studies suggest that women with higher dietary folate intakes have higher rates of pregnancy than those with lower intakes.
Women with a moderate weight who eat more vitamin-C-rich foods may also get pregnant faster than those who don’t get enough of this nutrient.
Yet, no controlled, human studies have specifically examined guava and fertility. Thus, while guava’s nutrients may help women who are trying to conceive, this fruit doesn’t likely boost fertility any more than other similarly healthy foods.
To promote fertility, it’s recommended that women avoid excess alcohol and caffeine intake, maintain a healthy weight, and eat sufficient protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients.
Guava is rich in nutrients, including vitamin C and folate, that may help promote women’s fertility. Still, human studies are needed.
Precautions to consider
Guava is generally considered safe. The limited number of human studies on its fruit, extract, and tea suggests no adverse side effects. Nonetheless, no safety studies exist for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
If you want to enjoy guava fruit while pregnant, it’s best to wash and peel the skin before eating it to lower your risk of ingesting bacteria or parasites that can harm you and your baby. Expecting mothers should also consult their healthcare provider before taking guava supplements and only use supplements or teas as directed on the packaging.
Guava is widely considered safe. However, due to a lack of safety studies, pregnant women should talk to a health professional before taking guava supplements and consider washing and peeling the raw fruit before eating it.
Guava is often said to improve fertility and support a healthy pregnancy. Indeed, its folate content may help prevent spinal deformities and other developmental issues. Some studies suggest that this tropical fruit may also relieve digestive issues and protect against high blood pressure. All the same, research is limited and hasn’t focused on pregnant women.
While moderate amounts of guava may be a healthy addition to a balanced diet during pregnancy, talk to your healthcare provider before trying guava supplements.
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