Living with diabetes often comes with its share of challenges, such as monitoring and controlling your blood sugar levels within the recommended blood sugar range, knowledge of what foods to consume, what to snack on, and whether fruits can be consumed in diabetes. With regard to fruits in diabetes, guava definitely stands out. So, is guava good for diabetes? This article will attempt to answer this question.
Maintaining your blood sugar levels within the prescribed blood sugar range in diabetes is an essential part of self-management. According to diabetes.co.uk, the blood sugar range for individuals with diabetes should be 4 to 7 mmol/L before meals (fasting) and under 8.5 mmol/L after meals.
To maintain your blood sugar levels in the prescribed blood sugar range, knowing the glycemic index of food is vital. The glycemic index (GI) is a system that rates foods on how they will affect your blood sugar levels after consuming them. The higher the GI, the quicker it increases your blood sugar levels.
This light green-coloured fruit, with a soft and seeded pulp, is usually found in winter. In order to answer the question, “Can diabetics eat guava?” understanding its nutritional value is essential.
|Nutrients present in Guava
|Nutritional content in 1 cup (165 grams)
These nutritional facts point out that guava is a rich source of vitamin C and is rich in dietary fibre that helps prevent constipation (a common complaint in diabetes).
Guavas can be consumed in numerous ways. They can be eaten raw or ripe in their original form. According to a study published in the journal of clinical and diagnostic research (2016), consuming the guava peel may reduce blood sugar levels within the recommended blood sugar range and cholesterol levels. Guava juice is another way to consume this fruit. Blending it with chilled water makes for a refreshing drink.
Guava leaves can also be boiled to extract vitamin C and antioxidants, which, according to a study in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (2017), are essential to preventing skin infections and boosting immunity in diabetes.
Since guavas are usually found in the winters, it is the best time to consume this fruit. The recommendation is to consume no more than 1–2 guavas daily. Guavas are best as an evening snack. Avoid consuming them early in the morning on an empty stomach, as they are rich in dietary fibre, which can increase the workload of your digestive system. Fruits should not be consumed at night as they may lead to cough and cold.
Though guavas have numerous benefits, overconsumption of guavas can lead to certain risks in individuals with diabetes and general health. These risks of overconsumption of guava are listed below.
- Increases blood sugar levels: As guavas are low in calories, fat, and protein, one tends to consume more. However, consuming more than 1-2 guavas daily can spike an individual’s blood sugar levels above the recommended range.
- Affects digestion: Guavas contain a large amount of fibre and sugar called sucrose. If taken in large quantities, this can affect one’s digestion due to an increased load on the digestive system.
- May cause irritable bowel syndrome: An Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a condition that affects one’s digestive system in which one may experience bloating, stomach cramps, constipation or diarrhoea. The seeds of guavas may not get digested by everyone. So, some individuals may face IBS if guavas are overconsumed.
The risks of overconsuming guava may make you wonder, is guava good for diabetes? Let us give you an answer to this. The benefits of consuming guava outweigh the risks when consumed in moderation, as seen below.
- It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that help boost one’s immunity and prevent skin infections, a common complaint among individuals with diabetes.
- Guavas have been shown to reduce cholesterol and increase good cholesterol (HDL levels), essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
- As guavas are low in calories, they help in controlling weight.
- Due to their high fibre content, guavas help relieve constipation.
- Due to its low GI (12), it makes for a nutritious, diabetes-friendly snack.
This article has explained that guavas have numerous benefits for diabetes if consumed in moderation. They have several health benefits for individuals with diabetes. Due to their high fibre, low calorie and low GI levels, guavas make an excellent diabetes-friendly snack. However, you should be aware of the risks of overconsumption of the same.