Feijoa, also known as pineapple guava is an oval-shaped fruit with a thin lime-green skin. The flesh inside is cream colured and encases a jelly like centre. The texture is gritty like a pear and has a taste that is a combination of pineapple, guava and strawberry. It is native to South America, but now it is commercially grown in New Zealand and California. It has several health benefits.
Benefits of feijoa
- Boosts Immunity – With a strong supply of vitamins and minerals in the pineapple guava fruit, regular consumption can give your immune system a much-needed boost. Vitamin C is able to stimulate the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense, while also acting as an antioxidant to seek out free radicals. A single serving of pineapple guava has more than 50% of daily recommended dose of vitamin C.
- Regulates Blood Pressure – Potassium-rich foods are important for people who are suffering from high blood pressure, and are therefore at high risk of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis and strokes. Potassium is a vasodilator, thus it can reduce the tension in blood vessels and arteries, and generally ease strain on the cardiovascular system.
- Aids Digestion – High levels of dietary fiber (roughly 17% of daily recommended fiber per serving) means that this fruit is able to optimize digestion by stimulating peristaltic motion and improves nutrient uptake. This can help in soothing the symptoms of indigestion, constipation, bloating, cramping and general stomach upset.
- Reduces Cholesterol – Besides improving digestion, dietary fiber is also directly linked with lowering the levels of cholesterol, particularly “bad” cholesterol that can increase the risk of heart disease. By scraping this cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, there is a decrease in your risk of blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.
- Improves Cognition – The antioxidants present in pineapple guava have been associated with increased memory and retention, better focus, and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The antioxidants can seek out and neutralize free radicals in neural pathways before they can cause the accumulation of plaque.
- Boosts Metabolism – B vitamins are incredibly important for the overall functioning of the body, particularly when it comes to metabolic activities like synthesizing proteins and red blood cells, directing hormone production, stimulating nervous system function, generating energy within the cells. Fortunately, pineapple guava has moderate levels of numerous B vitamins.
- Improves Bone Strength – With significant levels of manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium, this tropical fruit is very effective at boosting bone mineral density and helping to prevent the onset of osteoporosis as you age. This can increase your energy levels and keep you more active in your later years.
- Controls Diabetes – Research has shown that eating pineapple guava fruit is able to help regulate blood sugar levels, due to its low level of calories and carbohydrates, which can help to regulate the production and release of insulin in the body.
- Increases Circulation – Although there is a relatively small amount of iron in pineapple guava, it can still aid in the red blood cell production and circulation, while the metabolic boost of vitamin B can also stimulate blood flow. This means increased oxygenation to critical areas of the body, and higher energy levels.
- Promotes Weight Loss – There are only 55 calories in a 100-gram serving of pineapple guava, but a huge amount of dietary fiber and nutrients. Combined with the low carbohydrate level, this means that the body will feel full and access a significant supply of nutrients without tacking on too many calories or sugar to their daily intake. This can positively impact weight-loss goals and prevent overeating or snacking between meals.
Adding feijoas to your diet
- Eating the fruit out of hand to enjoy its natural flavor and unique taste.
- It can be juiced to a delicious drink.
- Its aromatic slices can be a great addition to salads.
- It can be added in the confectionary in muffins, and cakes.
- It can be used in the preparation of puree, jellies, jams, chutneys, juices, sorbet, etc.
Recipe for Feijoa and honey muffins
125 g Butter
½ cup Honey
1 tsp Vanilla essence/extract
1 cup Buttermilk
1½ cups Self raising flour
½ cup Desiccated coconut
½ tsp Nutmeg
8 Feijoas, peeled and diced
Heat oven to 180C forbake. Grease 12-hole standard muffin tin or line with paper cases.
In a bowl, beat butter and honey together until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
Stir in buttermilk then stir in flour, coconut and nutmeg just until combined. Lastly stir in peeled and diced feijoas.
Spoon muffin mixture into prepared tins and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until muffins are puffed and golden brown.
Recipe for Feijoa chutney
1 kg Feijoa
500 g Onions
2 cups Sugar
3 cups Cider vinegar
1 Tbsp Curry powder
1 Tbsp Ground ginger
1 tsp Chilli powder
1 tsp Cloves
Do not peel but trim and chop the feijoas and then combine with onions in a large saucepan.
Add the remaining ingredients.
Stir well while bringing to the boil.
Simmer on low heat until thickened – about one hour.
Scoop it into hot sterilised jars. Seal when cold.
Word of caution
Feijoa fruit consumption has no known adverse effects on human health. Pregnant mothers and infants can safely eat this fruit.