Guava : Poor Man’s Apple ?



Apple costs twice as much,and has half the iron,one tenth of Vitamin A and virtually no Vitamin C as compared with a Guava of the same size. These are clinching numbers.


There is a lot of buzz around apple.The promise of keeping a doctor at an arm’s length is quite appealing.An Apple is red,enticing and crunchy to eat.Its a thing of beauty,promising joy and health forever.A loved one is an apple of your eye.Its supposed to have some kind of healing properties as well.You carry an apple basket along with you when you call on a sick friend,not a kilo of guavas or mangoes. Apple enjoys a regal status among all fruits,first in the order of protocol.


Let us talk about Guava a bit. Green, sour and sweet,dripping Vitamins,especially C and A.Full of minerals,and candy-like taste.I used to climb trees in a fruit orchard to eat guavas. For kids, guavas or apples is not even a choice.Guava wins by default. Apples are all grace,hallowed objects sanctified by the Church and parents.They are concessions one makes for sake of one’s health.Guava is bliss, the sweet and sour pleasure.Tartaric acid does not stand a chance against Ascorbic acid in teasing taste buds?


Apple has been raised to a high pedestal probably because it grows in Europe and finds place in  Norse,Turkish,Greek and Christian mythologies.Eve and Adam shared an apple,and the fruit became a symbol of knowledge,temptation,immortality and sin.Guava is a tropical fruit.It reached US from Central America. Red Apples inspire poets and lovers. Which lover would compare his beloved’s cheeks or lips with green guavas ?


Let us also compare their nutritional statistics.A 100 g apple provides about 52 kcal, as compared with 68 by a guava.But surprisingly a guava has 2.6 g proteins ,which is ten times more than an apple.Their carb contents are almost equal,and a guava has slightly more fat content (but its less than a gram anyways). Not only in  case of iron and Vitamins’ content  does apple pale before Guava,but it is so even as far as vital minerals are concerned .Except a bit of high ,undesirable sodium and minor fat content,guava comprehensively scores over apple in almost all nutritive stats.


A friend of mine met a long lost female relative of hers and was awestruck by her beautiful skin.She had not aged a bit,and the secret as she revealed,was a daily morning apple , duly consumed with  stale mouth. My friend ,desperate to outbid Yayati ,has adopted the habit.Every morning after waking up, without even performing morning ablutions ,he munches an apple. His face now resembles the picture of Dorian Gray.One cant argue that apple does not have de-aging properties or  keeps hair in fine health.I am neither an anti-apple fundamentalist ,not a Guava propagandist. Infact I make it a point to eat an apple as well as  a guava daily.But guava and apple have almost similar antioxidants’ content and should have similar effect in preserving the youth.


That begs the question- why are apples costlier as compared with guavas? Possibly because they are only produced in J-K and Himachal,whereas Guava is ubiquitous ,atleast in India  .Lets not be hung up with apple.Guava being better in protein,vitamins’ and minerals’ content should be an essential part of our daily intake ,possibly as a substitute for apple,if cost is a concern.


But, Apple scores over guava as a source of local poison .Twenty apple cores,or about 200 seeds have enough cyanide to kill a man.But the hard seed shell prevents the contents from being digested,and they passes out of the body without getting processed.Chewing twenty guavas on the other hand can only cause ache in one’s jaws , but might transport him to wonderland.

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