Guavas are a small tropical fruit that can be round, oval or pear-shaped (see more photos). They’re not all that common, but if you can track them down, it’s more than worth it. Guavas contain more of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable, and nearly 20 percent more than this popular fruit.
Lycopene protects our healthy cells from free radicals that can cause blocked arteries, joint degeneration, nervous system problems and even cancer. Lycopene consumption is associated with significantly lower rates of prostate cancer; and men with prostate tumors who consumed lycopene supplements showed significant improvements. Lycopene has also been found to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, and research suggests that this antioxidant may also help protect against coronary artery disease.
Guavas are also packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. Serving for serving, guava offers more than 60 percent more potassium than a banana.
How much: Aim to eat fresh guavas as often as you can when you can find them in stores. They’re not commonly available in the freezer section, and most guava juices are processed and sweetened, so they don’t provide the same superior nutrition that the whole, fresh fruit does. One to two guavas a day is a good goal.