Have you ever asked the question “does guava cause constipation?”.
This article will discuss what guava fruit is, its nutrient content and how it affects your digestive system, including if guava can cause constipation.
We will also provide tips on how to eat guava and some recipes you can’t miss!
Table of Contents
Does guava cause constipation?
No – guava could actually help manage your constipation. This is because guavas are an excellent source of dietary fibre. One guava could provide you with 10% of your recommended daily intake of fibre.
Fibre can affect IBS by adding bulk to your stool to ease its passage through the gut. This can promote regularity and healthier bowel movements and prevent and/or relieve constipation (5).
If your intake of fibre is low, remember to increase it gradually. Increasing your fibre intake too quickly, particularly without an increase in fluid intake, could make constipation worse.
What is Guava fruit?
Guava is a tropical tree native to tropical regions like Central and South America. It is a very popular fruit that has been associated with health benefits.
Guava fruits are oval in shape with yellow or light green skin. The taste depends on the ripeness of the fruit. They can taste sour when unripe and a mixture between strawberries and pears when ripe.
Both the fruit, seeds, skin, and leaves are edible. You can also boil guava leaves into a herbal tea. Some people use the seeds, skin, leaves and extract medicinally.
Can guava help with other gut symptoms?
Guava leaf extract can reduce the intensity and duration of diarrhoea. In one study, 7g of guava leaf was given to 137 adults suffering from diarrhoea for 5 days. Within 72 hours, this resulted in a normal/solid stool (7).
In another study, 500mg of guava leaf extract reduced the duration of abdominal pain in people with acute diarrheic disease (8).
It is unclear how guava leafworks, but it is thought to be due to its antimicrobial properties (9). This can reduce the harmful bacteria in your gut that causes diarrhoea (10).
Does guava contain FODMAPs and can they cause constipation?
Guavas do contain the FODMAP fructans. The presence of FODMAPs may help prevent or relieve constipation, due to the effect they have of drawing water into the bowel.
According to Monash, how ripe the guava fruit is and how it is preserved can affect its FODMAP content. The process of ripening reduces the overall FODMAP content in guavas (2).
- Ripe guavas – no FODMAPs
- Unripe guavas – 2 tsp is low in FODMAP. 1 tbsp is medium in FODMAPs due to its fructose content.
- Tinned guavas – 1 slice is low in FODMAP. 1 tbsp is high in the FODMAP, fructan.
You can tell how ripe guava is based on its appearance and taste. Ripened guava has a yellowish-green hue with a sweet taste. They tend to be softer to the touch. A less ripened guava will have a more bitter taste and a firmer touch.
The Nutrient content of Guava Fruit
A single guava (55g) is packed with nutrients such as (1):
- Vitamin A (7% of daily value)
- Vitamin C (209% of daily value)
- Potassium (7% of daily value)
- Copper (6% of daily value)
How do you eat guava?
Now we have answered your question of does guava cause constipation – you can try eating it! There are many ways to have guava. You can have it on its own by cutting it in half, scooping out the fleshy part and slicing it into small pieces. Or, you can add the fruit to smoothies, salads, juices and salsas or boil guava leaves to create a herbal tea.
Here are some guava recipes you can try:
- Guava and rosemary glazed chicken breast
- Plantain, guava & strawberry smoothie bowl
- Chia seed, guava and coconut yoghurt pudding
Guava juice has not been tested for FODMAPs. Avoid store bought guava juices as we are uncertain if ripened guavas are used. However, you can try juicing ripe guavas at home, ensuring there are no FODMAPs present.
You find other low FODMAP juices here.
Side effects of guava
No significant side effects have been found from consuming guava fruit and leaves (12). However, you should seek advice from your doctor before using guava leaf extract or supplements if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have an underlying medical condition.
Does Guava Cause Constipation Summary
Guavas do not cause constipation. Instead, they could help manage your constipation due to its excellent source of dietary fibre. Depending on its ripeness, it can also contain the FODMAP fructan. This can help draw more water into your bowel relieving constipation.
Consuming guavas has not been shown to have any side effects. However, it is best to talk to your doctor before using guava supplements if you are pregnant, lactating or have any underlying health conditions.
Article written by Leeona Lam and reviewed by Beth Willson Specialist Gastroenterology Dietitian BSc Hons and Kirsten Jackson Consultant Dietitian BSc Hons, RD, PG Cert
Beth is UK HCPC Registered Dietitian who specialises in gastrointestinal surgery. Beth graduated from University of Surrey in 2020 with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics.
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