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Guava vs Apple - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan by Victoria Mazmanyan | Last updated on November 29, 2020
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Guava
vs
Apple

Summary

Compared to apples, guavas contain more protein, fats, and carbohydrates while containing fewer sugars. Guavas are also richer in all vitamins and minerals. Apples are lower in sodium.

Both fruits exhibit antidiabetic, antihypertensive, antihyperlipidemic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and antimicrobial effects.

While guavas are richer in most nutrients than apples, both fruits have many beneficial effects on health, and the choice is up to the consumer.

Introduction

We’ve all heard about the many benefits that apples have on health. Here, we will talk about how the guava compares to an apple and how the two affect humans.

Guava is a common tropical fruit believed to be native to southern Mexico and Central America. Since then, it has spread throughout warm areas of tropical America and later to the rest of the world, in areas with warm climates, such as Spain and Portugal, some Mediterranean countries, and India (1). Today India is the largest producer of guavas in the world. Guavas belong to the Myrtaceae family and the Psidium genus.

On the other hand, apples originated in Central Asia and have quickly spread to all corners of the world. Nowadays, China is the largest producer of apples (2). Apples are a part of the Rosaceae family and the Malus genus.

Apples and guavas often come in the same size and shape; however, you can easily tell them apart judging by guavas outer rind, which is similar to a lemon.

The most commonly used guava species, which we often think about when we say guava, is the apple guava, scientifically named Psidium guajava. In many parts of the world, guava is cheaper than an apple. Consequently, it gained the nickname “a poor man’s apple,” being cheaper but more nutritious.

Nutrition

Macronutrients and Calories

Guava fruits contain more calories, protein, and fats. Guava also has a slightly higher concentration of carbohydrates due to its fiber content, even though apples contain more sugar and starch. Both fruits do not contain trans fats.

In a protein quality breakdown, guava’s protein contains all essential amino acids except phenylalanine. Apples lack not only phenylalanine but also tryptophan, isoleucine, leucine, and methionine.

A single serving of apples is one cup full of chopped apples that is equivalent to 125 grams. One serving of guava is one whole fruit that weighs 55 grams on average.

Since guava contains more of all macronutrients, apples are recommended during low-calorie, low-fat, low-carb, and low glycemic index diets.

Vitamins

Guavas have a higher concentration of all vitamins, especially vitamin A and vitamin C when compared to apples. Guava is also richer in vitamin E, vitamin K, and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, and B6.

Both fruits do not contain vitamin D, vitamin B9, or vitamin B12.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Guava
10
:
0
Apple
Contains more Vitamin C +4863%
Contains more Vitamin A +1055.6%
Contains more Vitamin E +305.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +294.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +53.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +1091.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +639.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +168.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +18.2%
Contains more Folate +1533.3%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 761% 38% 15% 0% 17% 10% 21% 28% 26% 0% 7% 37%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 16% 4% 4% 0% 5% 6% 2% 4% 10% 0% 6% 3%
Contains more Vitamin C +4863%
Contains more Vitamin A +1055.6%
Contains more Vitamin E +305.6%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +294.1%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +53.8%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +1091.2%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +639.3%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +168.3%
Contains more Vitamin K +18.2%
Contains more Folate +1533.3%

Minerals

Guava is also much richer in all minerals, including iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus.

Apples contain a lower concentration of sodium by half.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Guava
7
:
1
Apple
Contains more Iron +116.7%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Potassium +289.7%
Contains more Magnesium +340%
Contains more Copper +751.9%
Contains more Zinc +475%
Contains more Phosphorus +263.6%
Contains less Sodium -50%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 10% 6% 37% 16% 77% 7% 18% 1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 5% 2% 10% 4% 9% 2% 5% 1%
Contains more Iron +116.7%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Potassium +289.7%
Contains more Magnesium +340%
Contains more Copper +751.9%
Contains more Zinc +475%
Contains more Phosphorus +263.6%
Contains less Sodium -50%

Health Impacts

Apples have been considered an essential part of a healthy diet for centuries. Consequently, sayings have originated in the language, such as “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Guavas are also known to have been used in traditional medicine.

Here we will discuss mechanisms of action of those effects on health.

Cardiovascular Health

Foods rich in vitamin C can lower the risk of heart disease. Guavas are particularly rich in this vitamin. Vitamin C has powerful antioxidant, fibrinolytic properties. It also lowers low-density cholesterol and promotes excretion of cholesterol through the bile (3).

Other studies have found guava fruit and guava leaf tea to have blood pressure and blood glucose decreasing activities (4). Increased consumption of guava fruit can also cause a substantial reduction in blood lipid levels (4).

Epidemiological evidence suggests that apples, as a rich source of flavonoids and polyphenols, can improve cardiovascular risk factors such as dyslipidemia, endothelial dysfunction, and inflammation. Apple consumption is associated with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease and total cardiovascular disease mortality (5).

Diabetes

Multiple studies have found that guava leaf extracts exert antidiabetic, antihyperglycemic, and antihyperlipidemic qualities (6). This effect can potentially be explained by the inhibition of protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B, which can function as a negative regulator of insulin and leptin signal transduction (7). Guava leaf teas are overall recommended to patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (8).

A study has shown that apple juice consumption daily can have significant effects on plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP), and glucagon-like peptide (GLP1), potentially due to its high phlorizin and polyphenol content (9).

Apple polyphenol extracts exhibited an insulin-sensitizing effect, activating glucose transport through translocation of glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4), mediated by enzymes and signaling pathways in muscle cells (10).

Allergies

Both fruits can be the cause of allergies.

Apples are one of the most prevalent and best-described allergens among fruits. Allergic reactions to an apple can be expressed in two ways, depending on the allergen type of an apple. The two types of allergens within an apple are heat-labile birch pollen and the heat-stable allergens located under the apple’s skin. The birch pollen allergen usually causes milder symptoms, such as oral allergy syndrome. It is more frequent in the cooler regions of the northern hemisphere, where the birch commonly grows. The heat-stable allergen cross-reacts with peaches, causing severe reactions, and is more commonly found in the Mediterranean area (11).

Contrastingly, guava allergies are very uncommon in the medical literature. One study found that children with seasonal asthma attacks have a higher chance of being hypersensitive to many foods, one of them being guava. A specific elimination diet may prevent seasonal provocation (12).

There has also been a report of allergic skin dermatitis caused by guava tea leaves. Guava leaves may contain allergens such as pollen and latex (13).

Cancer

The aqueous extract of guava fruits has been found to inhibit brain-derived metastatic prostate cancer, potentially due to its extraordinarily high polyphenol and flavonoid contents. Therefore guavas can potentially be used as part of treatment for such cancers (14). Hexane fraction of guava leaf has also induced anticancer activity in human prostate cancer by suppressing a signaling pathway (15).

Studies have also found a consistent inverse association between apples and the risk of various cancers (16). Significant risk reduction was observed in the oral cavity and pharynx, larynx, esophagus, colorectal, breast, ovary, and prostate cancers (17).

Antimicrobial qualities

Antibiotic resistance is becoming a growing issue in the world due to the overuse or misuse of antibiotic drugs. The question of finding natural antimicrobial remedies is becoming imperative.

Both apples and guavas have been found to exhibit antimicrobial properties. Ethanolic and methanolic apple extracts have shown antimicrobial qualities against Staphylococcus aureus and Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC). Guava extracts were effective against Staphylococcus aureus, Enterotoxigenic E. Coli (ETEC), Enterobacter cloacae, Shigella flexneri, Enterococcus faecalis, Klebsiella, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, but not Enteroaggregative E. Coli (EAEC). The methanolic extracts of apple and guava showed slightly larger effectiveness zones than their ethanolic extracts (18).

These findings show great promise for future potential antimicrobial drugs.

Sources.

  1. https://hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/morton/guava.html
  2. https://www.statista.com/statistics/279555/global-top-apple-producing-countries/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3689326/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16395418/
  5. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/277943255
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18819164/
  7. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15619559/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2831039/
  9. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.1264
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4852413/
  11. https://farrp.unl.edu/informallfruit
  12. https://indianpediatrics.net/apr2005/362.pdf
  13. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/12126601
  14. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17571972/
  15. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280146/
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16091428/
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183591/
  18. http://article.microbiologicalresearch.com/pdf/ajmr-5-5-2.pdf
Article author photo Victoria Mazmanyan
Education: General Medicine at YSMU
Last updated: November 29, 2020

Infographic

Guava vs Apple infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Guava Apple
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in price Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Guava Apple Opinion
Calories 68kcal 52kcal Guava
Protein 2.55g 0.26g Guava
Fats 0.95g 0.17g Guava
Vitamin C 228.3mg 4.6mg Guava
Net carbs 8.92g 11.41g Apple
Carbs 14.32g 13.81g Guava
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Iron 0.26mg 0.12mg Guava
Calcium 18mg 6mg Guava
Potassium 417mg 107mg Guava
Magnesium 22mg 5mg Guava
Sugar 8.92g 10.39g Guava
Fiber 5.4g 2.4g Guava
Copper 0.23mg 0.027mg Guava
Zinc 0.23mg 0.04mg Guava
Starch g 0.05g Apple
Phosphorus 40mg 11mg Guava
Sodium 2mg 1mg Apple
Vitamin A 624IU 54IU Guava
Vitamin E 0.73mg 0.18mg Guava
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin B1 0.067mg 0.017mg Guava
Vitamin B2 0.04mg 0.026mg Guava
Vitamin B3 1.084mg 0.091mg Guava
Vitamin B5 0.451mg 0.061mg Guava
Vitamin B6 0.11mg 0.041mg Guava
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 2.6µg 2.2µg Guava
Folate 49µg 3µg Guava
Trans Fat 0g 0g
Saturated Fat 0.272g 0.028g Apple
Monounsaturated Fat 0.087g 0.007g Guava
Polyunsaturated fat 0.401g 0.051g Guava
Tryptophan 0.022mg 0.001mg Guava
Threonine 0.096mg 0.006mg Guava
Isoleucine 0.093mg 0.006mg Guava
Leucine 0.171mg 0.013mg Guava
Lysine 0.072mg 0.012mg Guava
Methionine 0.016mg 0.001mg Guava
Phenylalanine 0.006mg 0.006mg
Valine 0.087mg 0.012mg Guava
Histidine 0.022mg 0.005mg Guava
Fructose g 5.9g Apple

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Guava Apple
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
80
Guava
5
Apple
Mineral Summary Score
21
Guava
4
Apple

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
15%
Guava
2%
Apple
Carbohydrates
14%
Guava
14%
Apple
Fats
4%
Guava
1%
Apple

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Guava
Guava is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.47g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Guava
Guava is lower in glycemic index (difference - 24)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Guava
Guava is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Guava
Guava is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
Apple
Apple contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Apple
Apple is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.244g)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($0.5)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Guava - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173044/nutrients
  2. Apple - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171688/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.