Guava vs Apple - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
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.
Table of contents
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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).
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).
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.
Comparison summary table
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in minerals|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
|Lower in price||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Calories diet|
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|