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Na­tive to the trop­ics, guava ( Psid­ium gua­java) is one of the rich­est fruit sources of vi­ta­min C, with each fruit pro­vid­ing more than 200 per cent of the rec­om­mended daily amount. They also con­tain a high amount of vi­ta­min A, po­tas­sium (equal to ba­nanas) cop­per, man­ganese and folic acid. They con­tain 50 per cent di­etary fi­bre. Stud­ies sug­gest their high lev­els of an­tiox­i­dants may help pre­vent chronic dis­eases, in­clud­ing type 2 di­a­betes by low­er­ing glu­cose lev­els in the blood.

Trop­i­cal guava trees pro­duce round or pear-shaped fruit, with juicy flesh like a fei­joa. It has a com­plex, resinous flavour. There are many dif­fer­ent cul­ti­vars, but the main va­ri­ety widely avail­able in New Zealand is a South African cul­ti­var that pro­duces small mealy fruit with lots of hard seeds. They’re fine for juic­ing and jams, but aren’t re­ally a dessert fruit.

Guavas grow into large shrubs; the fruit ripens in au­tumn and early win­ter. Trop­i­cal guavas are avail­able from Sub­trop­ica, Rus­sell Fran­sham Sub­trop­i­cals, and in the In­cred­i­ble Ed­i­bles range at gar­den cen­tres.

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