Useful properties of feijoa fruit

Have you ever heard of feijoa? If not, then it's time to get acquainted with this exotic fruit, because it is not only amazingly tasty and fragrant, but also extremely healthy.

What is feijoa?

Feijoa is a member of the myrtle family, which also includes guava and eucalyptus. The homeland of this plant is the cool subtropical and tropical highlands in southern Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay, western and northern Argentina. This is an evergreen perennial shrub, which, however, under favorable circumstances, is able to form into a tree, sometimes reaching 7 meters. Nowadays, feijoa is grown as an ornamental or garden plant. In the spring months, it pleases the eye with beautiful yellowish-pink flowers with long red stamens. The leaves of this culture also look interesting: on the outside they are glossy green and silvery velvet below.

Fruits appear about half a year after flowering. They are small - from 2 to 8 cm in length and weigh about 50 grams, dull green in color with a whitish bloom. The skin of ripe fruit is thin but inedible. In the translucent juicy pulp, from two to those dozens of small seeds are hidden. The taste of ripe fruits is quite interesting - something between strawberries, pineapple and guava, although some catch a banana-pineapple composition in the tender pulp of feijoa. The aroma is most often described as a combination of mint and pineapple.

Today, botanists are aware of the existence of several dozen varieties of feijoa.

In the southern hemisphere, it bears fruit from late March to June, and in California gardens it is harvested during October-December. For the first time, the feijoa fruit was harvested in the wilds of southern Brazil by the German botanist Friedrich Seelo. And it happened in 1815. This plant came to Europe thanks to another botanist, the Frenchman Eduardo André. It was brought to American California only by 1900, and the inhabitants of New Zealand first saw a tree on their lands only in 1920.

The fruits are grown commercially in New Zealand, USA (California), Australia, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia and other parts of South America.

Useful components

Feijoa fruit is a food rich in useful substances. Fruit pulp contains B vitamins, ascorbic acid, proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats necessary for life. This exotic is a source of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, and iodine.

Feijoa contains substances that chemists call saponins. Let's not bore you with "chemistry lessons", let's just say that these are very useful substances of plant origin, which are also found in alfalfa, lentils, soybeans. Studies have shown that saponins are able to prevent malignant degeneration of cells and lower cholesterol.

Another group of chemical elements with anti-cancer properties are flavonoids. They are also present in large quantities in feijoa fruits. In addition, these compounds are useful for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.

These exotic fruits are rich in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Feijoa is a highly alkaline food that helps maintain a healthy acidity level in the body.

Nutritional value (per 100 g)
Calories 55 kcal
Proteins 0.98 g
Fats 0.6 g
Carbohydrates 13 g
Fiber 6.4 g
Vitamin A 6 IU
Vitamin C 32, 9 mg
Vitamin E 0.16 mg
Vitamin K 3.5 mcg
Vitamin B1 0.006 mg
Vitamin B2 0.018 mg
Vitamin B3 0.295 mg
Vitamin B5 0.223 mg
Vitamin B6 0.067 mg
Vitamin B9 23 mcg
Potassium 172 mg
Sodium 3 mg
Calcium 17 mg
Copper 0.04 mg
Iron 0.14 mg
Magnesium 9 mg
Manganese 0.08 mg
Phosphorus 19 mg
Zinc 0.06 mg

How to choose the right feijoa

Ripe fruits are always very fragrant, slightly soft (reminiscent of banana in texture ) dark green fruits. In overripe fruit, the core turns brown. Ripe fruits at room temperature are stored for no longer than 2 days. Already on the third day, although they will not change in appearance, their taste characteristics will suffer.

When freshly cut, the flesh is clear and translucent, with a jelly-like consistency, but closer to the skin the flesh is firm

Health Benefits

Supports the digestive system

Feijoa is a good source of soluble fiber. And dietary fiber is able to stimulate intestinal motility and increase the secretion of gastric juice, which facilitates the process of digestion, prevents constipation, flatulence. In addition, fiber is able to bind and remove carcinogens from the intestines, thereby preventing the development of colorectal cancer. Vitamin B6 makes this fruit an effective remedy for nausea and vomiting.

Does not raise blood sugar levels

People with type 2 diabetes can safely consume this fruit as it belongs to the low glycemic food category. This means that when it is broken down in the body, it is slowly absorbed into the blood, preventing sudden changes in the level of glucose in the bloodstream.

Stabilizes blood pressure

The benefits of feijoa include the ability to prevent high blood pressure. The rich content of potassium and low levels of sodium help to relax the blood vessels and ensure proper blood pressure in the body.

Reduces the risk of heart disease

Fiber, ascorbic acid, vitamin B6, and potassium are known to be beneficial in maintaining heart health. These substances are found in sufficient quantities in feijoa fruits. In addition, it is important to remember that these fruits cleanse the body of excess cholesterol, which is also important for a healthy heart.

Helps fight infections

100 grams of feijoa pulp contains approximately 82 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. And it is known to be a powerful natural antioxidant that helps the body resist infections and viral diseases. In addition, it has anti-carcinogenic properties, protects against free radicals, and effectively strengthens the immune system.

Antioxidant fruit

Ripe fruits contain manganese, which is an important cofactor for several enzymes needed for energy production and antioxidant defense. This means that some enzymes, in order to neutralize free radicals, need manganese, and feijoa fruits will help to replenish its reserves.

A study conducted by American scientists showed that people who regularly consume this fruit are almost 50 percent less likely to die from coronary heart disease.

Improves memory, attention and concentration

Several components of the fruit, including potassium, folic acid and various antioxidant substances, provide neurological benefits to the body. Folic acid, for example, reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease and prevents cognitive disorders, protects against the development of dementia. Potassium is known as a substance that stimulates blood flow to the brain, activates the work of neurons, improves concentration and cognitive abilities. And thanks to vitamin B6, feijoa will protect against depression. Researchers say that two servings of these exotic fruits a day will minimize the risk of depression, anxiety levels and the effects of stress.

Beneficial during pregnancy

Feijoa fruit is rich in iron and folic acid, which are critical for the formation of blood cells. Both substances are simply indispensable for expectant mothers. Iron will prevent anemia, and folic acid will protect the child from developmental pathologies. On the other hand, fiber-rich fruit pulp will improve bowel function, which is a “weak spot” for many pregnant women. It should also be remembered that feijoa is richer in iodine than other fruits, and it is an indispensable element for the body of a future mother.

Feijoa is perhaps one of the most unexpected sources of iodine

A source of iodine

This mineral deserves to be told about it separately. Many are accustomed to replenish their iodine supply from seafood, but this fruit is also useful for those with iodine deficiency. Feijoa should appear in the diet of people suffering from goiter or hypothyroidism. Regular consumption of fruit will prevent obesity, improve metabolism, reduce sensitivity to cold, relieve fatigue and depression, which are signs of thyroid dysfunction.

Other benefits of feijoa fruit:

  • prevent chronic colds;
  • improve the functioning of the nervous system;
  • strengthen gums;
  • prevent anemia;
  • strengthen bones;
  • accelerate the recovery of the body after injuries and illnesses;
  • improve lung health;
  • protect against harmful bacteria;
  • activate the thyroid gland;
  • accelerates wound healing;
  • help fight chronic weakness.

How to use

This is a versatile fruit used to make desserts, yogurts, sauces, jams, jellies, cakes, juices or marmalade. The pleasant smell of fresh fruit enhances the taste of fruit salads. They are also added to puddings and pastry fillings.

Sweet feijoa fruit is a healthy alternative to sweet desserts. The fruits are eaten fresh, cut in half: the pulp is taken with a small spoon, leaving the skin. One of the benefits of these fruits is that they can be frozen without loss of flavor, aroma, color or texture. This fruit is added to chocolate, tea, cereals, wine, vodka, gin, alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, and ripe fruits are preserved.

Its extract is added to cosmetics, and its seeds are used as a natural scrub. Pulp masks brighten and rejuvenate the skin of the face, and make the hair shiny and healthy. In alternative medicine, feijoa is known as a remedy for colds, fevers, hypertension, and unstable blood pressure. This fruit is recommended to people struggling with cancer. And gardeners love to grow feijoa as a hedge that can last over 45 years.

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New Zealand salad

Mix 100 g of butter with 150 g of sifted flour (technology is the same as for shortbread dough). The result should be a consistency resembling breadcrumbs. Add 3 tablespoons brown sugar and the same amount of chopped almonds. Peel and finely chop 2 apples, drizzle with lemon juice. Peel and cut into large pieces 2 feijoa fruits and smaller ones - 2 bananas, add to apples. Put the fruit mixture on a greased form, sprinkle with previously prepared crumbs of flour, sugar and butter, mix gently. Bake for half an hour (the apples should be soft and the crumbs should be ruddy). Serve with cream, ice cream, honey, custard or yogurt.

Legend has it that the fruit with the funny name feijoa is a young man who was turned into a tree by the sea king. For what? For the fact that a man who once fell in love with a sea princess became homesick and decided to leave the underwater kingdom. Since then, he forever froze between water and land as an amazing tree with delicate fruits smelling of the sea.