Feijoa (Pineapple Guava)
One of the easiest fruits to grow, pineapple guava gets its name from the flavor of the fragrant fruit. Pineapple guava is ideal for small spaces because it’s a small tree that doesn’t need a second tree for pollination. Find out more about growing pineapple guava in this article.
The pineapple guava is a member of the Myrtle family, which includes allspice, eucalyptus, and clove. The pineapple guava is native to Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay. Freidrich Sellow, a German explorer discovered the plant in southern Brazil in 1815. In 1890 the plant was transported from La Plata, Brazil and planted in a garden in France by botanist Dr. Edouard Andre. Today the fruit is known as Feijoa, pineapple guava, Brazilian guava, fig guava, guavasteen, New Zealand banana, and the guayabo del pais.
The pineapple guava was planted with great hopes of being commercially successful, but it is only recently that you are able to find this fruit in the supermarkets. Part of the reason the fruit is not commercially viable is due to the fact that it is difficult to judge the maturity and quality of the fruit based on visual ques.
Types and Characteristics
The pineapple guava is a slow-growing evergreen shrub that is can grow to 15 feet high and 15 feet wide. Also, the plant can be manicured and grown as small container plant, trained or espaliered as a small tree, or grown in close clusters to create a hedge, screen or windbreak.
In the spring the flowers begin to bloom with sugary pink petals that are a true sight to see! The flowers are edible and you can eat them right off the plant or sprinkle them in your salad.
The fruit has a greyish-green skin and amber-colored flesh. The flavor is strong and tart with slight pineapple and papaya undertones. The texture is gritty and is similar to a pear with tiny edible seeds. The fruit is ready to eat when slightly soft and when the jellied sections of the fruit are clear. The fruit is unripe when the sections are white and overripe when the sections are brown.
- Feijoas are low in calories; 100 g of fresh fruit holds only 55 calories. Nonetheless, they are low fat, cholesterol-free fruits loaded with vitamins, and antioxidants that assure you a healthy state of wellbeing, free from illnesses.
- The fruit is a very rich source of soluble dietary fiber (6.4 g per 100 g of fruit, about 17% of DRA), which makes it a good bulk laxative. The fiber content helps protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time to toxins as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.
- Feijoa fruit is an excellent source of antioxidant vitamin-C. 100 g fresh fruit provides 32.9 mg of this vitamin, about 55% of DRI (daily-recommended intake). Vitamin-C is a water-soluble antioxidant that works well against viral illness through immune-boosting means. Regular consumption of fruits rich in vitamin-C helps the human body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge cancer causing harmful free radicals from the body.
- Feijoa contains small proportions B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamin-B6 (pyridoxine), and vitamin E and K, as well as minerals like calcium, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.6 g||0%|
|Saturated fat 0.1 g||0%|
|Polyunsaturated fat 0.2 g|
|Monounsaturated fat 0.1 g|
|Trans fat 0 g|
|Cholesterol 0 mg||0%|
|Sodium 3 mg||0%|
|Potassium 172 mg||4%|
|Total Carbohydrate 13 g||4%|
|Dietary fiber 6 g||24%|
|Sugar 8 g|
|Protein 1 g||2%|
|Vitamin A||0%||Vitamin C||54%|
|Vitamin B-6||5%||Vitamin B-12||0%|
|*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.|