By Abhinav Pancholi
Apple costs twice as much, and has half the iron, one tenth of Vitamin A and virtually no Vitamin C as compared with a Guava of the same size. There is a lot of buzz around apple. The promise of keeping doctor at an arm’s length is quite appealing. An Apple is red, enticing and crunchy to eat. It’s a thing of beauty, promised joy forever. A loved one is like an apple of your eye. It’s supposed to have some kind of healing properties as well. You carry an apple basket along with you while calling on a sick friend, not a kilo of guavas or mangoes. Apple enjoys a regal status among all fruits, first in the order of protocol.
Let’s talk about Guava a bit. Green, sour and sweet, dripping Vitamins, especially C and A. Full of minerals, and candy-like taste. I used to climb trees in a fruit orchard to eat guavas. It’s very difficult for a kid to prefer apples over guavas. The former are all grace, hallowed objects sanctified by the Church and parents. It’s almost treated like a concession one has to make towards one’s health. Guava is pure joy. How can tartaric acid compare with Ascorbic acid in teasing taste buds?
Apple has been raised to a high pedestal probably because it grows in Europe and found its way in Norse, Turkish, Greek and Christian mythologies. Eve and Adam shared an apple, and the fruit became a symbol of knowledge, temptation, immortality and sin. Guava is a tropical fruit. It reached US from Central America. How was a greenish, citrus fruit to compare with the aesthetic figure of an apple?
Let us compare their nutritional statistics. A 100 g apple provides about 52 kcal, as compared with 68 by a guava. But surprisingly a guava has 2.6 g proteins, which is ten times more than an apple. Their carbs contents are almost equal, and a guava has slightly more fat content (but it’s less than a gram anyways). Not only in case of iron as well as Vitamins’ content does apple pale before Guava, but even in case of vital minerals,it is virtually a pauper .Except a bit undesirable high sodium and fat content, guava scores over apple in almost all nutritive stats.
Rohit Mishra when met one of his relatives a decade back, was awestruck by her beautiful skin. She had not aged a bit, and the secret as it went was daily morning apple consumption with a stale mouth. Rohit, desperate to outbid Yayati, has adopted the habit. Every morning after waking up, without performing even morning ablutions, he munches an apple. His face now resembles the picture of Dorian Gray. One can’t argue that apple does not have deaging properties or keeps hair in fine health. I am neither an anti-apple fundamentalist, not a Guava propagandist. In fact I make it a point to eat an apple and a guava daily. But guava and apple have almost similar antioxidants’ content and should have similar effect in preserving youthful features.
That begs the question, why are then apples costlier as compared with guavas? Possibly because they are produced only in JK and Himachal, whereas Guava is ubiquitous, at least as far as India is concerned .Lets not be hung up on apple. Guava being better in protein, vitamins’ and minerals’ content should be an essential part of our daily intake as well, possibly as a substitute for apple, if cost is a concern.
Apple scores over guava as a source of local poison, though. Twenty apple cores, or about 200 seeds have enough cyanide to kill a man. But its hard shell prevents the contents from being digested, and it passes out of the body without getting processed. Twenty guavas on the other hand can only cause ache in your jaws.
Abhinav Pancholi, IRS, Kolkata. The author is an avid sports lover with a passion for literature.
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