Even just reducing the bodyweight of an obese person slightly can already yield a significant number of health benefits for them. Unfortunately, a majority of individuals end up quitting a weight loss program when they do not achieve the results they expected. This is why there is a consistent focus on finding new and emerging ways for people to experience weight loss results faster, but while still keeping the strategies safe.
Several publications have shown that guava leaves might have the potential for individuals who are looking to lose weight. While no conclusive evidence is available, there is still some research that could suggest the use of this strategy may yield improvements in the results of a weight loss program.
We take a closer look at how guava leaves could facilitate faster weight loss in this post, while also providing an overview of methods that can be used to benefit from these leaves. This includes instructions on preparing a cup of guava leaf tea.
Guava Leaves: Can They Help With Weight Loss?
Guavas are fruits that have continued to remain popular today. One interesting factor is that guavas are exceptionally high in vitamin C, along with other important nutrients that are extremely beneficial for the human body. In fact, consuming just single guava provides the body access to 200% of the daily recommended intake values for vitamin C (1).
The fruit itself has been linked to an impressive list of potential health benefits, such as improvements in digestive well-being, and even a boost in immune health. The tree that grows the guava fruit is part of the myrtle tree family.
The fruit grown by the tree is also called the Psidium guajava. This is a type of tropic fruit and it is cultivated in a large number of areas throughout the world. Both tropical and subtropical areas are utilized to grow and harvest guavas. These trees are especially popular in central and south America. Within central and south America, many people would also use dried guava leaves or consume guava tea with the aim of improving their health.
In this post, our focus is not on the guava fruit itself, but rather on the leaves that are produced by the tree. Guava leaves have been found to contain certain natural chemicals that could contribute to health benefits.
There are also several traditional and folk medicines that include guava leaves for the treatment of certain ailments and health conditions. People use fresh guava leaves in different ways. A popular consumption method includes drinking guava leaf tea. In other cases, the guava leaf extract is rather used in supplement form.
Recently, many publications have also started to advise seeping some guava leaves in tea, claiming that this will speed up weight loss. When it comes to analyzing such publications, it is important to compare the claims that are made to current scientific research that is available.
Research Behind the Benefits of Guava Leaves
Let’s start by considering whether or not there is any evidence that suggests consuming guava leaf-infused water can contribute to weight loss. Unfortunately, there aren’t any studies that show a direct effect of guava leaves.
Even though several publications make claims regarding the weight loss abilities of these leaves, there isn’t any study that can effectively back up such a claim. Studies also do not show that guava leaves tea can specifically target belly fat when losing weight.
This, however, does not necessarily mean that guava leaves do not have any potential to help a person with their weight loss goals. It is important to avoid only looking at whether or not these leaves will have a direct impact on body weight and body fat percentages.
Targeting Antioxidant Capacity
At this point, we need to take a look at studies that focus on the general capabilities and potential benefits that guava leaves may have to offer. This brings us to a study that focused on analyzing the phytochemicals that make up the guava leaf (2). While the study does not look at guava tea, in particular, it still analyzes the potential of a guava leaf.
The study had a particular aim to identify just how powerful the antioxidants in the Psidium guajava leaves are; which would provide more data on whether or not the phytochemicals may hold potential against oxidative stress that affects the human body.
Various forms of guava leaves were utilized in this study. This helped the researchers not only determine the antioxidant capacity of guava leaf phytochemicals but also understand whether the form or preparation of the leaf could potentially make a difference.
The researchers explain that powerful antioxidant activities were noted among the guava leaf extracts. While the water-based infusion had the lowest potency, it still yielded results that suggest this particular method can provide the body with additional antioxidants.
Other methods included dried guava leaves that were grounded, then added to a solution of either aqueous ethyl alcohol or to water.
Oxidative Stress, Obesity, and Weight Loss
We have determined that guava leaves do indeed hold the potential to improve the antioxidant capacity of the human body. This, however, still does not provide many details on how it would work for people looking to lose some excess weight. At this point, we need to look at how oxidative stress is linked to weight gain and obesity.
Antioxidants are substances that fight against compounds in the body that are known as free radicals. These free radicals are essentially atoms in the body that have become unstable.
As the free radicals roam throughout the body, they can cause harm to cells. In turn, this can cause a person to experience the development of certain illnesses. Free radicals also play a major part in the aging process (3).
The free radicals that are present in the human body cause what is known as oxidative stress. This is the damage that the unstable atoms deal with cells, which ultimately affect the surrounding tissue. When oxidative stress occurs, then inflammatory triggers often follow. This is where a connection between free radicals and inflammatory conditions comes into play (4).
Inflammation and Chronic Diseases
Inflammation is often considered to be a driving factor behind all chronic diseases. This includes type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and metabolic syndrome. These diseases can cause numerous adverse effects in the human body – which can ultimately cause disablement and severe complications.
When a person has type 2 diabetes, for example, they may find it hard to participate in certain activities that will allow the individual to burn calories. Research shows that this particular disease is a major driver behind disabilities that include vision loss, renal disease, retinopathy, and nephropathy (5).
Heart disease can also cause disability, particularly due to shortness of breath, fatigue, swelling of the feet, and similar symptoms (6).
When a person experiences limitations in their physical capabilities due to the development of these diseases, it means their fitness will also decline in the process. Failure to participate in a sufficient amount of physical activity is known as a major driving factor behind the significantly high obesity rate that the world currently faces.
Studies show that one of the most important elements when it comes to weight loss is the fact that a person needs to have a calorie deficit. This means consuming less food than the individual exerts in a single day. When physical capabilities are limited and the person cannot work on their physical fitness, they are likely to have a calorie surplus instead of a deficit. This is why people with these conditions generally tend to gain weight.
The fact that guava leaves can introduce the body to powerful antioxidants may come in handy here. These antioxidants that the leaves offer can assist in improving the antioxidant capacity of the body.
In this particular case, the antioxidants could potentially help to reduce the level of oxidative stress that the person’s body experiences when exposed to free radicals. Instead, the body is equipped with the antioxidants needed to fight back against these unstable atoms.
This may assist in reducing the inflammatory markers that are present in the individual’s body – which could also help to prevent the large number of chronic diseases that have been associated with chronic low-grade inflammation.
Additional Benefits Of Guava Leaves
The antioxidant capacity of guava leaves is not the only factor that we need to take a closer look at here. There are other benefits that the leaves can also provide (7).
In some studies, researchers have shown that certain compounds that are found in guava leaves may help in the regulation of blood sugar levels. High blood glucose levels can cause problems with a person’s ability to effectively lose weight.
When blood sugar levels remain high for long, it also increases the risk of the individual developing a condition known as insulin resistance. At this point, the person would be at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which can further complicate things when it comes to regulating their weight.
Additionally, compounds of guava leaves may also be helpful for controlling cholesterol. This is a fatty substance that collects in the arteries. The use of guava leaves as an extract could potentially help to reduce the level of total and LDL cholesterol. In turn, this promotes a healthier cardiovascular system.
With a healthy heart, exercise performance may be improved, which could also help an individual work out harder and for longer in each session.
How To Use Guava Leaves To Aid Weight Loss
Now that we have taken a closer look at what guava leaves can do for a person, it’s obvious that alone, these leaves won’t magically cause the number on the scale to decline. Still, there are a few ways that guava leaves can be used to promote faster and more effective weight reduction. Individuals who want to lose weight with guava leaf should consider a tea or a product that contains guava leaf extract.
One of the best methods is to prepare a guava leaf tea. This particular tea should be used to replace sodas, energy drinks, juices, and other beverages that are loaded with added sugar.
Since guava leaf tea that is infused with guava leaves will be low in calories, it makes it the perfect alternative to sugary beverages. This is also quite a refreshing drink to have – as a person can easily enjoy it served hot or cold. Guava leaves for weight loss can also be enjoyed as guava tea on an empty stomach.
The specific method used depends on the guava leaves used. It is possible to utilize fresh guava leaves from a tree in order to prepare an infused tea. Alternatively, a person can choose to rather use a powdered form of guava leaves. In this particular case, the fresh guava leaves are first dried, then grounded until it resembles the form of a fine powder (8).
When using a fine powder, the powder should ideally be added to an infuser that is specifically made for the preparation of tea. Up to five grams can be added to the infuser when preparing a cup of guava leaf tea. Guava leaf extract can also be purchased for this purpose. This way, using guava leaves for weight loss does not require a tree in the individual’s yard.
In this case, the individual should pour around 240ml boiling water into the tea infuser, then close the lid and let it steep for about five to 10 minutes. At the 10-minute mark, the guava leaf’s compounds will be effectively infused with boiling water, along with that unique aroma and flavor that people love about these tropical fruits.
When using fresh guava leaves, it is important to rinse them first. Each guava leaf should be properly cleaned. It is appropriate to use up to 10 fresh guava leaves at a time, as this preparation is appropriate for about two cups of guava leaf tea. Once the leaves are clean and any residue on them has been rinsed off properly, the next step is to bring 475ml water to a boil on the stovetop.
Once the water is boiling, add the clean guava leaves to the pot. At this point, the heat should be reduced to a low temperature, and then the mixture should be allowed to simmer for a period of up to 12 minutes.
After simmering, the liquid is poured through a strainer to ensure no pieces of the leaf or any residue will move through to the guava leaf tea. The leaves should be discarded and the tea can be enjoyed according to the individual’s preferences at this time. Some people may also consider drinking guava leaves tea alongside green tea. In this case, the guava leaf can be added to green tea. It may help to spice up the flavor of the green tea.
Are There Risks To Using Guava Leaves For Weight Loss?
Guava leaves are generally considered safe to use, whether that is for their potential weight loss benefits or other properties. It is, however, important to note that all residue on the leaves should be rinsed off properly before starting to use the leaves. If there are harmful microorganisms on the leaves that the individual does not rinse off properly, it could seep into the tea. This would make the guava leaf tea harmful.
Additionally, it is also important for people with existing blood sugar problems to be wary. This especially accounts for those who are currently taking medication that assists in the regulation of their blood glucose levels.
Guava leaves contain compounds that may alter the person’s sugar levels. If this effect is combined with the medication they are taking, there is a risk that blood glucose will drop too much. This can lead to hypoglycemia, a potentially dangerous condition that can have a sudden onset.
In cases where a person is using these pharmaceuticals to manage their blood sugar, it is highly advisable to first speak to a healthcare provider before drinking guava leaf tea. The provider will be able to determine whether the addition of guava leaves to their diet might have an adverse impact when taken along with their current prescribed medication. They may also be able to provide the individual more information on how they can lose weight safely.
Determining whether or not guava leaves could help with weight loss is currently a controversial topic. While many publications do make such claims, it seems that there is very limited scientific evidence to back up these suggestions. The concentration of vitamins and minerals also differs between leaves from a guava tree and that of fresh or dried guava.
Still, it does seem that guava leaves, depending on the preparation method, might help to introduce potent antioxidants to the human body. This could reduce oxidative stress and adverse health factors that seem to be linked to weight gain and obesity. A cup of guava leaf tea is quick and easy to make at home. Drinking guava leaf tea seems to provide benefits for more than just the individual’s weight loss journey.