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Top 5 Health Benefits of Guarana

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What is Guarana?

The Guarana fruit is native to the Amazon basin and commonly seen in Brazil. It is a climbing plant in the maple family, Sapindaceae. Guarana has large leaves and clusters of flowers and known best for its fruit which is the size of a coffee bean. The seeds of Guarana are rich in tannins and xanthine alkaloids theophylline and theobromine.

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The fruit color ranges from brown to red and contains black seeds that are partly covered by white arils. Guarana can be found in powder or pill form. Guarana may enhance athletic performance and is usually added to energy and sports nutrition drinks because of its energizing effects. Guarana is also an ingredient in sodas and other beverages.

Health Benefits of Guarana

Nutritive Value of Guarana

Guarana calories 100 gm of Guarana contains:
Nutrient Quantity
Fat 96g
Protein 50g
Carbohydrates 1g
Sodium6mg
Potassium146mg
Calcium 18mg
Vitamin A133mg
Vitamin C90mg

Health Benefits of Guarana

Provides Energy: Guarana provides caffeine-like energizing effects. The seeds are rich in caffeine and contain up to 4-8% caffeine more than coffee beans, which contain around 1-2.5% caffeine. Guarana has shown to be more effective than coffee with regards to energizing power. This is because Guarana is released more slowly into the body to provide sustained energy. Guarana acts on the central nervous system, as a stimulant to prevent fatigue and break down lactic acid from muscle stress.

Helps in Weight Loss: Guarana has been used to make teas that would aid in suppressing hunger. Guarana promotes weight loss by kick-starting the nervous system to stimulate the process of lipolysis. This process causes the release of fat into the bloodstream where it is used as energy during exercise.

Guarana for Weight Loss

Improves Bowel Health: Guarana encourages the movement of bowels, which is a beneficial effect for people with constipation. Guarana is effective in treating complications such as gas and diarrhea, as it helps detoxify and cleanse the system. Guarana also stimulates the production of digestive juices.

Maintains Mental Health: Guarana offers mental alertness and aids in concentration. It has also been used as a tonic for relieving hangovers and neuralgia. The fruit helps in relieving headaches and is an excellent mood elevator.

Other Benefits: Guarana, which contains antioxidants, discourages blood clots. It also stimulates the urinary system. Guarana may help treat low blood pressure, fever and joint pain, but more research is needed in this area.

Guarana for Joint Pain

There is such a thing as ‘Too Much Guarana’

Just like other caffeinated products, Guarana extracts, when consumed in large amounts, will contribute to higher amounts of caffeine consumption (more than 300mg). This may lead to insomnia, anxiety, nervousness, heart palpitations. Guarana may interact with certain medications. This fruit is not recommended for women who are pregnant or lactating, because the caffeine present in Guarana may cause miscarriage or may slow the growth of a developing fetus (when given in doses greater than 300mg a day). Guarana contains a substance called tannins, which has the ability to block the absorption of iron supplement and dietary iron.

Recipes using Guarana

Guarana Smoothie


Ingredients
  • Guarana powder 1 tsp.
  • Unsweetened yogurt 1 cup
  • Banana 1 peeled and sliced
  • Clear honey 1 tbsp.
  • Papaya optional (The banana can be replaced with a papaya)

  • Guarana Smoothie

Instructions

Place the guarana powder, yogurt, banana and honey into a blender or a food processor and process until smooth. Add milk, to obtain your desired consistency.

Energy Bites

Ingredients:
  • Dates 1 cup
  • Dried mulberries 1 cup
  • Butter 1 tbsp
  • Rolled oats ˝ cup
  • Almonds 1/3 cup
  • Cocoa nibs 1/3 cup
  • Goji berries 1/3 cup
  • Guarana powder ˝ tsp
  • Grated zest of one organic orange
  • Water as needed
Preparation

First mix the dates and mulberries in a food processor with some water (to make it easier for the machine to grind). Mix until the dates and mulberries are thoroughly mixed but ensure that some of the granular texture is still maintained. To this mixture, add the rolled oats, butter, Guarana powder and orange zest and mix for some time. Then add the rest of the ingredients in the processor and pulse to incorporate them. Also you can stir goji berries, cocoa nibs and almonds by hand. Once done, if the mixture looks wet and too sticky, add some more rolled oats. Press the mixture in a baking pan, lined with butter paper or parchment paper and place the pans in the fridge for 2 hours. Once set, cut in the desired shapes and store in the fridge or eat straight away.



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