Guarana is an Amazonian plant named after the Guarani tribe. In Northern Brazil and other parts of the Amazon basin, guarana seed is used to brew drinks.
This drink is believed to have medicinal properties. Paste, syrup, and extract can be extracted from the seed and added to drinks. It is pronounced gwah-RAH-nah.
What does guarana taste like? The fruit’s extract, powder, and drink have a fruity taste with a little undertone of ginger ale and apple soda manzanita sol. It has a fizzy and sweet flavor with a very fruity aftertaste.
The drink made from guarana is almost as popular as local cola-based drinks. The guarana fruit is an edible one that is completely safe for consumption in adults.
Energy drinks like Monster contain a herbal mixture of guarana because of their caffeine content. The fruit is a good source of caffeine that helps relax the body and keep it energetic for the whole day.
Now that you know how it tastes, let’s talk about how beneficial it can be to your body, how to use it in your daily diet, and its origin.
Nutritional Benefits of Guarana
Guarana is not only stomach filling and tongue appealing, it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and compounds that have antioxidant properties which are useful for the healthy operation of the human body.
It has antioxidant properties that are similar to that of green tea. They help neutralize potentially harmful molecules in the body known as free radicals. It helps reduce the risk of having heart diseases, combats cancerous cell growth, and slows down the rate of skin aging.
It is an excellent source of caffeine which helps keep the mind focused and provides strong mental energy. Caffeine helps block the action and activation of adenosine, a compound in the body that helps the brain relax.
Obesity is a major issue in recent times as it can be related to chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, cancer, and heart attacks. The caffeine present in the fruit helps boost the rate of metabolism in the body. Increased metabolic activity of the body helps burn more calories and fat which in the long run keeps the body fit and prevents you from the risk of becoming obese.
Historically, the amazonian people extracted juice from guarana to prepare tonics that were used as a pain reliever. Also, the fruit contains compounds like catechin that inhibit harmful bacteria in the intestines of humans and animals.
Culinary Uses of Guarana
The fruit has varied ways of preparation and consumption to satiate your taste bud and dietary needs. It can be dried and ground into powder, or squeezed to extract syrup and juice from the seed.
A teaspoon of guarana powder can be mixed in a cup of cold water and stirred until it gives a reddish-brown solution. The solution is a great substitute for tea or soda drinks. Sweetening agents like sugar and honey can enhance its taste.
Give your favorite fruit smoothie a distinctly sweet flavor by adding guarana powder to it. Blend varieties of fruit to get a tasty smoothie. Then, mix it with a teaspoonful of guarana naturale to enhance its taste. To get maximum satisfaction, allow it to freeze before serving.
Also, the extract, syrup, and powdered form of guarana fruit can be added to fruit juice. Add guarana powder to your orange juice with a slice of fruit on the side of the glass. Enjoy this sweet mixture as a tropical cocktail in a long glass with a straw.
Where Did Guarana Originate From? How Do You Procure It?
The guarana tree is a very special one whose origin can be traced to northern Brazil and other regions of the Amazon basin. There is a strong myth believed by the Tupi and Guarani tribe of Brazil about it being a magical fruit borne from the eye of a serpent. The word guarana is derived from the Tupi-Gurani word warana.
The seeds of guarana aren’t commonly found in supermarkets or grocery stores around the world like other fruits. In regions where the fresh fruit can’t be gotten, its processed form; powder, and extract are sold in airtight plastic bags and tightly closed bottles respectively. All you have to do after your purchase is open the bag or bottle and use it to your satisfaction.
If you have leftover powder or extracts after consumption, ensure it is kept airtight to prevent it from spoiling and place it in a freezer to retain its quality and effectiveness.
Is Guarana Better For You Than Coffee?
The extent to which your body will function effectively on high caffeine would help in determining the answer to this question. Guarana is used in energy drinks because of its high caffeine content. It helps keep the body and mind focused.
The caffeine content in guarana seed is four to six times more than that of coffee. So, if you are a great lover of caffeine, guarana is considerably better for you than coffee.
Facts You Didn’t Know About Guarana
- It is a climbing tree belonging to the family Sapindaceae.
- The fruit’s color varies from brown to red and contains black seeds which are slightly covered by white arils.
- Guarana fruit has large leaves and flowers which is almost similar to the size of a coffee bean.
- For lovers of science, the fruit is botanically known as Paulinia cupana.