Feijoa is the Portuguese name for Acca sellowiana. The name by which it is generally known comes from its discoverer naturalist João da Silva Feijó.
It is an evergreen native of the sub-tropical zone of South America. It belongs to the Myrtaceae family which was later spread to California, Florida and Mediterranean Europe. In Italy it is found in the Ligurian Riviera, in the South and the Islands. The fruits are very fragrant and the pulp has a taste that is something between pineapple and strawberry.
Acca sellowiana is rich in iodine, the fresh produce has roughly 3%. Additionally it does not contain cholesterol, on the contrary, it lowers the level and keeps the cardiovascular system healthy as it contains omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Both the fruit as well as the leaves, but especially the seeds, have antibacterial properties especially against Helicobacter pylori, involved in gastritis, ulcers and stomach diseases. The fleshy and fragrant fruits also have antioxidant properties and are an excellent source of fiber, essential for health and proper functioning of the intestine.
Other important contents are vitamin C and K, with antioxidant properties, as well as folic acid, which ensures the proper formation of the nervous system of the fetus. Arginine is also present, an amino acid involved in growth processes, which is good for young children and pregnant women. Feijoa is used in the treatment of goitre. Even the flowers of this plant are eaten and are truly delicious. Excellent both fresh and for the preparation of infusions.