Quince fruit is a low-calorie, high-fiber fruit not often seen in the grocery store but is so good for you.
It acts as a mild laxative and can help prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements. It can also relieve heartburn, asthma, and even hay fever symptoms.
Quince has a tangy flavor that tastes better when cooked and can be made into jams, jellies, pies, and other desserts.
Let’s find out more about what this unique fruit has to offer.
What Is Quince Fruit?
The quince, also known by its scientific name Cydonia Oblonga, is a round, yellow-colored fruit that resembles a cross between an apple and a pear. And that’s because they belong to the same family, the rose family.
Quince is native to Iran, Greece, Turkey, and the Crimean Peninsula. It has been cultivated since ancient times and was used medicinally in early Persia and Greece. The quince tree grows to 10-20 feet and produces white or pink flowers. The quince fruit is usually harvested in the late fall to early winter.
In the United States, quince is grown in California, Oregon, and Washington.
Quince has a hard, woody, creamy-white flesh that is astringent, making it difficult to eat raw.
When cooked, however, the flesh becomes softened and less sour, making it easy to incorporate into various dishes.
When cooked, the fruit turns red or pink. This is because cooking forms anthocyanins, natural pigments that give colored vegetables and fruits their color. This pigment is also a powerful antioxidant, making cooked quince one of the best addition to boost your antioxidant intake.
Quince Fruit Nutrition
One quince, about 92 grams offers:
- Calories: 52.4
- Carbohydrates: 14.1 grams
- Protein: 0.4 grams
- Fat: 0.1 grams
- Dietary fiber: 1.7 grams
- Vitamin C: 13.8 milligrams, or 23 percent of the daily requirement
- Copper: 0.1 milligrams, or 6 percent of the daily requirement
- Potassium: 181 milligrams, or 5 percent of the daily requirement
- Iron: 0.6 milligrams, or 4 percent of the daily requirement
- Magnesium: 7.4 milligrams, or 2 percent of the daily requirement
- Phosphorus: 15.6 milligrams, or 2 percent of the daily requirement
Quince Health Benefits
1. Relieves constipation
If you’re struggling with constipation, quince may be a natural remedy worth trying. This fruit has long been used as a traditional folk remedy for digestive issues. Quince is rich in fiber, which can help bulk up stool and make it easier to pass.
It also contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can help soften stool and promote regularity. Additionally, quince is a good source of sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that acts as a natural laxative.
Moreover, the seeds of quince fruit were used for digestive issues long before modern medicine existed. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that the seeds had medicinal properties and used them to treat various digestive problems, including diarrhea and constipation. More recently, people have continued to use quince seeds for digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and indigestion.
In one lab study, quince seed extract was shown to promote muscle relaxation in the gut as well as activate certain receptors to induce contractions and prevent constipation.
That being said, more research is necessary to confirm these findings.
Nonetheless, this fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium, all essential for promoting gut health.
2. It’s rich in antioxidants
Quince fruit is a rich source of antioxidants, which are substances that can prevent or delay some types of cell damage by protecting cells from the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are molecules that have an unpaired electron.
These molecules are highly reactive and can cause damage to cells, which can lead to disease. Antioxidants work by donating one of their own electrons to the free radical, thus neutralizing it.
Quince is rich in caffeoylquinic acid, a powerful phenolic antioxidant that has been shown to scavenge free radicals, protect cells from damage, and reduce inflammation. It may also prevent the formation of new free radicals.
This compound has even been shown to prevent or treat a variety of chronic diseases, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Quince is also a good source of vitamin C, another powerful vitamin antioxidant that can fight free radicals, boost the immune system, and fight off infections.
3. Prevents infection
The humble quince may not be the first fruit that comes to mind when you think of fighting off bacterial infections, but this underappreciated fruit has some powerful antibacterial properties.
Quince contains several compounds that have been shown to fight bacteria, including pectin, quercetin, and kaempferol. These compounds can help inhibit the growth of bacteria and even kill them outright.
Quince has even been shown to fight Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for causing stomach ulcers. In a study conducted to assess the efficacy of quince juice against H. pylori in vitro, results showed that quince juice significantly reduced the number of H. pylori colonies.
Another study found that quince fruit and seed extract could protect against other strains of bacteria, including Enterobacters Aerogenes, Escherichia coli, Klebsiella, and S. aureus.
4. Promotes heart health
Quince has been shown to boost heart health for several reasons.
For one, quince contains high levels of antioxidants, which have been shown to protect the heart from damage caused by free radicals.
Quince also contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber that can lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
In addition, quince contains compounds called ellagitannins that have anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a major factor in the development of heart disease, so these compounds could help reduce the risk.
Furthermore, a lab study found that quince leaves and fruit extract can lower blood pressure, another factor in the development of heart disease.
5. Prevents GERD
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which the stomach contents — including acid and digestive juices — rise up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, chest pain, and belching.
While there are many treatments for GERD, one natural remedy is quince. It has a high content of pectin, a soluble fiber that absorbs stomach acids and can reduce inflammation that tends to occur with repeated reflux.
Also, quince has a high water content, which can help dilute the acidic stomach contents and reduce irritation to the esophagus.
In addition to its role in treating GERD, quince can prevent the condition from developing in the first place. This is due to the fact that quince increases the production of saliva. Saliva contains bicarbonate, which neutralizes stomach acids. By increasing saliva production, quince can help keep stomach acids from rising into the esophagus and causing GERD symptoms.
For best results, it is recommended to eat quince on an empty stomach or at least 30 minutes before meals. You can eat it cooked or in preserves. Some people also find it helpful to drink quince tea.
6. Supports wound healing
Quince fruit has been used traditionally to treat wounds and other skin conditions. It has been shown to be effective in promoting wound healing in animal studies. Research on humans is limited, but one study found that a quince extract ointment effectively treated superficial wounds.
This is because quince fruit is rich in vitamin C, which is essential for the production of collagen. Collagen is a protein that helps repair and strengthen blood vessels, skin, and other tissues. Vitamin C also helps reduce inflammation, which can speed up the healing process.
In addition to vitamin C, quince fruit contains flavonoids, which are compounds that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Flavonoids can help protect cells from damage and promote healing.
Quince also contains other essential nutrients for wound healing, including vitamins A, E, and zinc.
In addition to that, quince has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can prevent infection and, again, speed up the healing process.
To use quince for wound healing, you can apply the fruit’s pulp directly to the wound or make a poultice by soaking a cloth in quince juice or tea. You can also take quince supplements or consume quince juice regularly to help speed up the healing process.
7. Boosts the immune system
Your immune system is your body’s defense against infection and illness. When it’s working correctly, it can protect you from various diseases and conditions. But sometimes, your immune system needs a little help.
That’s where quince fruit comes in. Quince fruit has been shown to boost the immune system, making it better able to fight off infection and disease.
There are several ways that quince fruit boosts the immune system. First, quince fruit is rich in antioxidants. These nutrients help to protect cells from damage, reducing the risk of infection.
Second, quince fruit is a good source of vitamin C. This important vitamin helps protect the cells from damage while aiding the production of white blood cells, key players in the immune system.
Quince fruit is also a good source of other vitamins and minerals that are important for immunity, such as zinc, iron, and folic acid.
Third, quince fruit contains a type of fiber called pectin. Pectin has been shown to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. These healthy bacteria help fight off harmful bacteria and keep the digestive system functioning properly.
Finally, quince fruit is high in vitamins A and E. These vitamins are important for skin health and can impact the body’s ability to fight infection. Healthy skin provides a barrier that prevents harmful bacteria from entering the body.
Is raw Quince Really Bad?
There are a few reasons why you can’t eat raw quince. First, the fruit is tough and fibrous. It would be difficult to bite into and even harder to digest.
Also, quince is quite sour when eaten raw. It’s best to cook or add it to other dishes to help mellow out the flavor.
In addition, raw quince contains a compound called cyanogenic glycosides. When ingested, these compounds can release cyanide gas, which can be harmful in large amounts. So it’s best to take caution and cook your quince before eating it.
How To Cook With Quince
There are many ways to cook with quince fruit. Here are some of the most popular methods:
Pies and tarts
Quince pies and tarts are an excellent way to use this fruit. The tart sweetness of quince pairs perfectly with rich pastry crusts.
Try baked quince slices sprinkled with cinnamon for a quick and easy snack. This treat is incredibly delicious when served with ice cream or yogurt.
Add cooked quince to salads
Cooked quinces make a lovely addition to any fall or winter salad—their delicate flavor pairs well with greens, nuts, and cheese.
Quince sauce is made by cooking down the quince fruit with sugar and water until it forms a thick syrup. But since sugar is not good for your health, replace it with a healthy substitute like maple syrup.
This sauce can be used as a topping for desserts or as a flavorful addition to savory dishes.
To make quince jelly, cook the quince down with water and sugar substitute until it forms a thick syrup. Strain the syrup and add it to a jar with some lemon juice. Quince jelly can be eaten on its own or used as a condiment.
Add it to savory dishes
Quince can be used in savory dishes, such as stews. When cooking with quince in savory dishes, it is important to cook the fruit until it is very soft; otherwise, it can be quite astringent.
To saute quince, cut the fruit into thin slices and saute in a little butter or oil until golden brown. Serve as a side dish or add to salads for a unique flavor.
It is clear that quince fruit provides a number of health benefits and nutrients that are essential for our bodies. It’s high in fiber, vitamins C and A, and minerals such as copper and potassium that can offer a range of health benefits.
Quince fruit can help boost immunity, improve digestion, lower cholesterol levels, and even prevent infections.
If you are looking for a way to boost your health, then including quince in your diet is a great option.
Quince fruit is an excellent source of nutrients and offers a range of health benefits.
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