8 Emerging Health Benefits of Quince
We are all well aware of all the fruits that exist, but the one fruit that most might not have heard of is quince. Quince is yellow and looks like a cross between apple and pear. Quince is a citrus fruit that belongs to the Rosaceae family, including other types of berries. But unlike these fruits, we cannot eat quince raw.
We can only eat these fruits after it is cooked. Once cooked, it becomes less bitter and more palatable. They are cultivated in Asia and the Mediterranean but were first grown in ancient Greece and Rome and were known as the fruit of Aphrodite. Let’s explore the health benefits of quince.
1. Soothe Digestive Problems
Digestive problems are painful and often affect the quality of our lives. It is a common problem in the United States. Health practitioners recommend including food like quince in your diet that is easy on the stomach. This yellow fruit is used to treat stomach problems like constipation and GERD.
According to an animal study, the seeds and fruit increased movement in the gut while relaxing the muscles. This process stimulates the activity of protein cells that help prevent constipation. The fruit is also rich in fiber, which softens the stool to treat constipation.
2. Rich In Antioxidants
Many of the benefits that quinces provide come from the fruit’s antioxidants. Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit oxidation, a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals or unstable molecules that harm the body if there is too much. These free radicals damage our healthy cells and cause chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Our body has antioxidant defenses, but these molecules are also found in food, especially in fruits like quinces, to ensure our body has sufficient antioxidants.
3. Fights Harmful Bacteria
Another health benefit of quince is that it helps fight bacteria. This fruit contains compounds like pectin, quercetin, and kaempferol that inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the body. Our body has good bacteria and harmful bacteria, also known as pathogens. Pathogens are microorganisms that release toxins that can cause disease and infection.
When these bacteria enter and spread throughout the bloodstream, it can lead to sepsis. Sepsis can damage vital organs and cause death without timely treatment. Research shows that the active compounds in quince can fight bacteria that causes stomach ulcers.
4. Support Wound Healing
Ancient Greek herbalist Dioscorides recommended quince seeds and leaves to help support wound healing and promote tissue repair. The healer used the fruits as a styptic, a type of agent that promotes hemostasis. For the unversed, hemostasis is our body’s natural reaction to injury. Our body monitors itself for injuries, and when it detects one, it stops bleeding and allows the body to heal.
The active compounds in quince contract skin tissues to seal injured blood vessels and stop blood loss. One test tube study found that the seeds could stimulate the growth of these tissues after injury. However, despite these promising results, more research is needed to determine the effectiveness of quince in promoting wound healing.
5. Soothe Pregnancy-induced Nausea
Most pregnant women suffer from nausea, also known as morning sickness. The exact cause of morning sickness is unknown, but health practitioners suspect it might be because of changes in hormone levels and low blood sugar. Certain foods can also trigger nausea, but quince is not one of them. It does the opposite.
During the early stages of pregnancy, doctors advise against the use of chemical drugs for nausea and recommend natural therapy like consuming food like quince that soothes morning sickness.
6. Boost Immune System
A healthy immune system is crucial for overall health. Our immune system in the body fights against microorganisms, like bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins that cause sickness and diseases like the cold, flu, and autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disease occurs when the body cannot differentiate between healthy cells and foreign invaders, causing the body to attack the healthy cells by mistake.
There is no cure for autoimmune diseases. One can only manage it with medication that alleviates symptoms or includes immune-boosting food like quince in their diet. Quince contains vitamin C, which is vital for a healthy immune system. Our body cannot make this vitamin so we have to consume vitamin C rich foods.
7. Promote Heart Health
As mentioned before, quince is a potassium-rich fruit. This mineral helps our heart, nerves, and muscles to work efficiently. It helps regulate various physiologic functions, such as managing fluid in the body. Our body consists of mostly water, and potassium helps our organs balance how much water our body needs.
Potassium also helps with muscle contraction. This function is important for the heart muscles because if our heart muscles cannot relax, they cannot pump blood to the rest of the body. When this happens, it can lead to conditions like atherosclerosis, which increases the risk of coronary heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
8. Combat Certain Allergic Reactions
Most allergies are not life-threatening, but they can significantly impact a person’s quality of life. According to science, the active compounds in quince may help manage allergy symptoms by inhibiting the activity of allergy-causing immune cells.
A commercial allergy medication used to treat irritated eyes and nose, Gencydo, contains lemon juice and quince fruit extract. One thing to note here is that there are different types of food allergens so it's best for you to determine a possible allergy with quince fruits before you add it to your diet.
Nutritional Composition of Quince
Quince is rich in many essential vitamins and minerals which is why it was used as medicine in ancient Greece and Rome.
A single, 92-gram quince,about 92 grams has 52 calories and provides the following nurtients:
- Fat: 1.8 grams
- Protein: 0.3 grams
- Carbs: 14.1 grams
- Sodium 3.7 mg
- Fiber: 1.75 grams
- Vitamin C: 13.8 g (15% of the Daily Value (DV))
- Copper: 0.1g (13% of the DV)
- Iron: 0.6mg (3.6% of the DV)
- Potassium: 181 mg (4% of the DV)
- Magnesium: 7.4mg (2% of the DV)
As you can see, quince is low in calories and rich in nutrients. In addition to the nutrients listed above, these fruits also contain trace amounts of calcium, selenium, vitamin A, thiamine, niacin, and pantothenic acid.
How To Incorporate Quince Into Your Diet?
As mentioned before, quinces require cooking, as we cannot eat them raw. Cooking a fruit can be confusing, but these are some simple steps you should follow to cook the fruit.
- Cut the fruit into quarters.
- Remove the core and seeds.
- Slice off any soft spots.
- Fill a pot with water and bring it to a boil.
- Add sugar to your liking and then add the fruit.
- For more flavor, you can experiment with cinnamon, vanilla, and ginger
Let it simmer for 40 to 50 minutes until the flesh becomes tender. You can use this poached quince as a topping for oatmeal and yogurt. You can use it in fruit tarts and pies.
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