Not all of us are familiar with the quince fruit. A close relative of apples and pears, it is a fall fruit that has been quite overlooked. But unlike these fruits, raw quince has a sour and astringent taste, which makes it rather difficult to eat. Ripe quince has a very hard white and fibrous flesh which is tough as a rock. While raw quince is inedible, the fruit becomes surprisingly aromatic, soft and sweet when cooked in sugar. The flesh magically transforms from white to a deep rosy pinkish color, emanating a wonderful aroma that fills your kitchen and rooms. Although it takes some effort to convert this visually unappealing and inedible fruit into one of the tasty and fragrant fruits, it is definitely well worth the effort!
Health benefits of Quince
Quince is nutritionally rich, which makes it extremely good for your health in many ways. It is a low calorie, zero cholesterol and zero fat fruit with plenty of dietary fiber, protein, antioxidants and various other nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. Here are some of the health benefits offered by this amazing fruit:
Quince fruit and skin benefits
Quince contains a wide range of bioactive compounds that can enhance the beauty and health of your skin. The extracts obtained from this fruit are widely used in many skin care and cosmetic products. The phenolic compounds in quince has strong antioxidant properties that help in neutralizing and eliminating free radicals that cause mutation to healthy cells. By destroying the free radicals, these substances slow down the aging process and reduces the occurrence of wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. They also have anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, which help prevent skin problems like acne and pimples. The anti-allergenic properties of the fruit is helpful in preventing skin conditions such as dermatitis.
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Quince is good for weight loss
Quince is a low-calorie fruit which is high in dietary fiber. It helps in weight loss by improving digestion and by boosting your metabolism. The fiber in this fruit satisfies your appetite and keeps you feeling fuller for a long period of time. As a result, you refrain from frequent snacking and overeating. The regular consumption of quince fruit is thus a great way to lose some extra pounds and maintain a healthy weight.
Quince and its anti-inflammatory effects
Quince fruit has been shown to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in reducing inflammation. Because of this property, quince has great potential as a natural remedy for joint pains, muscle pain, and arthritis. According to research, polyphenols in quince reduces the chances of joint inflammation by inhibiting the release of histamines.
[Read more about natural ways to treat joint pain]
Quince improves digestion
Foods high in dietary fiber are known to improve the functioning of the digestive system and help prevent various kinds of digestive disorders. The fiber bulks up your stool and helps eliminate it easily from the intestine, thus helping to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. The antioxidants and nutrients found in quince get rid of the toxins and wastes from the colon and helps prevent colon cancer as well as many gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea, diverticulitis, inflammation and gastric ulcers.
Quince protects against cancer
The high levels of phytonutrient and phenolic compounds in quince have powerful antioxidant properties and is therefore extremely beneficial in lowering the risks of life threatening diseases like cancer. Free radicals in the body play a key role in causing cancer by damaging the cells and DNA, leading to the mutation of healthy cells. Antioxidants help neutralize the effects of these free radicals and protect the cell from oxidative damage. The pulp of quince fruit contains certain astringent compounds such as catechin and epicatechin that bind to toxins and chemicals in the colon, thus protecting against colon cancer. Many studies indicate that the regular consumption of quince is beneficial in lowering your risk of various types of cancers.
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Quince is a heart healthy fruit
High blood pressure and cholesterol are two issues often associated with heart problems. Thankfully, quince fruit has the right nutrients in the right amount for fighting these two factors. Quince is high in pectin fiber that helps lower the LDL or bad cholesterol in the blood that can clog the arteries and cause heart attacks. Potassium is a mineral found in high amounts in this fruit, which causes the blood vessels to relax, allowing the blood to flow smoothly and easily without putting any strain on the cardiovascular system. Moreover, the antioxidants in quince protect against free radical damage and lowers the risks of heart diseases.
Quince is good for diabetics
The consumption of fiber-rich foods and proper functioning of the digestive system are key to control the blood sugar fluctuations in your body. Regular exercise and a well-balanced diet with lots of fresh fruits and vegetable are often recommended for people suffering from diabetes. Quince is high in fiber content, which helps slow down digestion and the absorption of sugar into your blood stream. Studies indicate that an extract obtained from unripe quince contains bioactive compounds such as quinic acid, sorbitol, cyclopropanecarboxylic acid and pvinylphenol, which inhibits the action of alpha – amylase, an enzyme that speeds up the breaking down of starch from the foods into maltose and later into glucose inside the body. So by inhibiting this enzyme, quince helps lower the blood sugar levels.
[Read more about natural food for diabetes]
Quince gives a boost to your immune system
In addition to plenty of antioxidants, quince is rich in nutrients like vitamin C that enhances your immune system and protects you from diseases. Vitamin C strengthens your immunity by increasing the number of white blood cells that fight off the invading microbes.
Quince shows anti-microbial activity
Studies revel that quince has the ability to protect your body from bacteria, virus and fungi. The extracts from quince seeds has been found to show anti-bacterial effects against gram negative and gram positive bacteria due to the presence of tannins that precipitate the microbial protein of these bacteria, thus depriving them of nutritional protein and arresting their development and growth. Quince extracts also possess anti-fungal and anti-viral properties. The anti-viral effects of quince helps in preventing common colds and flu.
Quince cures cough and cold
Quince contains triterpenes and sterols that inhibit the growth of bacteria like Streptococcus pyogenes, which is responsible for causing strep throat. Moreover, the anti-inflammatory effect of this fruit reduces inflammation and swelling associated with a sore throat. The tannins in quince also interfere with the action of the enzyme hyaluronidase produced by bacteria that causes painful swelling in the nasal passages and throat.
[Read more about natural food for common cold]
Quince is a great remedy for diarrhea
Quince fruit has been long used in traditional Chinese medicine Torquay as a remedy for treating diarrhea. The antibacterial properties of this fruit is effective against bacteria like Escherichia coli that cause this condition. A tea made from the leaves of quince can also help cure this diarrhea. Take a cup of boiled water and out 2 or 3 quince leaves in it. Allow it to stand for about 15 minutes, after which the leaves are taken out. Drink the tea regularly to get relief from diarrhea.
Quince for a healthy nervous system
Quince contains a large array of minerals that are beneficial to your nervous system. Traditional medicine uses this fruit to treat a number of nervous disorders such as stress, anxiety and depression. Researchers have also found that the nutrients in quince may be effective in treating Parkinson’s disease.
Quince has not become as popular as apples and pears mostly because they cannot be enjoyed raw. Not only are they hard to find, but converting them into an edible and delicious fruit requires cooking and some hard work, which may be the reason why most people tend to avoid it. Quince, when cooked has a unique and sharp flavor that goes well with a wide range of dishes. Greek legend has it that the Trojan war started when Helen of Troy bribed Paris to give Aphrodite a Quince fruit as an award in a beauty contest. It is also assumed that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was a quince fruit and not an apple. In ancient times, Quince was regarded as the fruit of heroes and Gods! Quince may be expensive than other fruits but considering its many health benefits its always worth a try.