Quince is a special seasonal fruit that ripens between autumn and winter. Hailing from the warm regions of southwest Asia, it was later introduced to various countries of eastern Europe. It is a member of the Rosaceae family, meaning that it is a close relative of apples and pears. Quince, or “Cydonia oblonga”, is a lone member of the Cydonia genus. The fruit is host to vitamins A, B, C, copper, iron, potassium, selenium and zinc. It also contains plenty of beneficial dietary fibre and a selection of polyphenols and antioxidants such as limonene, catechin and epicatechin, alongside other phytonutrients. Let’s see what all that translates into for you in our Top 5 Health Benefits of Quince!
1. Optimises skin and hair health
Iron, copper and zinc are required for the production of red blood cells. A high red blood cell count will result in an optimised circulation, thereby providing all parts of the body with more oxygen. Increased circulation improves blood flow to the skin and scalp which also helps promote hair growth. Quince also protects the skin from UV rays and harmful free radicals. Its high vitamin C content is valuable for keeping the skin looking vibrant, the pores tight and its antioxidants help to reverse the effects of ageing. The seed extract can be used to treat dermatitis and cystitis.
2. Improves digestive health
Quince’s high fibre content renders it a good digestive aid and it can help with weight loss. It is also low in saturated fat and sodium. Boiled or baked quince acts as an antiemetic (relieving nausea) and helps to alleviate morning sickness. This can be mixed with honey and used for the treatment of diarrhoea, gastrointestinal upset, colitis, stomach ulcers and constipation. Its diuretic properties help to eliminate excess fluid whilst the syrup of this fruit can be used to treat hemorrhoids.
3. Regulates blood pressure and cholesterol
This fruit can bring about a reduction in blood pressure and harmful LDL cholesterol. Its potassium content helps to regulate blood pressure and has a relaxant effect on the heart, allowing for reduced cardiovascular tension. Additionally, it can lower the risk of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), hypertension and heart disease.
4. Bolsters your immune system
Vitamin C found in quince boosts immunity through augmented white blood cell levels, in addition to its anti-viral properties which help protect against destructive pathogens and bacteria, alongside potent antioxidants preventing free radical damage. This fruit also has powerful anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and astringent properties.
5. Beneficial for diabetics
Partly thanks to its high amounts of fibre, quince is steadily released into the bloodstream which allows for proper digestion and can avert quickly rising and falling blood sugar levels thus preventing sugar ‘crashes’ and mood swings.
Quince is rarely eaten raw due to its tart flavour, however it can be baked or boiled to remove its acidity, made into wine or mixed into selected smoothie blends. The variety native to Asia is easily made into jellies, jams and preserves, given that it is usually found to be more soft and succulent. Why not include it in your next apple pie to enhance its natural poignant flavour? Enjoy quince and want to say something about it? Let us know below or @ KeepfitKingdom !