Quince – Properties and health benefits / medicinal uses

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Quince or Cydonia oblonga, is not only appreciated for its unique flavor and aroma, but for its great medicinal qualities which includes relieving diarrhea, reducing excess cholesterol, treating gastric ulcers, and aiding in weight loss.

Quince is the fruit of the quince tree, Cydonia oblonga Mill, which belongs to the botanical family Rosaceae. It looks very similar to a pear, which of course comes as a no surprise since they all belong to the same family, including apples. By mere looking, you might think its a variety of pear, but until you taste it, that’s when you know what actually it is.

Quick notes on quince

Scientific name Cydonia oblonga
Common name Quince
Family Rosaceae
French name Coing
Other names Elephant apple, Pineapple quince
Spanish names Gamboa, Membrillo
Colour Bright golden-yellow when mature
Distribution South-west Asia, Turkey, Iran, Armenia, Georgia
Non-nutritive component Pectin, Tannins
Notable nutritive component vitamin E, C, Copper, Potassium, Iron

Many people usually get pissed off from their first bite of quince due to its harsh taste. Oh yes! Raw quince are usually too hard and sour to eat, that’s why many people prefer consuming quince in a jelly form than in its actual raw fruit form, because the jelly is so delicious. Others prefer to make use of its sticky sweet cheese. However, there are certain varieties such as Aromatnaya that can be consumed comfortably without cooking.

 

Properties and Health benefits of Quince

Raw quince contains negligible amounts of fats and proteins, its makes up less than a percent of its total content. It however, contains significant amounts of carbohydrates in form of sugars, about 13.4% of its total content. It should be noted that quince jelly contains more than 50% sugars, since it is made by adding some amounts of sugar. In terms of vitamins and minerals, quince contains vitamin E, vitamin C, copper, Potassium, and iron in quite rich amounts.

According to USDA, a 92 gram serving of quince provides 52 calories, fat of 0.09 g, carbohydrate of 14.08g, total dietary fiber of 1.7g, calcium of 10 mg, potassium of 181 mg, copper of 0.12 mg, Iron of 0.64 mg, vitamin B1 (thiamine) of 0.018 mg, B2 (riboflavin) of 0.028 mg, vitamin C of 13.8 mg.

Moreover, quince contains some non-nutritive components such as astringent tannins, and pectin. Pectin which is a soluble fiber, helps soothes the intestinal wall and facilitates bowel movement in the intestine. Astringent tannins also help dry the intestinal mucosa and reduce its inflammation.

 

Due to the above nutritive and non-nutritive components of quince, below are some of its indications:

  • Diarrhea

    Consumption of quince in almost any form, be it a snack or desert, is beneficial for both children and adults with a tendency to lose feces, or flatulence. It is advised to be consumed as the first solid food after the acute phase of a diarrhea caused by colitis or gastroenteritis. Stylecraze recommends mixing quince with honey to treat colitis, diarrhea, constipation, and intestinal infections.

If raw quince is found difficult to consume due to its harsh acidic taste, one can resolve to its jelly. Quince jelly is an astringent that is well tolerated by both children and adults. It can be used as the first solid food after a phase of diarrhea.

 

  • Lowers blood pressure

This property of quince in lowering blood pressure is due to its richness in potassium. As we have seen above, just 92 g servings of quince provides up to 181 mg of potassium. This mineral helps lower your blood pressure by balancing out the negative effects of salt. The more potassium you take in, the more sodium you will lose through your urine.

Don’t know why you need to lose off that excess sodium? Well, it reduces the ability of your kidney to remove water from your blood vessels, which subsequently leads to a higher blood pressure on your vessels.

 

  • Excess cholesterol

    The consumption of quince helps reduce blood cholesterol level (bad cholesterol). This is due to a non-nutritive component known as pectin. Pectin is a soluble fiber, it helps absorb excess cholesterol, and eliminates it together with feces. When LDL or bad cholesterol level in your blood is low, your heart functions healthier.

 

Quince has some great antioxidant properties which help fight free radicals capable of causing cancerous growths. Moreover, its pulp contains astringent elements known as tannins, which protects the mucosa by binding to carcinogens. Tannins helps to dry the intestinal mucosa and reduce its inflammation.

 

As said earlier, quince contains very little fat content. As we have also seen in the properties of this fruit, it provides just 52 calories per 92 grams. All these properties make consumption of quince a wise choice for those willing to lose off some weight.

 

A research conducted in 2006, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry proved the antioxidant and antiulcerative properties of quince. The anti-ulcer property was attributed to certain phenolics present in this wonderful fruit. This makes the consumption of quince juice beneficial for people suffering from gastric ulcers, as it helps soothe the gastrointestinal tract.

 

  • Relieves stress 

This effect can be explained from the quince antioxidant capacities.  Antioxidants protects the body from oxidative stress and helps boost the immune system.

 

  • Skin care

Oh yes! It’s the antioxidant property again. Antioxidants together with vitamins contained in quince offer a very beneficial effect to your skin by making it look fresh and healthy. As antioxidants fight off free radicals in your skin, it reduces the chances of wrinkles appearing on your skin.

 

  • Boost immunity

Quince contains great amounts of vitamin C, about 13.8 mg / 92 g. This is quite a rich amount. As already known, vitamin C helps boost the immune system by stimulating it to produce more white blood cells, which are the body’s defense system against pathogens.

 

Other benefits of quince include:

  • Nausea and vomitting
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties
  • Liver diseases
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Allergic reactions.

 

 

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abbati
abbati
Abbati is a student from the department of Biological sciences, Ahmadu Bello Univeristy, Zaria. He loves learning about the medicinal properties of foods, and the need to explore them!

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