While apples and pears get a lot of love in the fruit department, there’s one that’s related closely to both of them that not many people know about. This fruit is the quince, which has a unique shape that almost looks similar to a lemon or lime, but has a taste that is more comparable to a pear. A quince can be eaten straight off of the tree, but you’ll want to make sure that you avoid eating too many of the seeds as they can cause troubles, but people tend to avoid seeds when eating fruits anyway.
Quince can be a little more difficult to find than other fruits, as Turkey and China are the main producers, and they aren’t as common as others. If you can find quince, it makes a great addition to your diet due to the great taste, especially if you roast them. Between being eaten on their own or used as an ingredient, there’s not really a bad way to add more quince. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown and some of the proven health benefits that you’ll get because of quince.
Nutrition of Quince
Even in terms of fruit, quince is pretty low in calorie count. In each 100 gram serving (just over 3.5 ounces), you’ll find just over 50 calories. While there’s not much protein in quince, there’s a decent amount of fiber with nearly 10 percent of your daily recommendation. As for the vitamins, vitamin C is the most abundant, with a quarter of the daily value in each serving.
Those in smaller amounts at around five percent daily value include vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate and vitamin B6. There aren’t very large amounts of minerals in quince, but it is a good source of both potassium and copper at nearly 10 percent. Around five percent, you’ll find iron, magnesium and phosphorus with trace amounts of calcium and selenium. Lastly, there’s almost no fat in quince with zero cholesterol or saturated fats with nearly 50 milligrams of omega-6 fatty acids.
Because the most abundant nutrient in quince is vitamin C, that’s going to give you a pretty obvious boost to your immune system. Vitamin C allows your body to produce more white blood cells that can fight off foreign invaders, with the common cold and influenza viruses being the two most common that you can attack. There are also many more serious diseases that quince can help you prevent.
Quince is packed with different antioxidants that fight off the free radicals in your body that attack cells and can lead to cancer. Even something simple as allergic reactions are controlled by eating quince, especially on the skin. While obviously you want to visit a doctor if you have a serious medical problem, quince can help you keep the doctor away!
While people try many different diets to try and lose weight, the only surefire way to drop extra pounds is by exerting more calories than you take in. Quince makes for a perfect addition to a weight loss plan because of that alone, as there are fewer than 60 calories per each serving. A great way to lose weight is by replacing one of your snacks each day with a healthier option like quince.
If you replace a 200 calorie snack with quince, you can save yourself more than 50,000 calories per year. While that might not sound like a huge amount over a long period of time, it certainly adds up. In fact, you can lose nearly 15 pounds of fat (or avoid gaining that much) within a year by making that daily switch. Many fruits like quince can also help you feel more full throughout the day due to the fiber content.
Speaking of fiber, that’s one of the aspects of quince that makes it so beneficial for your digestive system. Though it’s not as fiber packed as some fruits, more than 90 percent of Americans don’t get enough fiber. Getting the recommended amount adds probiotics to your digestive system, keeping away harmful bacteria and ridding problems such as constipation, diarrhea and more.
Fiber alone can’t help with all digestive problems, but quince has some properties that other fruits don’t. Quince contains phenolics, which have been found to assist in the treatment of ulcers, both gastric and peptic. Other diseases such as inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis can be prevented or treated as quince contains unique fibers like catechin and epicatechin. Combining quince with other high fiber foods will keep you feeling amazing throughout the day.
Many life threatening problems such as heart attacks and strokes come down to poor circulation and high blood pressure. Quince helps alleviate both of these problems at the same time, starting with adding potassium to your system to control your blood pressure. It also allows your arteries to not be as stressed, furthering the aid to your blood pressure.
Trace minerals in quince contribute to better blood flow overall, as you’ll produce more red blood cells. That increases the oxygen flow in your blood and can even lead to lower cholesterol. While there’s not much of an effect on the HDL (good) cholesterol levels, you can certainly lower the LDL (bad) cholesterol in your blood.
While more oxygen in your blood is important because, well, it keeps you alive, it also plays a part in your hair. With more blood flowing to your scalp, your hair will be able to grow in much faster and voluminous. Obviously, the scalp is part of your skin overall, and it’s not the only part where you’ll look and feel better. Because of the high vitamin C content, your body produces more collagen to give your skin extra elasticity. This prevents early signs of aging such as wrinkles and blemishes, while also being a natural way of preventing damage from harmful UV rays.
Summing it Up
Even for most healthy foods, there seems to be a catch with some side effects, especially when you eat a large amount of that one particular food. As for quince, that’s not really the case as there haven’t been many side effects found due to the nutritional value. Speaking of the nutritional value, that’s one of the small drawbacks to eating a lot of quince. Since most of the nutrients are stacked into just a couple of categories, you won’t get the full range of needed vitamins and minerals by eating solely quince in the fruit department.
That’s not going to be a problem as long as you’re eating a well balanced diet that includes the rest of your nutrients. Even the one vitamin that quince is highest in (vitamin C) is one of the few nutrients that you can’t have too much of, as your body will naturally get rid of any excess vitamin C that you don’t need. With all of that considered, quince is a great addition to any diet because of the taste and proven health benefits, so pick them up whenever you can and enjoy!