Fruits

Health Benefits of Quince

The search for quality of life has grown a lot in recent times and, for this, a healthy and balanced diet is essential. One of the ways to eat better is to introduce more fruit in your daily life. According to the OMN-World Health Organization, each person should consume 3 to 5 servings of fruit daily (this varies according to the needs of each one). A fruit rich in good properties to treat and prevent diseases is quince.

The quince (Cydonia oblonga) is a rounded fruit, yellowish or greenish in color, similar to a pear, usually measuring 10 to 12 cm. Its tree is the quince, or quince tree, which originated in the regions of Asia Minor and Southeastern Europe and is also known as the quince of Europe or the pear tree of Japan. It is a tree that bears white, pink or yellowish flowers. , with a tortuous and rough trunk, and measuring up to 4 meters.

Quince production in Brazil is very small, most consumed in the country is imported from countries like Argentina and Uruguay.

TYPES OF QUINCE

Quince has two best known types:

  • Cerrado quince: from the Rubiacea family, the same as coffee, found in the Brazilian Cerrado, for that reason it bears this name, but it is also known as quince-ball or apuruí. Its leaves are used for medicinal purposes and the brown pulp fruits are used in food. Its roasted seed is used to replace coffee.
  • Mato Quince: also known as field quince or black quince, a predominant species in the caatinga.

QUINCE PROPERTIES

Let’s get to know some of the properties of quince:

  • Pectin – helps reduce bad cholesterol (LDL);
  • Malic acid – combats fluid retention, eliminates uric acid;
  • Tannins – are natural anti-inflammatory and act on the mucosa;
  • Potassium – prevents heart problems and blood vessel disease;
  • Fibers – natural laxative, helps with weight loss;
  • Vitamin C – flu and cold treats

BENEFITS OF QUINCE

The consumption of quince brings several benefits to our health. Consuming it in nature or in the form of tea helps to treat sore throats, canker sores, gum disease and stomach inflammation. It also has antiseptic and antispasmodic action (acts in cases of nausea and vomiting), is soothing, treats burns, diarrhea, lung diseases such as tuberculosis and pneumonia.

Quince is excellent for strengthening the body, the physical and mental part.

HOW TO EAT QUINCE

Quince is not usually eaten raw, due to its hard pulp and bitter taste. In Portugal, it is consumed cooked, in the form of marmalade or roasted. In Brazil, it is mostly consumed as industrialized marmalade, but in some regions it is also consumed cooked or roasted. It is also used to make jams and jellies.

The most popular candy made from this fruit is marmalade.

MARMALADE

The marmalade (quince jam) is a sweet from Portugal, which is typical and popular in several Brazilian regions. It is a puree of the fruit, cooked with sugar. Despite the white pulp of the quince, the candy, once ready, turns red or orange.

It is such a popular delicacy that marmalade has also become an idiomatic expression, used to refer to a dishonest action. The expression came about because some producers of the candy mixed chayote to the recipe to make it yield more, thus deceiving customers.

HOMEMADE MARMALADE – HOW TO MAKE

The preparation of marmalade is relatively simple, few ingredients are needed, it follows a simple recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 1kg of quince
  • 600g of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • Cinnamon stick (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons of water

Preparation mode:

  • Initially, wash the quinces, cut them into 4 pieces and remove the seeds.
  • Put all ingredients in a pan, cook over low heat for about 1 hour or until quinces are cooked through and tender.
  • Pass the entire mixture through a food processor or blender.
  • Return to the heat and cook, stirring constantly so that it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan, until it reaches the point of jelly.
  • Then just put it in the containers of your choice and let it dry without a lid for a few hours.

QUINCE FOR MEDICINAL PURPOSES

The tea, made with dehydrated quince, is excellent for sore throats, anemia, diarrhea, facial neuralgia and muscle spasms. You can still find recipes for syrup, which have digestive and astringent action, syrups, infusions and lotions for skin and hair.

The seeds are used to treat skin inflammation and bleeding.

The infusion of quince flowers helps to calm the cough and to sleep.

It is also possible to find the honey from the flowers of the quince tree, which helps the digestive action, constipation and combats migraine.

WHERE TO BUY QUINCE

It is very difficult to find the fresh fruit. It is more easily found in the few regions where it is produced, such as Goiás, Minas Gerais and Ceará. However, currently there are several companies that sell fruits, seeds, leaves and teas over the internet.

CURIOSITIES ABOUT QUINCE

THE GOLDEN APPLE

In Ancient Greece, the quince was called the “golden apple”, considered a symbol of love and fertility and consecrated to the goddess Aphrodite (goddess of love). It is said that the bride, on her wedding day, should eat a quince and the groom should abstain.

THE QUINCE STICK

The flexible part of the quince branch, the quince stick, was formerly used to punish slaves and unruly children. It was considered a heavy punishment, more painful than a belt and a paddle, and the person receiving the punishment could be left with the marks for a long time.

QUINCE CONTRAINDICATIONS

There are no records of side effects caused by the consumption of quince, however it is very important to observe the substances present in the fruit and, in case of doubt, seek a nutritionist for specialized advice.

Quince can be considered a gift from nature, it is clear that it goes far beyond marmalade, jellies and sweets, it has rich properties that help us to prevent and treat illnesses and help us to have a healthier life. So why not include it in our diet?

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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