Properties and Benefits of Quinces: Although in the past quinces (Cydonia oblonga) were a very popular fruit, nowadays they have almost disappeared from our diet. This is unfortunate because quinces are not only nutritious, but also extremely savory fruit. Quinces are related to apples and pears, not very juicy, but with an unique flavour. In late autumn the fruit turn a deep golden colour and lose a part of their white fuzz. You know they are ready to be eaten when you can smell their amazing perfume.
Quinces have valuable antioxidant properties and are wonderfully nutritious fruit. For example, quinces are highly recommended for people suffering from gastric ulcers. Quince juice is a famous tonic, antiseptic, analeptic (with amazing restorative and stimulating properties), astringent and diuretic. It is thus recommended for a variety of medical conditions such as: anemia, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases (especially for asthma) or intestinal discomfort.
In Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan quince seeds are believed to be a potent remedy against rashes, ulcerations, pneumonia, vocal cord and intestinal problems. Both the juice and the pulp of the quince are boiled (or baked) and used as a traditional antiemetic remedy (helps prevent or alleviate vomiting and nausea).
Eating quinces on a regular basis can do wonders for our digestion and, in addition to this, help reduce cholesterol. They contain small amounts of potassium which contributes to lowering high blood pressure by ensuring body fluid regulation. Moreover, quinces have significant amounts of vitamin C which plays an important role in reducing the risk of heart disease in individuals that have a higher risk of developing this condition.
Because they are rich in dietary fiber, quinces are a great way of relieving constipation. Ladies, pay attention: a decent intake of dietary fiber is the key to successful weight loss and a dreamy waistline. Moreover, they are rich in antioxidants, potent natural substances that help our bodies fight the damaging effects of free radicals.
Antioxidants are also the secret to looking young and beautiful because they prevent DNA damage that disrupts normal cell activity. Quinces are currently the focus of intense scientific study because of their phytochemical content which will hopefully lead to a number of important medical uses.
Most quince trees grow to a height of around 5-8 meters and are very resilient, withstanding temperatures below 7°C. They have accommodated so well that nowadays they can be found throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.
Originally, quince trees were cultivated in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, but have successfully been introduced to most East European countries. In the Balkans, they are very often eaten raw or made into delicious jams (due to their high pectin levels).
Also, in countries such as Albania, Romania, Bulgaria or Hungary, quinces are often stored in cellars and baked during winter along with apples, while in Iran they are stewed or added to soups. In more modern cuisines, they are either used in tarts or pies to add flavour to the dish. In the Balkan region especially, quinces are used to make a sort of sweet brandy.
All in all, quinces can be an amazing addition to our diet. They are full of flavour, versatile and highly nutritious. Most importantly, they can provide relief for a considerable number of mild to severe medical conditions due to their impressive curative properties and potent natural substances.