They’ve been used in folk medicine for decades, but scientific research on their benefits is still in the early stages.
Here are 8 emerging health benefits of quince, plus a few simple tips for including it in your diet.
1. Rich in nutrients
Quinces contain fiber and several essential vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious addition to almost any diet.
A single, 3.2-ounce (92-gram) quince provides the following:
As you can see, this fruit supplies moderate amounts of vitamin C and copper, plus small amounts of B vitamins, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
While not extraordinarily rich in any specific compound, quinces offer a wide array of nutrients for very few calories.
2. Contain potent antioxidants
Many of the benefits associated with quinces can be attributed to the fruit’s rich supply of antioxidants.
Antioxidants reduce metabolic stress, lower inflammation, and protect your cells against damage by free radicals, which are unstable molecules.
Some research suggests that some antioxidants in quinces, including flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol, reduce inflammation and safeguard against chronic illnesses like heart disease.
3. May help manage pregnancy-induced nausea
Some of the most common symptoms during early pregnancy are nausea and vomiting.
Some research indicates that quinces may help relieve these symptoms.
One study in 76 pregnant women noted that 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of quince syrup was significantly more effective than 20 mg of vitamin B6 at reducing pregnancy-induced nausea.
Although these results are promising, more research is needed.
4. May relieve digestive issues
Quinces have long been used in traditional and folk medicine to treat a variety of digestive disorders.
Recent research suggests that quince extract may protect gut tissue against damage related to inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis.
In a study in rats with ulcerative colitis, those given quince extract and juice had significantly reduced colon tissue damage, compared with the control group.
Still, human studies are needed.
5. May treat stomach ulcers
Early research suggests that plant compounds in quinces may help prevent and treat stomach ulcers.
In a test-tube study, quince juice inhibited the growth of H. pylori, a bacterium known to cause stomach ulcers.
Meanwhile, a study in rats found that quince extract protected against alcohol-induced stomach ulcers.
Although these results are encouraging, additional research is needed.
6. May reduce acid reflux symptoms
Several studies suggest that quince syrup may help manage symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly known as acid reflux.
A 7-week study in 80 children with acid reflux found that supplementing with quince syrup daily was as effective as medication that’s traditionally used to alleviate symptoms of this condition.
In a study in 137 pregnant women, a 10-mg dose of quince syrup taken after meals was likewise shown to be as effective as traditional medication at relieving acid reflux symptoms.
Additionally, in a 4-week study in 96 children with acid reflux, using quince concentrate alongside traditional medication improved symptoms — such as vomiting, food aversion, burping, and abdominal pain — to a greater extent than taking the medication alone.
Nonetheless, more studies are needed.
7. May protect against certain allergic reactions
Quinces may alleviate various allergy symptoms by suppressing the activity of certain immune cells responsible for allergic reactions.
Gencydo, a commercial allergy medication, combines lemon juice and quince fruit extract. A few small studies support its ability to prevent and treat mild allergic reactions, such as runny nose and asthma.
Additionally, mice studies note that quince fruit and seed extracts may prevent and treat artificially induced allergic dermatitis. Yet, it remains unclear whether they would have the same effect in people.
While some experts speculate that quince products may be a safe alternative to traditional allergy medications, more research is needed.
8. May support proper immune function
Quinces may support your immune system.
Several test-tube studies reveal it has antibacterial properties that may help prevent the overgrowth of certain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and S. aureus.
Additionally, a single quince packs 15% of the DV for vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy, functioning immune system.
One fruit likewise provides 6–8% of the daily recommendation for fiber. Adequate fiber intake supports the healthy bacteria living in your digestive tract, collectively known as the gut microbiome.
Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome may reduce inflammation and improve resistance to infections from harmful bacteria in your digestive tract.
How to eat them
Unlike more popular fruits, quinces are rarely eaten raw. Even when ripe, raw quinces have very a tough flesh and sour, astringent flavor.
Thus, most quince lovers agree that the fruit is best eaten cooked.
After slicing a quince, place it in a pot with water and a small amount of sugar, letting it simmer until the flesh softens. You can also experiment with adding spices like vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, and star anise.
You can eat cooked quince on its own or use it to top oatmeal, yogurt, or roasted pork. It also makes a delicious addition to fruit tarts and pies.
What’s more, you can make quince jam. However, you should be mindful of the sugar content, as jam tends to be high in added sugar and easy to overeat.