8 Emerging Health Benefits of Quince (And How to Eat It) (2024)

Quince (Cydonia oblonga) is an ancient fruit native to various parts of Asia and the Mediterranean.

Its cultivation can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome, where it served as a symbol of love and fertility. Although considerably less common today, quinces are close relatives of popular fruits like apples and pears (1).

They’ve been used in folk medicine for decades, but scientific research on their benefits is still in the early stages (2).

Here are 8 emerging health benefits of quince, plus a few simple tips for including it in your diet.

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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 (3):

  • Calories: 52
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 14 grams
  • Fiber: 1.75 grams
  • Vitamin C: 15% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Thiamine (vitamin B1): 1.5% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV
  • Copper: 13% of the DV
  • Iron: 3.6% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Magnesium: 2% of the DV

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.


Quinces are low in calories and boast a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, making them a nutritious fruit.

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 (4).

Some research suggests that some antioxidants in quinces, including flavonols like quercetin and kaempferol, reduce inflammation and safeguard against chronic illnesses like heart disease (5, 6).


Quinces offer a rich supply of antioxidants, which may reduce metabolic stress and inflammation while protecting your cells from free radical damage.

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 (7).

Although these results are promising, more research is needed.


A recent study found quince syrup to be significantly more effective than vitamin B6 at reducing pregnancy-induced nausea and vomiting. Still, more studies are necessary.

Quinces have long been used in traditional and folk medicine to treat a variety of digestive disorders (2).

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 (8).

Still, human studies are needed.


Though human research is necessary, an animal study suggests that quinces may protect against gut damage associated with IBD.

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 (2).

Meanwhile, a study in rats found that quince extract protected against alcohol-induced stomach ulcers (9).

Although these results are encouraging, additional research is needed.


Test-tube and animal research indicates that quinces may safeguard against stomach ulcers, but human studies are needed.

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 (10).

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 (11).

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 (12).

Nonetheless, more studies are needed.


A handful of studies suggest that quince syrup is as effective as traditional medications used to manage acid reflux symptoms.

Quinces may alleviate various allergy symptoms by suppressing the activity of certain immune cells responsible for allergic reactions (2).

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 (2).

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 (2, 13).

While some experts speculate that quince products may be a safe alternative to traditional allergy medications, more research is needed.


Compounds in quince may fight common, mild allergic reactions like inflamed skin, runny nose, and asthma. However, further studies are needed.

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 (2).

Additionally, a single quince packs 15% of the DV for vitamin C, which is essential for a healthy, functioning immune system (3, 14).

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 (3, 15).

Maintaining a healthy gut microbiome may reduce inflammation and improve resistance to infections from harmful bacteria in your digestive tract (15).


Quinces contain vitamin C and fiber, two nutrients that support a healthy immune system. They may also have antibacterial properties.

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.


Because of their tough flesh and sour flavor, quinces are best eaten cooked. You can use cooked quince to top oatmeal, yogurt, or roasted meats.

Quinces are an ancient fruit with a unique flavor and several potential benefits.

They may help treat digestive disorders, allergies, and high blood sugar, though more research is needed.

Unlike other fruits, quinces aren’t eaten raw. Instead, they’re best cooked or turned into jam.

If you’re interested in spicing up your fruit routine, give quinces a try.

8 Emerging Health Benefits of Quince (And How to Eat It) (2024)


What is the best way to eat quince? ›

Halved and poached: This is a more common way to cook quince: slice in half with the core removed (raw, this is the woodiest, most granular part of the fruit) and poach, like pears, for an hour or more in a syrup or sweetened wine. The tender, syrupy quinces can be stuffed with mascarpone or yogurt to serve.

Why can't you eat quince raw? ›

Don't bite into one raw. Raw, quince are hard, sour, astringent and so high in tannins if they are eaten raw you'll feel like you're choking. Once cooked the tannins break down, and the flesh which was once coarse and white becomes tender, pink and beautifully fragrant.

What are the side effects of eating quince? ›

As with any new food, start with a tiny amount of cooked quince to monitor for signs of allergies. Watch for signs like diarrhea, vomiting, or rash.

How do you prepare quince for eating? ›

Poached, Softened Quince

Gently poach the whole quince, covered, 15 to 35 minutes, or until the flesh can be easily pierced with the tip of a knife—it should feel like a ripe pear. Cool the quince in the liquid. Drain the quince and reserve the cooking water for quince jelly. Peel the quince, then cut into quarters.

Do you need to peel quinces? ›

Let the quinces cool in their poaching liquid. Cut away the cores – no need to peel unless you want to. Serve them whole with some syrup and yoghurt, or slice them up for a cake or to add to your breakfast bowl.

Is quince a laxative? ›

May Help Relieve Constipation

In traditional medicine, the seeds of the quince fruit were often used to treat digestive disorders, such as constipation and diarrhea.

Do you have to cook quince before eating? ›

Quince emit a wonderfully floral aroma as they ripen, but generally can't be eaten out of hand — while some varieties can, if allowed to ripen and soften long enough, most are too hard and bitter and must be cooked first.

Why is quince the forbidden fruit? ›

The quince's Mideast origin, as well as its fuzzy, daffodil-yellow skin and a lemony perfume as penetrating as musk make it a strong candidate for the fruit that tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Is any part of quince poisonous? ›

“Like apricot and peach pits, European quince seeds contain cyanide… Most people know that they must never cook apricot or peach pits when making jam or jelly, but most do not know that this also applies to true quince seed.

How do you know if quince is bad? ›

Moreover, fresh quinces have a rich and appealing aroma, so any off-putting smell is a clear sign that it's time to toss it. In terms of texture, fresh quinces are quite firm to the touch. Any soft spots, wrinkles, or visible mold are all indicators that the quince might be past its prime.

Is quince a superfood? ›

Health Benefits of Quince

It's also a great source of dietary fiber, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. The fruit contains tannins including catechin and epicatechin and has a very high concentration of vitamin C. Quince is also a good source of calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and copper.

Is quince fruit good for hair growth? ›

The richness of active ingredients means that quince can also be used in cosmetics. It can work well in hair care - the fruit can strengthen and nourish hair follicles and prevent hair loss.

What is so special about quince? ›

With their high pectin content, quinces lend themselves to jellies, pastes and preserves. ... Now, underground enthusiasts are reviving the nostalgic fruit, hoping it can resurge. A quince is a fruit of contradictions. It's generally too astringent to eat raw, yet it smells so guava-sweet.

What does quince taste similar to? ›

However, quince turns fragrant and sweet when cooked, releasing its natural sugars and developing a beautiful rosy hue. Some describe the taste of a cooked quince as the perfect mix between an apple and a pear.

What does quince taste like? ›

The taste of quince is citrusy, but gentler and without the sharpness of a lime or lemon, so it can be a brightener of other flavours – the fruity component in a tagine, the lemony note in an apple pie – or can stand alone, baked mellow and pink (as the yellow flesh turns on slow cooking) with the spices of the season.

Can you eat a quince without cooking it? ›

You can eat quince raw but they can be quite tough if they are not cooked and the flavour can be quite tart. You would need very strong teeth to bite into a fresh quince! Cooking quinces makes them softer and sweeter. The taste is a delicate combination of fresh pears and crisp apples.


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