Medlars are ornamental, blossoming fruit trees with edible fruits which are quite sour when eaten raw, but make tasty jellies or desserts. Although not to everyone’s liking because of its tart taste, this fruit is well packed with water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins A-B1-B2-C and potassium.
As it provides practically no calories and is abundant in fiber, it is ideal for weight loss. Plus, its low sugar content makes it highly recommended for diabetics.
Health Benefits of Medlar Fruit
- The main ingredient in medlars is thiamine, or B1 vitamin, which is involved in many body functions including the nervous system, heart and muscles. It is also important for the flow of electrolytes in and out of nerve and muscle cells, enzymatic processes and carbohydrate metabolism.
- Medlars pack only 47 calories per 100g; on the other hand, they are abundant in insoluble dietary fiber, pectin, which preserves moisture in the colon, thus acting as laxative. By reducing exposure time to toxic substances as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon, it helps to protect the colon mucous membrane.
Pectin is also beneficial for reducing blood cholesterol levels due to its ability to decrease cholesterol re-absorption in the colon by binding bile acids, thus excreting it from the body.
- Its high content of molecular water stimulates hydration and detoxification of the body, thus naturally eliminating toxins from the body.
- Medlar is also rich in ascorbic acid, which acts as a natural antioxidant promoting a healthy immune system. Ascorbic acid stimulates iron absorption and is highly efficient in fighting common cold and other ailments.
- In addition, the fruit is a rich source of many minerals, including iron, copper, calcium, and manganese. Iron is a vital cofactor in cellular oxidation as well in red blood cell formation. Copper is needed for the production of red blood cells. Manganese is an important co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Calcium is an essential mineral for building bones and keeping them healthy; plus, it helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract.
- Finally, medlar’s health benefits are not only limited to the fruit. For one thing, the leaves have astringent properties and can be used as mouthwash. Moreover, the bark of a medlar tree can be used as replacement for quinine due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
There’s a variety of ways to consume medlars. Apart from eating them raw, you can make this fruit into a cheese by combining its pulp with with eggs and butter. It can even be used to make wine.