Medlar, properties and health benefits

The medlar is a delicious fruit that has certain health benefits that we cannot overlook. The beauty fruit, as it is known in many fields, is rich in beta-carotene. It is an essential ingredient for showing off healthy, radiant skin, hair, and nails.

What the loquat?

The medlar (Eriobotrya japonica) is a rounded or pear-shaped fruit, depending on the variety and orange or yellowish in color. Its pulp is aromatic, sweet and somewhat acidic. Its size is approximately 6 cm long.

Although the European variety exists, the Japanese has been introduced with force replacing the European.

Origin of the medlar

The medlar is known as Eriobotrya japonica, also known as the Japanese medlar. Although it became very popular in Japan, it hails from southern China.

There are historical vitas that speak of these foods in both China and Japan.

Its expansion did not arrive until the 18th century with commercial trips. It first came to Europe and to countries such as England, which served as a link to other European countries such as Greece, Italy, France or Spain.

Medlar cultivation

The medlar tree (Eriobotrya japonica) is approximately 5 to 8 meters tall. It is from the Rosaceae family like the apricot.

It blooms in autumn and gives way to the fruit that begins to be collected in spring.

This tree can be grown from seed or by grafting. It usually takes between 8 and 10 years to bear its first fruits. As a consequence, a long-term investment must be made.

Medlar production

These fruits (Eriobotrya japonica) are cultivated and marketed on all continents. The largest producer is Asia with more than 80% of the total production.

Production in the rest of the regions is low, although it has been increasing in recent years. In fact, South America is betting a lot on this fruit crop.

Medlar season

This fruit is a spring fruit that announces the beginning of summer. The season runs from March to June where the last fruits are collected.

The medlar season (Eriobotrya japonica)   does not last long, so we have to be attentive to the dates to be able to enjoy these delicacies.

The first fruits appear in March, but we do not have them in our markets on a regular basis until April. It is a shame to say goodbye to these fruits, but in June, they are already in short supply.

You can check the calendar of the  fruit season  to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season they provide us with  more benefits for our health, they have a better aroma and are tastier , among other advantages.

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Loquat varieties

They are delicious fruits that surprise us with their flavor, aroma and color. There are different varieties, but we are going to focus on the ones we enjoy in Spain.

Golden Nuget

It has an almost round shape and is somewhat larger than normal for these fruits. Its skin is dark orange with brown spots. It is the first variety and its flavor is more acid than normal in these fruits. It is commonly grown in areas of Granada and Malaga.

Algeria, Algeria or Algar

With a light orange color and a bittersweet flavor, it offers us a delicious pulp. They have a somewhat elongated pear shape. It is grown in Alicante and Almería.

Tanaka

Although it is pear-shaped, its shape is rounder than the previous variety. Both the pulp and its skin have a more intense orange tone.

It is later than the previous one and its flavor is sweeter with a more intense smell.

Stuffed toy

It is a relatively new variety. The fruit is happy and bigger than the previous ones. The color is yellowish. It is less tasty and fragrant than the previous ones.

Magdall

They are worse in taste, but more precocious.

How to buy medlars?

We can buy these foods both in supermarkets and in our trusted greengrocer.

It is important that the fruits ripen on the tree and not once they have been collected. Likewise, when we go to buy it, it is better if they are not packaged.

We also have to look closely at its appearance. The color must be intense and the skin with a homogeneous appearance. In some varieties, the brown spots are normal, but it cannot be very soft.

Conservation

Its conservation, like many fruits of its category, must be in a dry place without light. In the case of wanting to keep it for more than one or two days, we must keep them in the fridge in a place away from other foods. We will take it out of the refrigerator for a while before consuming it to enhance its aroma and flavor.

How are loquats eaten?

Like any fruit, we always recommend consuming fruits in season and raw and fresh. It is the way in which we absorb all its properties.

Our gastronomy has a great ally with medlars. Although we usually eat them raw, we also use them for different fruit recipes.

We can make delicious desserts. We can also use them in different recipes with meat and fish. They are also excellent ingredients for different sauces, creams or to make the delicious medlar jam.

Loquat properties

This food provides us with different nutritional properties that are very beneficial for our health. It is rich in different vitamins and minerals, which make this fruit a very nutritious food.

These fruits are foods with few calories and have a very low level of cholesterol.

We can also say that it is a breath rich in fiber and water. These are properties that indicate that it is a fruit that does not make you fat, despite what is usually thought.

The orange color of these foods announces the high content of beta-carotene , such as mango fruit or apricot .

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Vitamins and minerals

Beta-carotene is transformed into vitamin A when the body needs it. It contributes to a radiant and healthy skin. Therefore, it is also a very beneficial nutrient for nail and hair health.

Returning to vitamins and minerals, we have to say that these foods are rich in minerals such as potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus and manganese.

With regard to vitamins , those of group B, such as folic acid, stand out in their composition. Likewise, the vitamin C content is important .

Average nutritional value per 100 grams

Calories44 kcal
Water85 g
Carbohydrates11 g
Sugars8,6 g
Fats0,2 g
Fiber1,8 g
Protein0,5 g
Potassium250 mg
Magnesium10 mg
Football30 mg
Vitamin B10,25 mg
Beta-carotene (provitamin A)18 mcg

 

Medlar benefits

It is a sweet spring fruit like pear, plum or cherry. It tends to be liked by the whole family both for its sweet taste and for its aroma.

In addition, it is a fruit with different nutritional properties that make it ideal for maintaining a healthy diet.

Tolerated by people with diabetes

It is an ingredient tolerated by people who have diabetes problems. It is a food that correctly controls insulin and glucose levels.

Helps against cholesterol

It is a food with a low cholesterol index. In addition, it has a large amount of fiber and water. Consequently, it helps us keep our cholesterol in check.

Natural diuretic

Thanks to its nutritional properties and its amount of water, it is a natural diuretic. It stimulates the activity of the kidneys and helps us eliminate stored fluids.

Ideal for weight loss diets

Because it provides us with a large amount of water and soluble fiber, it is a satiating fruit. Therefore, it is a satiating fruit. In addition, it gives us very few calories. As a consequence, it is an essential ingredient in our weight loss diet.

Beneficial for our liver

It contains flavonoids and ursolic acids that are protective substances of the liver.

Natural laxative

Like plums, medlars are natural laxatives thanks to their high soluble fiber content. In addition to regulating digestion like pineapple , it also acts as an intestinal regulator.

Antioxidant

Like many other fruits, it is a natural antioxidant. Thanks to the fact that it contains beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are powerful antioxidants, we do not find a breath that neutralizes free radicals. Consequently, it is an excellent anti-aging product.

Conclusions

Medlar is a very complete fruit as well as delicious. It is very versatile and we can use it in different recipes, as breakfast or as a snack.

We recommend including the medlar in a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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