Health Benefits of Rose Apples

Medically Reviewed by Christine Mikstas, RD, LD on June 03, 2022
4 min read

Rose apples have a variety of health benefits, like improving heart health, promoting immunity, controlling diabetes, and improving digestion. Despite their name, rose apples are more closely related to guavas than apples. 

Other common names of the rose apple are Malabar plum, water apple, and plum apple. The rose apple is a powerful immunity booster and a great way to avoid seasonal viral infections. Cider vinegar made from raw fruit has various health advantages and is used in many Asian medical formulations.

The rose apple is an egg-shaped tropical fruit that's pale yellow with a touch of pink when ripe. The rose apple has different varieties with different colors, like dark red, purple, and white. Before the fruits grow, sweetly scented tree flowers grow in clusters. 

The rose apple tree is a small tree or shrub that grows to about 6 meters in height. The tree also has leaves that are a shiny greenish color as they emerge but eventually fade into a pale green.

The rose apple tree was originally found in India and Southeast Asia. It was later introduced to the South American tropics, specifically Jamaica and Peru. Thanks to its highly adaptable features, it was eventually grown in Florida and California. The rose apple tree mostly flourishes in a warm and sunny environment. The fruits are mostly available during the summer. 

Although it bears the name "apple," this tropical fruit is not similar to the apple in taste. The rose apple has a light, crunchy and sweet, fruity flavor followed by floral notes of rose. The rose apple has a high nutritional value, not only in the fruit but in the leaves and bark too. Due to its refreshing taste, you can eat the rose apple raw directly after picking from the tree.

Controlling diabetes. Rose apples contain an organic compound known as jambosine that helps regulate the conversion of starch to sugar. This helps in maintaining the sugar levels in your body.

Improving heart health. Rose apples are rich in minerals that are important for heart health. The high potassium and sodium levels in the rose apple help control cholesterol levels. This reduces the risk of severe conditions like heart attacks, hypertension, and stroke.

Improving immunity. Rose apples contain large amounts of vitamins like vitamin C and vitamin A. These protect your body against microbial infections, boosting immunity. Other protective nutrients like iron and calcium keep your body healthy, protecting it against various infectious diseases.

Improving digestion. The rose apple contains dietary fibers that help prevent constipation and bloating. The seeds of the rose apple also regulate stomach problems that cause diarrhea and vomiting.

Managing body weight. Considering the high fiber content of a rose apple, eating the fruit makes you feel full. This prevents you from eating more, which could help manage your weight.

Maintaining healthy bones. A 100-gram serving of raw rose apples contains about 29 milligrams of calcium, an essential mineral in bone formation and general health. It also helps keep your teeth healthy. Rose apples also contain good amounts of magnesium and potassium, which are also crucial for bone health.

Cleansing both the liver and kidneys. Liver ailments may come from malnutrition, anemia, or infection. By including the rose apple in your diet, you can treat some of these ailments. Rose apples contain antioxidants that help in effectively treating liver problems.

Preventing cancer. The vitamin contents in rose apples can protect your body against different cancers. These vitamins include vitamins A and C, which counter the development of tumors and cancer cells. So, consuming rose apples in your daily diet may reduce your risk of cancer.

Maintaining healthy skin. The vitamin C found in rose apples acts as an antioxidant, keeping your body's cells healthy. It also protects you from bacterial and fungal infections, helping you maintain healthy and beautiful skin. The leaf extracts of the rose apple are also widely used in skin care products.

Good source of body hydration. Keeping your body well hydrated is essential. The rose apple has a high water content, which helps regulate body temperature. Other benefits of rose apples include:

  • They provide iron and vitamins during pregnancy.
  • The seeds and leaves may be helpful in the treatment of fevers.
  • Rose apples can increase your cognitive abilities.
  • Rose apples are effective against smallpox and joint inflammations.
  • The leaves help treat sore eyes.
  • It helps to repair body tissues and damaged cells.
  • Rose apple contains malic acid, which helps to regulate glucose intake.

Rose apples have a vast array of essential health benefits. Due to their short shelf life, you may want to store them in the form of a jelly or jam. As with all other foods, eat them in moderate amounts, and don’t forget to balance your diet.