If the fruit of osage orange looks very appealing to you and you want to taste it, You might wonder, ‘Can you eat osage orange fruit.’ Well, in this article I will answer ‘can osage orange fruit be eaten’ as well as the possible health benefits & risks associated with it. If you want to know about the edibility of osage orange fruit in-depth, consider reading this article thoroughly.
Can You Eat Osage Orange Fruit
Osage orange fruit is not poisonous, but it is not considered edible in the traditional sense either. But you can eat Osage orange fruits safely in small amounts. The fruit will taste bitter & astringent with a dry, mealy texture which most people find unappealing.
Despite its unappetizing taste and texture, you can trace a long history of the usage of Osage orange fruit. This has been traditionally used for a variety of purposes throughout history. Native American tribes often used this fruit to treat ailments like constipation, sore throats, & earaches.
Today, we also use Osage orange fruit as a natural insect repellent and ingredient in many commercial products. Since the Osage orange fruits have a chemical compound called beta-caryophyllene, they are believed to repel insects like spiders and cockroaches.
The question of whether or not the Osage orange fruit is edible is a complicated one. Some people claim that the fruit is perfectly safe, while few warn against consuming it due to potential toxicity.
While it is technically safe to eat, the truth lies in between. Even though Osage orange fruit is not toxic to humans, some precautions should take when consuming it.
First and foremost, you should never consume Osage orange fruits before washing them thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Additionally, if you’re suffering from nut or latex allergies, you should be cautious when handling this fruit, as few people have also reported allergic reactions.
You can safely have Osage orange fruit in small amounts, but avoid consuming large amounts as it can cause gastrointestinal upset and other adverse effects. As with any new food, starting with a small amount is best to determine how your body reacts to it before consuming more. To eat this fruit, here’s how you should prepare it.
Also Check: Are Osage Oranges Edible?
How to Prepare Osage Orange Fruit for Consumption
Few people like to eat this fruit after cooking it, so it doesn’t taste mealy & bitter anymore. If you’re also planning to taste Osage orange fruit, prepare it to make it more palatable.
Otherwise, you’ll not like or enjoy the taste. One of my favorite methods is roasting them in the oven. You can also roast sliced Osage Orange fruit in your oven until crispy.
Another option is to soak the sliced fruit in water for several hours, removing some bitterness. Depending on your preference, you can try different cooking methods. I frequently use osage orange fruits in my baking goods or as a salad dressing.
5 Health Benefits of Eating Osage Orange Fruit
Even though Osage orange fruit is not the tastiest snack, it is still rich in various health-promoting compounds that make it worth considering as a dietary addition. Therefore, this section will discuss some potential health benefits you can experience while eating this Osage orange fruit.
High in Antioxidants & Anti-inflammatory Compounds.
Yes, Osage orange fruit is considered high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Flavonoids and phenolic acids are powerful antioxidants & anti-inflammatory agents that can lower your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease & cancer.
Also, if you’re suffering from inflammation, you should consider eating this fruit in small amounts. Since this fruit is rich in flavonoids & phenolic acids, it will protect your cells from damage and reduce inflammation.
Boosts Immune System
If your immune system is weak, you need to eat fruits high in vitamin C. Fortunately, Osage orange fruit tends to be high in vitamin C, which will help your body produce white blood cells.
White blood cells are responsible for fighting infections and illnesses. Also, vitamin C found in the Osage Orange tree is essential for a healthy immune system as long as it’s not oversensitive.
Aids Digestion & Promotes Healthy Gut Microbiota
The osage orange fruit is also rich in fiber that is known to prevent constipation and promote healthy digestion in the human body. You should note that these fruits also contain prebiotics, which usually feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut and promotes healthy microbiota.
May Have Anticancer Properties
According to a few sources, the compound found in the osage orange fruit is also said to have anticancer properties.
However, a more in-depth study is required. While searching for the research & studies, I learned about a study published in the National Institute Of Health stating that compounds isolated from Osage orange leaves showed cytotoxic activity against several human cancer cell lines, including breast & prostate cancer cells.
The researchers also observed that the compounds induced apoptosis (programmed cell death) in the cancer cells, a common mechanism of action for many anticancer drugs. Even though this research is very promising, it was only conducted on the isolated compounds of Osage orange leaves rather than the fruit itself.
Therefore, more research is required to determine whether fruit also contains similar anticancer properties. We are not very far because scientists have been working on evaluating the potential anticancer effects of consuming osage orange fruit.
Promotes Healthy Skin & Hair
As I told you earlier, the osage orange fruit contains high levels of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which can help you protect your skin from UV radiation damage and environmental pollutants.
You should know that Vitamin C is a vital nutrient essential for collagen production, which maintains healthy skin & hair in humans. If you want to promote healthy skin & hair, consider using osage orange fruit in your recipe.
In addition, the fruit also has a significant amount of beta-carotene, which is usually converted into vitamin A in the human body, which is important for maintaining healthy skin & promoting hair growth.
Another helpful guide you should read: How To Eat An Osage Orange?
3 Potential Risks & Side Effects of Eating Osage Orange Fruit
Even though osage oranges are a very nutritious and unique fruit with a good history of usage for various purposes, including natural insects and making fences, their edibility is still debatable because of the potential risk.
Yes, there are a few side effects & potential risks associated with consuming osage orange fruit. Below I will tell you three of the most common health concerns people reported after eating this fruit.
Allergic Reactions & Sensitivities
If You have an over-sensitive immune system, avoid eating Osage orange fruit. According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, osage oranges can cause allergic reactions in people, particularly those with allergies to latex, kiwi, or papaya. Also, The fruit contains compounds called allergens that can trigger an allergic response in sensitive individuals.
Possible Gastrointestinal Issues
Another potential side effect of eating osage oranges is the risk of gastrointestinal issues. As I told you earlier, the osage orange fruit contains a high amount of fiber which is said to be beneficial for digestion but can also cause bloating, gas, & other gastrointestinal discomfort in some people.
Additionally, you should also avoid consuming large amounts of osage oranges may cause diarrhea (and Poisoning in rare cases)
Interaction with Medication
If you’re on medications, consult your doctor before consuming osage orange fruit. There is no doubt that osage oranges contain compounds that can interact with certain medications, including blood thinners & cholesterol-lowering drugs.
According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, you should avoid consuming osage oranges if you’re taking these medications as they increase the risk of bleeding and may affect the medication’s effectiveness.
Hence you can eat osage orange; it’s not recommended to do so because you may not like the taste & texture of it. It can also cause allergic reactions or gastrointestinal problems if consumed in large quantities.
After reading this article, I hope you got a complete answer to the question: can you eat osage orange fruit or not? If you have any concerns regarding the edibility of osage orange fruit, consider dropping the comment below. In addition, if you find the article helpful, please share it.
Your share will help people understand the effects and benefits of using orange fruit. Check our other helpful guide on Osage Orange tree care and management. See you in the next post. Till then, take care and goodbye.