What is Jujube Fruit?
Jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba) come from the small and deciduous jujube tree. The jujube tree is a species of Ziziphus in the buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). The jujube is a drupe or stone fruit. Jujubes are also commonly called red dates, Chinese dates, Korean dates or Indian dates.
Jujube fruit has quite an impressive nutritional profile with lots of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C.
Health Benefits of Jujube
The most interesting health benefits of jujube include its ability to treat cancer, improve the health of the skin, cleanse the blood, relieve stress, stimulate restful sleep, strengthen the immune system, protect the liver, aid in weight loss, increase bone mineral density, and detoxify the body.
General Gastrointestinal Benefits: Jujube fruits are also linked to improving digestive processes within the body. This is mainly attributed to its fiber content, but the saponins and triterpenoids also play a part in this by optimizing the uptake of nutrients and promote healthy movement of food through the bowels. This can help prevent constipation, cramping, bloating, and excess flatulence, as well as more serious gastrointestinal conditions, like colorectal cancer.
Blood Detoxification: The saponins and alkaloids found in jujube fruit has been directly linked with purifying the blood and eliminating harmful toxins from the body’s systems. This antioxidant effect can help prevent a large number of disorders and diseases, and also ease the stress on the immune and lymphatic system.
Insomnia Treatment: For people suffering from insomnia or restlessness, consuming the seeds of the extract of the jujube fruit can be a good remedy. The soothing nature of the organic compounds contained in this beneficial fruit can calm the body and mind, so if you find yourself unable to sleep at night, then perhaps a small jujube decoction is exactly what you need.
Circulation Issues: The jujube fruit is a rich source of both iron and phosphorous, key ingredients in red blood cells. If you suffer from low iron content in your blood or anemia, you may experience symptoms like muscle weakness, fatigue, indigestion, lightheadedness, and cognitive confusion. By increasing your iron and phosphorous content with jujube fruit, you can increase blood flow, thereby oxygenating your organ systems and extremities more effectively, giving you an energy boost!
Bone Strength: One of the best ways to strengthen your bones is to make sure that your mineral intake is optimal. By increasing minerals like calcium, phosphorous, and iron (all of which are prevalent in jujubes), you can ensure that your bones will remain hardy and strong for years to come. As we age, we tend to suffer from osteoporosis and other bone degradation conditions, so adding jujube fruit to your diet can slow or reverse this trend.
Weight Control: Eating fruits and vegetables is a common suggestion for people attempting to lose weight, and jujube is another that can easily be added to that list. With a low calorie count and a high protein and fiber level, jujube can satisfy your nutritional needs and fill you up, which will prevent you from snacking in between meals. This will help you maintain your diet or prevent any additional weight gain.
Immune System: Jujube is able to benefit the immune system in many different ways, namely due to its high antioxidant content, including vitamin C, vitamin A, and various organic compounds and acids. Antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular respiration, which are responsible for many chronic diseases and illness within the body. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of white blood cells, the first line of defense of our immune system.
Cancer Treatment: Although the exact mechanisms and specific relationships between jujubes and cancer are still being researched, early results point to a positive correlation between the bioactive compounds in jujube and a reduction in free radical activity and the spread of cancerous cells. The antioxidants in jujubes make this a very effective preventative method for cancer as well as other chronic conditions, including heart disease.
Skin Health: One of the other effects of antioxidants is on the skin. Jujube juice and extract have been used topically to treat various irritations and inflammations on the skin, including and psoriasis, eczema, acne. Furthermore, you can consume the jujube fruit to get many of the same effects. It can also help to prevent the appearance of wrinkles and scars, as well as keeping the skin tight and energized with oxygenated blood.
Stress and Anxiety: Jujube has been proven to have certain anxiolytic and soothing effects on the body. By using the jujube oil extract or consuming the fruits themselves can have an impact on your hormonal levels and induce a calm, relaxed sensation throughout your body and mind. For people who regularly suffer from chronic stress or anxiety, snacking on some dried jujubes or seeking a jujube supplement can help ease the mind and protect the body from the serious side effects of extended exposure to stress hormones.
Uses of Jujube Fruit
Fresh jujube fruit can be eaten raw or used in place of apples in any recipe. Simply peel the skin and remove the single seed inside to use jujubes in an apple recipe. Jujubes can also be boiled, baked, stewed or dried. Traditionally, they’re commonly used to make a puree or paste that can be added to dishes for additional flavor, sweetness and health benefits. Some people also use jujubes to make vitamin C-rich jam.
- Dried, candied jujubes can be added to cakes and other desserts, soups, stews, or stuffing; or substituted in recipes that call for raisins or dates.
- Dried fruits are used in desserts such as sâm bổ lượng, a cold beverage that comprised the dried jujube, longan, fresh seaweed, barley, and lotus seeds in Vietnam.
- Jujubes are featured in the popular ginseng chicken dish called samgyetang in Korea.
- Chinese jujube butter can be made by cooking the ripe fruits with water, sugar and seasonings such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, lemon and vinegar.
- In Tamil Nadu, India, the Dried fruits minus the seed are pounded with tamarind, red chilies, salt, and jaggery to make dough and dried again in Tamil Nadu, India.
- Honey or sweetened syrup when diluted with cold water makes a refreshing and nutritious drink.
- Jujube juice made from pressed jujubes and jujube vinegar from fermented fruits are also available.
- Wine made from fermented jujubes called hong zao jiu is available in China.
- Jujube powder and jujube oil are processed from the fruit.
- Poached jujubes are added to fruit compotes.
- A candy called “jujube”, which is made from jujube paste, is available in the United States.
- Sweetened or honey tea syrup containing jujube pulps is available in glass jars , and canned jujube tea or dried, pulverized jujube pulp in the form of teabags is also available in China, Korea, and Taiwan.