The most interesting health benefits of jujube include its ability to likely slow the progression of cancer, improve skin health, aid in weight loss, cleanse the blood, relieve stress, stimulate restful sleep, boost immunity, protect the liver, increase bone mineral density, and detoxify the body.
What is Jujube?
Jujube may sound strange as a fruit name but it is a hoarder of nutrients. It is a very powerful food that packs a healthy punch for the millions of people who know its true value. Although the common names are red date and Korean date, the scientific classification of jujube is Ziziphus jujuba. Jujube is typically a small shrub or tree with small yellowish-green petals and drupe fruits that are about the size of a date and range from brown to purplish-black. These fruits are native to southern Asia, including southern and central China. However, it has now been introduced to the rest of the world, primarily Europe, and is available in many exotic fruit import stores.
The most amazing thing about the jujube fruit is that it has more than 10,000 years of history, and in that history, over 400 different cultivars are found. In terms of culinary use, jujube fist is consumed as a fruit, dry candy or in the form of juice. In some countries, the pits are removed and the flesh is pounded with sugar and other fruits into a cake that can dry in the sun.
Serving Size : Nutrient Value Water [g] 77.86 Energy 79 Energy [kJ] 331 Protein [g] 1.2 Total lipid (fat) [g] 0.2 Ash [g] 0.51 Carbohydrate, by difference [g] 20.23 Calcium, Ca [mg] 21 Iron, Fe [mg] 0.48 Magnesium, Mg [mg] 10 Phosphorus, P [mg] 23 Potassium, K [mg] 250 Sodium, Na [mg] 3 Zinc, Zn [mg] 0.05 Copper, Cu [mg] 0.07 Manganese, Mn [mg] 0.08 Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg] 69 Thiamin [mg] 0.02 Riboflavin [mg] 0.04 Niacin [mg] 0.9 Vitamin B-6 [mg] 0.08 Vitamin A, RAE [µg] 2 Vitamin A, IU [IU] 40 Sources include : USDA
Health Benefits of Jujube
Regardless of how you eat jujubes, the powerful antioxidants and organic compounds found in this impressive fruit will grant you a wide range of positive effects. Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the many health benefits of jujubes.
Aids in Sleeping
For people suffering from insomnia or restlessness, consuming the extract of the seeds 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 you are unable to sleep at night, then perhaps a small jujube decoction is exactly what you need.
The jujube fruit is a rich source of both iron and phosphorous, which are key ingredients in the 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 intake with jujube fruit, you can increase blood flow, thereby oxygenating your organ systems more effectively.
Improves Bone Strength
By increasing minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and iron (all of which are prevalent in jujubes), you can ensure that your bones remain resilient and strong. As we age, we tend to suffer from osteoporosis and other bone degrading conditions, so adding jujube fruit to your diet can slow or reverse this trend.
Eating fruits and vegetables is a common suggestion for people attempting to lose weight, and jujube is another food that can easily be added to the 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 and prevent any additional weight gain.
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. These antioxidants are able to neutralize free radicals, which are responsible for many chronic diseases and illnesses within the body. Vitamin C also stimulates the production of white blood cells, the first line of defense of our immune system.
Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Jujube has been proven to have certain anxiolytic and soothing effects on the body. Using the jujube oil extract or consuming the fruit itself can have an impact on your hormonal levels and induce a calm, relaxed sensation through your mind and body. 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 side effects of extended exposure to stress hormones.
A preliminary study conducted in 2008 to evaluate the anti-cancer ability of jujube found that this fruit can help in killing the harmful tumor cells.
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 the spread of cancerous cells. The same 2013 study suggests that sour jujube fruits may also be a potential breast cancer chemotherapy agent.
A review study published by the National Institutes of Health confirms that the presence of bioactive compounds like triterpenic acids and polysaccharides, present in jujube fruits, demonstrate anticancer and antiproliferative effects on various cancer cell lines. This is a very important finding as apoptosis is one of the key tools to prevent the spread of cancer.
Jujube juice and extract have been used topically to treat various skin irritations and inflammations, including psoriasis, eczema, and acne. You can consume the jujube fruit to get the same effects. It can also help prevent the appearance of wrinkles and scars, as well as keep the skin energized with oxygenated blood.
Aids in Digestion
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 promoting healthy movement of food through the bowels. This can help prevent constipation, cramping, bloating, and excess flatulence, as well as severe gastrointestinal conditions.
Detoxifies the Blood
The saponins and alkaloids found in jujube fruit have 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 diseases and also ease the stress on the immune and lymphatic systems.
Word of caution: Jujubes generally show very few side effects, except in those with a natural allergy to the fruit. Before making a major change to your fruit or supplement intake, consult a medical professional to make sure it’s a good choice for you.