Jujube dates originated in China and is the most valuable part of the plant Ziziphus zizyphus, which is also known as jujube, Chinese date or red date. This small, red round fruit has edible skin and a sweet flavor and is a very nutritious and therapeutic food praised in classics of Chinese herbal medicine. Jujube Dates have been used for over 3000 years in China. This dark red fruit can reinforce energy, aid digestion, nourish the blood, soothe the nervous system and neutralizes toxic side effects of some prescription medicine, according to the January 2009 issue of the African Journal of Biotechnology. Jujubes, which are high in vitamin C, minerals and fiber, are found to help reduce cholesterol, improve immunity and keep blood vessels flexible. It is nutrition-dense and contains more vitamin C per unit than apples and peaches.
In the legend “Journey to the West,” an ailing king one day encounters the god of longevity in a forest and asks him for the secret of life. The god says he didn’t bring medicine along since he was trying to find his lost horse, but he gave the king three jujubes that he had been planning to give to the god of heaven. The king ate the three jujubes and felt instantly invigorated.
Native to Southern Asia, jujube fruit trees are cultivated all over the world because of their resistant nature towards plant diseases and the health benefits of jujube fruit. Jujube Dates can be consumed raw, dried, baked, boiled, stewed or in candied form, but boiled jujube dates release triple or quadruple the health benefits compared to consuming it in any other form according to Traditional Chinese Medicine.
A detailed study about jujube fruits can be found in the Journal of Food Chemistry. According to it, jujube fruit contains some invaluable minerals and vitamins. The amount of vitamin C, which is present in the jujube fruit is 20 times higher than it is in any other citrus fruits, much more per unit even than apples and peaches. Along with vitamin C, jujube fruit also contains many important vitamins from vitamin B complex family, like vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and vitamin B6. Jujube fruit benefits are more significant because of the presence of the important minerals in the jujube fruit. These minerals include – manganese, potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorous. These elements work synergistically to create general health and well-being and bolster the immune system. Along with the above mentioned nutrition, jujube fruits are also loaded with 18 out of the 24 important amino acids.
Antioxidants help defend the body from damaging free radicals. These free radicals interact with cells, damage vital components and may trigger diseases and aging. Because jujubes contain a large amount of antioxidants, they can help improve the immune system and overall health. They have a strengthening effect and contain plenty of phytochemicals, according to the aforementioned African Journal of Biotechnology article.
Jujube Fruit Benefits
Due to the above mentioned nutrition facts, jujube fruit benefits the formation and maintenance of the blood stream, body hormones, bones, muscles, skin, hair, body enzymes and neurotransmitters. Benefits of jujube fruit are also found in the formation of more than 50,000 proteins of the body. All this, actually triggers the wound healing process and the overall immune system of our body. A recent study looked into the details about the benefits of this fruit on
a few liver diseases. The study concluded that consumption of jujube fruit reduces the oxidative stress from the liver, which is caused by the movements of the free radicals in the blood stream.
According to yet another recent study, water extract of the jujube fruit was found effective for inhibiting the tumor causing cells and cells that can lead to leukemia. Jujube fruits reduce the toxicity of various drugs. Jujube fruit is a significant constituent of the Chinese herbal medicine and it is used for the treatment of anemia and peliosis (purpura). Its benefits are also found in the treatment of itching which is caused by several skin disorders, hysteria, fatigue, loss of energy and lack of appetite.
Treats Insomnia and Anxiety
Insomnia and anxiety affect millions of people, and sufferers often seek the care of health specialists for relief. At least one-third of the population experiences insomnia at some point in their lives, according to SleepMed. Likewise, more than 19 million adults suffer from anxiety. Jujubes contain compounds that have a sedative effect that can help to relieve these health issues according to Nutraceutical Research.
Jujubes can be used to treat both insomnia and anxiety. Jujube extract proves to be a natural alternative to prescription sedatives and anxiolytics.
Protects the Liver
The Journal of Ethnopharmacology reported in April 2009 that jujubes have a positive effect on the liver. They found that the jujube offers protection against liver injury by acting as an antioxidant. Oxidative stress, according to NetDoctor, is the process by which free radicals negatively affect the body, causing disease and aging. Antioxidants sweep up the free radicals and offset their effects. Jujubes Dates are one of the top fruit that contain effective chemical compounds that help fight this oxidative damage.
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- African Journal of Biotechnology: Total Phenolics and Antioxidant Activity of Jujube
- SleepMed: Sleep Statistics
- Nutraceutical Research: Jujube Seed for Mild Anxiety, Nervousness and Insomnia
- Journal of Ethnopharmacology: The Protective Effect of Zizyphus Jujube Fruit on Carbon Tetrachloride-Induced Hepatic Injury in Mice by Antioxidative Activities
- NetDoctor: Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress