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Jujube fruits (Ziziphus jujuba) known as jujube or Chinese date, are being consumed all around the world because of their health benefits, as both food and herbal medicine. Traditionally, one of the main functions of jujube, as described in herbal medicine, is to benefit our brain by calming down the mind and improving quality of sleep. Here, the activities of jujubes on the nervous system are summarized and discussed. Jujube possesses neuroprotective activities, including protecting neuronal cells against neurotoxin stress, stimulating neuronal differentiation, increasing expression of neurotrophic factors, and promoting memory and learning. Flavonoid, cAMP, and jujubo side could be the potential bioactive ingredients to account for the aforesaid biological activities. These findings imply that jujube is a potential candidate for the development of health supplements for the prevention and/or treatment of neurological diseases.
Nutritional value of Jujube Fruits
Calories 79 Kcal. Calories from Fat 1.8 Kcal.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.20 g||1%|
|Total Fat (lipid)||0.2 g||0.57%|
|Calcium, Ca||21 mg||2.10%|
|Iron, Fe||0.48 mg||6.00%|
|Magnesium, Mg||10 mg||2.38%|
|Phosphorus, P||23 mg||3.29%|
|Potassium, K||250 mg||5.32%|
|Sodium, Na||3 mg||0.20%|
|Zinc, Zn||0.05 mg||0.45%|
|Copper, Cu||0.073 mg||8.11%|
|Manganese, Mn||0.084 mg||3.65%|
|Water soluble Vitamins|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.02 mg||1.67%|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.04 mg||3.08%|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.9 mg||5.63%|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.081 mg||6.23%|
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)||69 mg||76.67%|
|Fat soluble Vitamins|
|Vitamin A, RAE||2 µg||0.29%|
|Vitamin A, IU||40 IU||N/D|
Uses or Health Benefits of Jujube Fruits
- Antioxidant and Anti-inflammatory – Several studies report that the extracts of Z. lotus exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. As shown in Z. lotus is rich in many antioxidant compounds such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, alkaloids, and saponins. These components have been shown to prevent oxidative stress and inflammation by reducing reactive oxygen species (ROS) . Interestingly, numerous in vitro studies have demonstrated the capacity of the different parts of Z. lotus for scavenging free radicals, for instance, in lipid peroxidation, resulting in cell damage prevention . Moreover, in diabetic rats, the aqueous extract of Z. lotus roots and leaves strongly increases the rate of hemolysis and glutathione reductase and decreases catalase activity, glutathione peroxidase, and the status of antioxidant, suggesting that this plant corrected diabetes-induced antioxidant status . Besides, the involvement of glutathione in protein and DNA synthesis, cellular detoxification, and inflammation has been reported .
- Antimicrobial and Antifungal – In vitro studies have elucidated the effects of Z. lotus extracts on the growth of several bacteria and fungi species. They demonstrated that the extracts of Z. lotus fruits under etheric and methanolic solvents presented the most bactericidal effects to induce growth inhibition . These antimicrobial activities of Z. lotus fruits seem to be mediated by phenolic compounds content in this part of Z. lotus as shown elsewhere . Altogether, these reports provided evidence that Z. lotus with antibacterial effects might be considered as the source of natural biomolecules for producing synthetic bactericides and fungicides.
- Regulates Circulation – 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, , 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.38]. 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. This little fruit is filled with the minerals calcium and phosphorus that are majorly responsible for strengthening your bones and improving the overall bone health [
- Controls Weight – 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 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.
- Boosts Immunity – 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.41]. But it doesn’t just end there! Jujube extract was also found to suppress the release of histamine when an allergic reaction was induced in rodents, thus proving that it also possesses some anti-allergic and anti-anaphylactic properties . 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. They do so by regulating the production of inflammatory cytokines [
- Reduces Stress and Anxiety – Jujube has been proven to have certain 43]. 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. and soothing effects on the body. In fact, a study done on mice showed that jujube reduced anxiety when taken in lower doses and had a sedative effect when taken in higher doses [
- Treats Cancer – 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.47]. Another study done in Iran exhibited the ability of jujube extract in inhibiting the spread of cancerous tumor cell lines, especially leukemia cell lines . The antioxidants present in jujube make it a very effective and preventative method for cancer as well as other chronic conditions, including heart diseases. One study done at the University of Cambria showed that it could effectively slow down the spread of, and even kill, malignant breast cancer cells [
- Skin Care – Jujube juice and extract have been used topically to treat various skin irritations and , 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 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 conditions like cancer.
- Improves Sleep And Treats Insomnia – Jujube has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to improve sleep and treat insomnia since time immemorial. This is because it contains saponins that have a sedative and hypnotic effect, which make it perfect for inducing sleep . Having a cup of warm jujube tea right before you go to bed could give you restful sleep and treat insomnia in the most natural way possible.
- Decreases The Risk of Heart Disease – There are several ways in which eating jujubes can do wonders for your heart health. First, it is loaded with potassium and low in sodium, which makes it easier for your blood vessels to relax and maintain a good level of blood pressure . It has also been found to work as an antiatherogenic agent, which means that it prevents fat from getting deposited in and clogging your arteries. Lastly, jujube was also found to have helped lower the number of lipids in the blood of obese adolescents, thereby reducing their chance of developing any heart disease .
- Enhances Gastrointestinal Health – Consuming at least 40 milligrams of jujube a day can prove extremely beneficial for your gastrointestinal health. It can improve the overall environment of your gastrointestinal region and reduce its exposure to toxic ammonia and other such harmful compounds . In fact, it has been found to prevent the formation of gastric ulcers in rats .
- Relieves Chronic Constipation – Constantly feeling constipated can be a real pain in the bum (pun intended!) and make you feel oh-so-low. Well, lucky for us all that jujube works pretty well when it comes to relieving constipation. A study conducted by the Meir Medical Center in Israel found that consuming the jujube extract not only relieved the symptoms of constipation, but it also improved the quality of life .
- Regulates Circulation – When your blood circulation is up to the mark, your organs are thoroughly oxygenated, and you feel generally fresher and full of energy. Popping a few jujubes a day is a great idea as it improves blood circulation . This is because they are rich in iron and phosphorus – two components that play a vital role in the formation of red blood cells and overall blood circulation.
- Reduces Inflammation – Topical use of jujube extract can help relieve a number of muscle aches and joint pains. This is because it has been found to work as a potent anti-inflammatory agent, according to a study .
- Detoxifies Blood – The saponins found in jujubes work to detoxify the blood and help to remove harmful toxins from all areas of your body. This not only helps prevent a large number of diseases but also eases the stress on your immune system.
- Protects Against Brain Damage – We all know that as we age, our brain cells start degenerating, which paves the way for a number of neurological disorders. Jujube is capable of preventing that from happening by working in a number of ways. For instance, it can inhibit the activity of glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter) that can cause brain damage in people who have suffered from a stroke, seizures, or Parkinson’s disease (. It also improves the functioning of astrocytes that are responsible for protecting the neurons and, in turn, prevent the development of brain diseases .
- Improves Cognitive Functions – If you’re on the lookout for a fruit that will boost your brain activity, your search ends with jujube. Jujube extract improved the deteriorating overall memory and spatial memory of mice after they had been given alcohol , . Moreover, jujube extract also boosted nerve cell growth and development in the dentate gyrus area, which is one of two areas in the brain where new nerve cells develop .
- Protects Against Seizures – An experimental study done on seizure-induced mice showed some promising effects of jujube extract on them. The study found that mice that had been treated with jujube extract before being induced with seizures exhibited improved learning and memory and reduced oxidative stress as compared to the control group, thus proving that it can significantly reduce the brain damage caused by seizures .
- Has Antimicrobial Properties – The weapon you need to wield when fighting any infection has got to be jujube. The flavonoids found in jujube have been proven to be potent antimicrobial agents . In fact, the ethanolic extract of this fruit has been found to be a great component for treating infections in children . Also, the betulinic acid found in jujubes has been found to fight HIV and influenza virus infection in experimental studies .
- Benefits Skin Health – The anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties of jujube are great for combating a number of skin problems like acne, wrinkles, blemishes, and scars, regardless of whether it is applied topically or consumed. But more importantly, jujube has been found to relieve the itchiness caused by eczema . It has also shown the potential to inhibit the spread of melanoma (skin cancer cells) .
- Might Increase Hair Growth – The application of jujube essential oil on shaved mice for 21 days resulted in their hair growing back longer and thicker as compared to the control group . This just goes to show that it has the potential to generate similar results in humans.
- Improves Ovarian Health – A study conducted by the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Iran) used a herbal product of jujube called Shilanum to treat ovarian cysts. At the end of the study, they found that this natural formula was just as effective in treating ovarian cysts as birth control pills (that are usually prescribed for this condition) without causing too many side effects .
- Removes Breast Milk Toxins – In a study conducted in Iran, lactating mothers were made to eat 15 grams of fresh jujubes a day for 2 months to test its effect on the levels of lead and cadmium in their breast milk. At the end of the trial, they found that the women who had eaten jujubes had lower levels of these toxic elements in their milk as opposed to the control group .
How to Eat of Jujube Fruits
- Mature near ripe and ripe fruits are eaten fresh, dried, preserved, boiled or pickled.
- Ripe fresh fruits, as well as the dried candied fruit, are eaten as the snack or in herbal teas.
- Chinese dates are available in dried, unsmoked red form called hóng zǎo or in the blacked smoked form called hēi zǎo.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ripe fruits are occasionally preserved by storing in a jar filled with Chinese liquor which allows them to store longer over the winter, such jujubes are called jiu zao.
- Fruits are pickled in West Bengal and Bangladesh.
- Fully mature near ripe fruits are harvested and sold in the local markets and also exported to other Southeast Asian countries in Vietnam and Taiwan.
- Jujubes fresh or the dried are savored in an array of Asian culinary cuisines – food dishes and desserts.
- Dried, candied jujubes can also 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 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 the dough and dried again in Tamil Nadu, India.
- Jujube honey is manufactured in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco.
Other Traditional uses and benefits of Jujube Fruits
- Various parts of the tree are used in traditional medicine for a variety of diseases and disorders in many Asian countries.
- Chinese jujube is used since ancient times as a nutrient tonic, a blood cleanser, and as an important adjunctive herb to other tonics, particularly in combination with ginseng (Tang Kue) in China and Korea.
- Chinese jujube is commonly believed in Asia to build strength, eliminate obstruction to energy flow, Qi and enhance longevity.
- Fruits are extensively used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are assumed to ease stress, for the treatment of various diseases like chronic fatigue, anemia, pain, loss of appetite, anorexia, dysosmia, diarrhea, cough, bronchitis, cholelithiasis, sedative, irritability, hysteria pharyngitis, corn of foot.
- Fruits are also supposed to possess activities like anodyne, stomachic, anticancer, refrigerant, laxative, sedative, antifungal, hypotensive, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antispasmodic, sedative, antifertility, antibacterial, anti-nephritic, pectoral, expectorant, styptic, and tonic.
- Fruit is supposed to purify the blood and to aid in digestion in India.
- Seeds are used traditionally for insomnia, irritability, neurasthenia, physical emaciation, and as a remedy for diarrhea in China.
- Leaves are an ingredient used by some Benue tribes in a prescription for gonorrhea.
- Pounded leaves are used as a dressing to wounds.
- Leaves, in plaster form, are used in strangury.
- Paste made from the tender leaves and twigs is applied to boils, abscesses, as well as carbuncles to encourage suppuration.
- The decoction of the bark and leaves has been employed as an effective astringent in dysentery and diarrhea and is used in bowel trouble of all kinds in the Philippines.
- Bark has been used for diarrhea in India, as a tonic for digestion in Java and as a tonic for digestion in Malaysia.
- Root has some purgative effect, and is supposed to be drastic if taken in excess.
- It is taken to promote menstruation in Angola.
- Root decoction is used for fevers.
- Powdered root is applied to ulcers and wounds in India.
- Juice of the root bark is used as a purgative, and, externally, in gout and rheumatism.
- Bark is bitter and is occasionally used for colic; it is probably emetic in larger doses.
- It is used for tanning in India.
- Bark in powdered form, or in decoction, is astringent and a simple remedy for diarrhea.
- Powdered bark is a domestic dressing for old wounds and ulcers.
- Bark is recommended in dysentery and gingivitis in Cambodia.
- They are given as an antidote to aconite poisoning and used in poultices and other applications for wounds.