Do you want to know about a fruit which can make people fall in love? Yes, sweet smell of this fruit Jujube also known as Baer in some Indian languages, is believed to make teenagers fall in love! Some Himalayan folks carry a stem of sweet-smelling jujube flowers with them or put it on their hats to attract girls. I am not Chinese, but I have read that in the traditional Chinese wedding ceremony, this fruit – hóng zǎo is placed in the newlyweds’ bedroom as a good luck charm for fertility.
Jujube, scientifically known as Ziziphus jujuba is a small deciduous shrub that bears the amazing jujube fruit. This oval shaped fruit, when unripe has a green color and when mature turns into a beautiful purplish black color. The fresh or dried fruits are often eaten as a snack. They are also used for preparing juice, vinegar, pickles and are also used in many sweet as well as savory dishes. The seeds and fruits of jujube have long been used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine because of their therapeutic effects. Also known by various other names such as Chinese dates, Korean dates or Indian dates, the jujube fruit is packed with numerous health and medicinal properties.
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Nutritional value of Jujube
Jujube is a storehouse of numerous essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It contains almost 20 times more vitamin C than the amount found in any kind of citrus fruits. It is also a good source of dietary fiber and tannins that possess strong anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. In addition to the high levels of vitamin C, jujube also contains moderate levels of vitamin A and B group vitamins such as niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and vitamin B6. This fruit also offers some important minerals such as calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. Jujube contains 18 of the most essential amino acids, which helps in the production of more than 50,000 proteins in the body. It also contains various flavonoids that have antioxidant properties, which help in fighting off the dangerous free radicals. Because of its high nutritional profile, jujube is becoming popular all over the world.
Health benefits of Jujube
The jujube fruit contains a wide variety of nutrients and possess several medicinal properties, as a result of which they have been used as a remedy for many ailments. Given here are few of the many health benefits offers by the jujube fruit:
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- Jujube fights against cancer
Jujube is a rich source of many phytonutrients that have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants neutralize the damaging effects of free radicals that cause oxidation stress and mutation of cells that lead to diseases like cancer. Studies reveal that the juice of jujube is capable of inhibiting cancer growth and inducing death of cancer cells. According to these studies, jujube extract inhibited the proliferation of tumor cells in all lines, especially leukemia cells.
- Skin benefits of Jujube
Jujube has high antioxidant content, which is beneficial to the skin in many ways. The juice and extract obtained from this fruit have been used as a remedy to treat various disorders of the skin such as acne, eczema, and psoriasis. The antioxidants in jujube protects your skin from the damages caused by free radicals and thus help to prevent the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines and other aging signs. The vitamin C in jujube increases the production of collagen that helps in improving the firmness and elasticity of the skin, making it smooth and supple. Additionally the nutrients found in this fruit all work together to guard your skin by hydrating and nourishing it. Jujube extract is used widely in many skin care products owing to its ability to reduce wrinkles and to provide many other skin benefits. The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of this fruit helps in preventing many skin infections.
- Jujube helps treat anxiety and insomnia
Anxiety and insomnia are two common problems affecting millions of people all over the world. Jujubes contain phytonutrients that have sedative effects and hence provide relief from these conditions. Jujuboside A is a strong chemical extracted from jujube fruit, which is often used for inducing sleep as it affects the hippocampus in the brain. This extract is often used as a natural substitute for prescription anxiolytics and sedatives.
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- Jujube strengthens the immune system
Jujube is an excellent source of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant that improves and strengthens your immune health. It neutralizes the harmful free radicals that are responsible for various illnesses. By strengthening the immune system, the vitamin C in jujube helps prevent the occurrence of cold and flu.
- Jujube improves blood circulation
Jujube is a great source of essential minerals like iron and phosphorous, which plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells. By providing these minerals, jujube fruit helps increase blood circulation, thereby ensuring proper oxygen supply to all parts of your body. Inadequate levels of iron in the body is associated with iron deficiency anemia, which is characterized by symptoms like fatigue, muscle weakness, nausea, difficulty breathing etc. The intake of jujube provides a good amount of iron and thus helps in preventing iron deficiency anemia.
- Jujube aids digestion
Jujube increases appetite and also helps in proper digestion. It also has laxative properties that help in preventing constipation and other digestive disorders. The fiber content of this fruit improves the digestive processes and the compounds such as saponins and triterpenoids in jujubes promotes the normal bowel movements and ensures better absorption of nutrients. The regular consumption of jujube thus helps in preventing problems such as bloating, constipation, cramping, flatulence and even colorectal cancer.
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- Jujube strengthens the bones
The intake of foods rich in minerals such as calcium, phosphorus and manganese can help strengthen the bones. Jujube contains these minerals and hence is considered a bone healthy fruit. Eating this fruit on a regular basis ensures that your bone stay healthy and strong for years. As people age, their bone mass tends to decrease, leading to conditions like osteopororsis. However, supplying your body with the essential nutrients helps in reducing the risks of bone degradation, osteopororsis and other bone related issues.
- Jujube helps you lose weight
If you are trying to lose weight, then jujube makes an effective addition to your weight loss diet. Being a low calorie fruit with good levels of dietary fiber, jujube not only fills you up but also satisfies your nutritional requirements. By satiating your appetite, jujube helps prevent you from snacking in between meals. This helps in preventing additional weight gain and in maintaining a healthy weight.
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- Jujube protects the liver
According to traditional Chinese medicine, jujube is beneficial in improving the functioning of the liver. In fact, the Chinese use it for treating liver disorders such as hepatitis and cirrhosis of the liver. As per The Journal of Ethnopharmacology, jujubes have a positive effect on the liver, as the antioxidants present in them offer protection against liver damage caused by free radicals by acting as a powerful antioxidant. The Chinese Herbs website explains that. A study in the April 2004 issue of “Transplantation Proceedings” suggests that antioxidant compounds such as ursolic and oleanolic acids found in jujube fruits help in protecting and rejuvenating the liver.
- Jujube reverses cognitive losses
Researchers have derived an active component known as cis-9-octadecenoamide, or oleamide from a methanolic extract of jujube that could activate choline acetyltransferase and reduce or even reverse cognitive deficits caused by scopolamine-induced amnesia. When oleamide was administered to mice that are chemically induced with cognitive impairment, the animals exhibited a fast recovery of cognitive deficits. The jujube derivative was also found to protect the mice from cognitive impairment. According to scientists, these properties of jujube may be beneficial in treating degenerative neurological disorders such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.
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- Jujube is good for diabetics
Stroke and heart disease are two of the most important causes of death in diabetics. The high levels of vitamin C in jujube can be beneficial to people suffering from diabetes, especially those who have a high risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that has the ability to repair cells and body tissues as well as to fight heart disease. Another problem seen in many diabetics is poor circulation and neuropathy, which may lead to nerve damage, especially in the legs and feet. Also, wound healing is a difficult process in people with. Studies have found that jujube has anti-inflammatory properties and when used as a medicinal rub for wounds and cuts may help in faster healing of the wound. Jujube fruit has low fat content and hence is a healthy alternative to foods rich in fat content that may interfere with the insulin levels.
- Jujube helps lower blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension is a common medical condition that increases your risk for heart disease and stroke. Foods low in calories such as jujube help in lowering high blood pressure as they can help you lose weight. Raw jujube is rich in potassium, an electrolyte that helps balance the sodium levels in your body, thus helping to lower your blood pressure. Jujube also contains other nutrients like vitamin c and magnesium, which also helps maintain healthy blood pressure. Incorporating jujube as part of a balanced diet may be helpful in lowering high blood pressure because of their high density of healthy nutrients.
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Packed with vitamins and minerals, Jujube is a super fruit that benefits your health in many ways. Studies indicate that this fruit has the potential to treat many diseases including the deadly cancer. Jujube can be used in various dishes and can also be used as a flavoring and garnishing agent. Considering all the essential benefits of jujube, it would be a great idea to include it in your every day diet. As is the case with any other food item, jujube should also be consumed in moderation because it contains fructose and so excess intake may cause health problems.