Jujube/Unab (عناب) may sound like a funny name for a fruit, but don’t let the name fool you…this is a very powerful food that packs a healthy punch for the millions of people who know its true value. Although it has common names like Jujube Berries, Red date and Korean date, the scientific classification of jujubes is Ziziphus Jujuba. A 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. Jujube fruits are native to southern Asia, including southern and central China.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 psoriasis, eczema and 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Jujubes can be dangerous for those suffering diabetes, as it contains a number of complex carbohydrates and it can negatively affect blood sugar levels. Otherwise, jujubes 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.