Known as the Chinese date or the red date, the jujube fruit is a small fruit that grows on the Ziziphus jujuba tree. Jujube trees grow at around 40 feet with shiny green leaves, and produce grape-to-strawberry-sized fruits containing a single large seed in the center, similar to dates and figs.
The Ziziphus tree prefers sunny areas, however can flourish in extreme temperatures, even surviving temperatures down to about −15 °C.
About The JuJube Fruit
The immature fruit is green in colour, but as it ripens it goes through a yellow-green stage with mahogany-coloured spots appearing on the skin. This skin is very much edible. The fully mature fruit is entirely red.
Jujube fruit are red inside and out, and can be crispy like an apple in texture, or when dried, can be sweet and chewy. The berries are valued for their mucilage and sugar.
What are the health benefits?
Jujubes are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. The fruit is often labelled a superfood and even The Healthiest Fruit on Earth.
A super-food is a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
While jujube fruits may not have a large amount of one single nutrient, jujubes contain magnesium, potassium, copper, niacin, calcium, manganese, phosphorus, and iron to name a few.
Breakdown of the makeup of a jujube fruit per 100g:
- 350 calories
- 84g Carbohydrares
- 7.3g protein
- 4g Fibre
- 1.2g Fat
- 300 mg of vitamin C
- 125 mg of vitamin A
- 2.8 mg of niacin
- 0.2 mg of riboflavin
- 0.1 mg of thiamine
- 1,050 mg of potassium
- 168 mg of phosphorus
- 130 mg of calcium
- 12 mg of sodium
- 3.5 mg of iron
They contain 20 times more vitamin C than any citrus fruit, strengthening the immune system and fighting infections. This is because jujubes contain a large amount of antioxidants, so they can help improve the immune system and overall health.
Alongside being proven to reverse liver disease and treat anemia, the jujube fruit has scientifically been proven to:
- lower blood pressure, HOW?
A cup of fresh jujubes has around 15 percent of your daily potassium needs. Potassium is excellent for keeping your blood pressure at healthy levels. Jujube’s potassium is helpful for keeping the blood vessels relaxed. When blood vessels are relaxed, blood flow and pressure is much better.
- prevent the growth of tumor cells that can lead to leukemia ,HOW?
The water extracted from jujubes has demonstrated being able to restrain cancerous cells. Using DNA fragmentation analysis, researchers showed that jujube extract suppressed the human tumor cell lines, especially in leukemia.
Jujube extracts are also used in skin care products used to fight wrinkles, relieve dry skin, and treat sunburn.
The nutrients found in jujube fruit can give moisture, nourishment and protection to the skin. It has also been known to encourage the elasticity and firmness of the skin, reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks.
How much will the health benefits and radiant looking skin cost you? I hear you ask
The answer is that fresh jujubes sell in Perth, Australia at wholesale prices of $10–20AUD per kilogram.
Dried product imported from China is sold in some health food stores at $5–7AUD/kg. Local dried jujubes sell for $20AUD per kilogram. Jujube fruit can also be bought in supplement type capsule form.
Quick facts about jujube fruit:
- Jujube fruit contain fructose, which may be harmful to your health in excessive amounts. So consume with care!
- The jujube originated in China where they have been cultivated for more than 4,000.
- It has high sugar content, 20-30 percent in fresh dates, 55-80 percent in dried fruit. Those with blood sugar problems should avoid it.
- It is believed to have been compiled between 300 BC and 200 AD in China.
- In China, jujube fruit plant grows mainly in Xinjiang, Shanxi, Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Sichuan and Guizhou.
- In Korea, jujubes are called daechu
- In the Caribbean, it is also known as jojo.
- In Zimbabwe, it is known as masawu.
How Is Jujube used for medicinal purpose?
The fruit and its seeds are used in Chinese and Korean traditional medicine, where they are believed to alleviate stress, and traditionally used for anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory purposes and sedation.
In modern Chinese medicine, the jujube is used for the following:
– tones the spleen and stomach and is used for shortness of breath.
– calms the spirit. Used to treat severe emotional upset and debility due to nerves such as anxiety.
– used to hide the nasty flavors of unpleasant herbs.
It is often prescribed for people with weak digestive systems who suffer diarrhea, vomiting and poor digestion.
Recipes using the jujube fruit:
- Place 100g of roughly-chopped dried jujube in a saucepan for each 1L of water.
- Bring to the boil then simmer (with lid on) for 30 minutes.
- Drain through a sieve and store in the fridge. (Enjoy the tea hot or let cool.)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups dried, minced jujube
- 1 cup water
- Bring these to a boil then set aside to cool
- 2 cups wheat flour
- 1 teaspoonful soda
- 1/2 teaspoonful salt
- Sift these together then add to the above mixture.
- Bake at 325° F