Jujube fruit is having a second proper now. After centuries of use in natural medication, the little pink fruit is rising in recognition within the United States.  

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Jujube has lengthy been utilized in China and different components of Asia as a treatment for insomnia, nervousness and extra. But main scientific analysis on jujube’s results has but to materialize. Some small research on the mobile stage and in non-human fashions have proven some promise, however way more is but to be understood concerning the well being advantages of jujube.

“When products like jujube are used for certain purposes over hundreds of years, there’s often good reason for it,” says registered dietitian Sarah Thomsen Ferreira, RD, LD. “Foods tend to gain a reputation for a reason, so their historical use can be informative. Research data on Jujube in human health, however, is limited.” 

What will we find out about jujube? Thomsen Ferreira walks us by it. 

What is jujube? 

Not to be confused with these gummy little candies that persist with your tooth on the movie show (they simply occur to share a reputation), jujube is a red- or purple-colored fruit native to China. It’s additionally extensively present in components of Africa, in addition to South Korea, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Sicily. It additionally goes by the names Chinese date, pink date or Tsao.

Jujube fruit is formed one thing like a small, wrinkly pear and has a style and texture much like an apple. And, like apples, there are a whole lot of sorts of jujubes. They vary in measurement: Some are as small as a cherry, whereas others are nearer to the dimensions of a plum. As for style, that may differ, too — from candy to tart and anyplace in between.

They may be eaten uncooked or dried. And whereas contemporary jujubes aren’t available in most components of the United States, dried jujubes may be discovered on-line. Dried variations can be utilized in recipes much like different dehydrated fruits. They work properly in jams, breads, dessert fillings and extra. Or simply combine them with nuts so as to add some chewy bits to your path combine.   

Is jujube wholesome? 

Jujube has been used for hundreds of years in conventional Chinese medication as a treatment for nervousness and as a sleep support, urge for food suppressant and digestive support. 

Thomsen Ferreira explains what we all know and what we’ve got but to study jujube’s advantages. 

Nutritional advantages 

One factor is for certain: Jujube packs a punch when it comes to its dietary worth. It’s been proven to be an excellent supply of potassium. Three ounces of dried jujube is equal to three tablespoons of raisins. And it’s wealthy in vitamin C — much like the quantities present in navel oranges and strawberries. 

But most excitingly, Thomsen Ferreira says that jujube has been proven to be a major source of phenolic compounds.  

“Phenolic compounds are chemical components in plant-based foods that can give them certain beneficial health effects,” she continues. 

Phenolic compounds, or phenols, are highly effective antioxidants, which suggests they assist combat the results of free radicals all through your physique.  

Three ounces of jujube are estimated to have between 275 and 541 milligrams of phenols. The subsequent finest supply is cherries, with about 114 milligrams per 3 ounces.  

“We tend to think of cherries as antioxidant superfoods, so to see such a high content of phenols in jujube is pretty significant,” Thomsen Ferreria says. 

Some phenolic compounds have the potential to supply safety in opposition to: 

  • Brain and nervous system injury. 
  • Cancer. 
  • Heart illness. 
  • Inflammation. 
  • Liver injury. 
  • Obesity.  
  • Skin injury. 

Having excessive phenolic content material implies that it will stand to motive that jujube might probably present these advantages or others. But that’s not a given. More analysis is required to grasp if its potential truly interprets to advantages for human well being. 

What the analysis reveals 

The analysis on jujube is preliminary, and its results haven’t been scientifically examined in individuals. Let’s see what a number of the early analysis reveals and what it might imply. 

Cancer: One group of researchers tested jujube’s effects on human cervical and breast cancer cells. Their outcomes counsel jujube might maintain promise in stopping or treating most cancers. It’s vital to notice these research had been performed in remoted most cancers cells (assume: Petri dishes, not individuals).  

Gut well being: One research demonstrated jujube might present protection against inflammatory bowel disease, like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  

Red blood cells: A preliminary research suggests jujube might have effects on preventing or treating anemia (low pink blood cells). 

Brain well being: One research paper suggests jujube may have brain-boosting effects, together with enhancing reminiscence and studying potential. 

Sleep: Among jujube’s prime makes use of in conventional medication practices is to enhance sleep. The considering is that some elements in jujube might have an effect on your physique’s serotonin system. One research confirmed one of many main elements of jujube increased sleep significantly in animal fashions.  

Alternatives to jujube

When you get right down to it, jujube might have some very constructive well being results. But that doesn’t imply it is advisable to load up on it instantly.

For starters, jujube could also be onerous to seek out at your common grocery retailer and even specialty meals retailer.

Dried jujube is comparatively simple to seek out on-line, however it comes at a price. One on-line retailer, for instance, sells dried jujube for $9.99 for 8 ounces (earlier than taxes and transport prices). That’s twice as costly as dried dates, apricots or figs from the identical web site. And it’s 4 occasions costlier than dried bananas. 

But when you can’t discover jujube or don’t need to shell out for it, you’re nonetheless in luck.  

“It comes down to the pros and the cons of nutritional benefits versus accessibility,” Thomsen Ferreira advises. “You can get a similar amount of vitamin C and potassium from other foods that are more readily available in certain areas than jujube.” 

For related vitamin content material and texture, Thomsen Ferreira suggests these alternate options: 

  • Dates. 
  • Dried apricots. 
  • Dried papaya. 
  • Dehydrated cherries. 

While its early outcomes could also be promising, there’s no onerous proof that jujube is any extra helpful on your well being than related fruits. But it might be a enjoyable various to your common go-to’s when you’re seeking to change issues up and have the finances for it.  

One phrase of warning, although. Jujube might intrude with sure medicines, together with antiseizure medicines and antidepressants. So discuss along with your healthcare supplier when you use these medicines and want to add jujube to your menu. 

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