The Chinese have long appreciated jujube benefits and have been cultivating this fruit for more than 4 centuries. The fruit, which is originally from China, is only now gaining great popularity in the Western world.
The jujube also goes by names such as Chinese date, Indian date or red date. The fruit is called a drupe as it has a stone in its middle. It is oval shaped, green when unripe but ripens to a dark purple color. When it becomes over-ripe, it turns brown and wrinkly.
Jujube benefits are found from the fact that this small fruit is packed full of nutrients and minerals that are useful for good health. This fruit contains high levels of Vitamin C (higher than in most citrus fruits like the orange), Vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin) and B6 (which are the complex B vitamins), Vitamin A (in 2 forms), and minerals that include calcium, potassium, phosphorus and manganese. It also contains significant levels of copper, zinc, iron and sodium.
Perhaps the most significant of all of the jujube benefits is the fact that the fruit contains 18 amino acids. A healthy human body requires a total of 24 amino acids. Amino acids are essential because they are used to make protein, which makes up muscles, cells, organs, hormones and enzymes. Amino acids are crucial in regulating body processes. The liver manufactures the majority of the amino acids the body requires but not all of them. The ones the liver does not produce are referred to as essential amino acids and must be gotten from food.
Jujube benefits also are derived from the significant number of essential acids the fruit contains. The jujube contains 18 essential acids which include betulinic acid, linolenic acid, ursolic acid and oleanolic acid. Betulinic acid in particular has been shown to be effective in fighting cancer. This is because clinical trials have shown that this organic acid does target melanoma cells causing them to die. There are also some studies that seem to show a link between betulinic acid and the slowing of HIV progression.
Due to the many nutrients and minerals, jujube benefits are many and varied. A significant benefit is the role it plays in fighting oxidative stress. Oxidative stress causes a weakened immune system and consequently disease. The jujube fruit is also used to cure insomnia and fight anxiety or stress, as the extract called jujoboside A acts like a sedative. It can be used for blood purification as it cleanses toxins, enhance liver function, rejuvenate the skin, treat diarrhea, sore throats, fatigue, build stamina, increase energy and aid digestion.
Jujube benefits can be derived from the fresh fruit, dried, cooked or as a tea or tincture.