Normally the first thing that comes to mind when hearing the word jujube is the popular candy that was created in the United States back in the early 1900’s. Thousands of years before that candy was even thought about, however, the jujube tree sprouted up around East Asia, producing a deliciously sweet fruit. The jujube fruit can either be eaten fresh or in dried form, and has an extremely sweet taste either way.
While not too commonly used outside of being on their own in the United States, jujubes are often used as ingredients in certain parts of the world. Between being put into drinks (including alcoholic ones) and desserts, jujubes are a very versatile fruit. Even though they’re sweet, jujubes also have some fantastic effects on your health. Let’s take a closer glimpse at the nutritional value of jujubes, and the amazing proven health benefits that come along with adding them to your diet.
Nutrition of Jujube
For this example serving size of jujube, we’ll take a look at 100 grams, which is right around 3.5 ounces. That serving size gets you just under 80 calories, with a small amount of protein and almost zero fat. Out of the vitamins found in jujubes, vitamin C is the real standout here with more than 110 percent of your daily recommended value. Thankfully, vitamin C is one of those rare minerals where you don’t have to worry about getting too much of in your body.
Other vitamins that are found in smaller amounts (around five percent daily value) include vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6. There aren’t any minerals that really stick out as being a significant source, but you will find a good amount of potassium with seven percent of your daily recommendation. The minerals that are around five percent of daily value include iron, copper, manganese, calcium and phosphorus.
Because of the high amount of vitamin C content within jujubes, it’s clear that this fruit is going to be fantastic for your immune system. Vitamin C allows your body to create more white blood cells that attack invaders, such as the common cold or the flu. Vitamin C and many of the other nutrients within jujubes are incredible antioxidants that fight the free radicals that can cause serious health problems that include cancer.
In regards to cancer, jujubes have even been shown to be beneficial for those that have already been diagnosed with the disease. If you have cancer, you can reduce the spread of these harmful cancer cells when eating more foods that are high in antioxidants such as jujubes. Jujubes specifically have certain compounds that attack these cells, and have been linked to a reduction in heart tumors.
One of the everyday problems that people face and have a huge negative effect is a lack of sleep. Many of us struggle to lie down at night and either fall asleep or stay asleep. This seemingly endless cycle can ruin your days, and many are looking for help to get a regular sleep cycle. Jujubes might be the answer that you’re looking for, as they contain several different compounds that have been shown to promote restful sleep.
Among these compounds are polysaccharides and saponins, which sedate your nervous system. There have certainly been some chemicals that you’ve tried if you can’t fall asleep, whether natural or not. Perhaps giving jujubes can offer up some help, and doctors suggest drinking a small glass of tea with jujubes before bed to get that elusive sleep.
Each serving of jujubes contain a solid amount of fiber that can help your digestive system in many different ways. Getting more fiber in your diet creates probiotics, which are bacteria that can get rid of the harmful bacteria that causes several problems. Among these problems are irregularity, constipation, diarrhea and just discomfort in general. In studies, jujubes resulted in a near unanimous improvement in patients that had chronic constipation.
The study was conducted over the course of three months, and showed that jujubes were much more effective than a placebo (more than 70 percent difference) in relieving chronic constipation. Another added benefit of getting more fiber from jujubes is that you’ll be able to feel more full for longer. Between feeling satisfied, being low in calories and boosting your metabolism, eating more jujubes can even help you lose weight.
Good For the Heart
One mineral that you’ll get quite a bit of in a serving of jujubes is potassium, which is underrated for its ability to help your heart. Potassium helps your blood vessels to relax so that they’re not as overworked. In turn, people who get enough potassium on a daily basis tend to have more normal levels of blood pressure and increased blood flow.
Some of the other minerals found within jujubes are also beneficial, including phosphorus and iron. These minerals work with potassium to increase the blood flow in your body, increasing your energy and decreasing your chance of heart attack or stroke. There hasn’t been conclusive research as of yet on the effects of jujubes and cholesterol, but it’s believed that there’s a minor positive benefit to be had from eating jujubes.
Making sure that your bones are healthy is of the utmost importance, and something that a lot of people unfortunately take for granted until it’s too late. To protect your bones, you need to be getting more of the essential minerals that can be found in jujubes that include calcium and phosphorus. These are the building blocks of bones, and getting the daily recommendation in your diet greatly decreases your chances of both osteoporosis and arthritis as you get older.
Summing it Up
Jujube is one of those fruits that has a solid amount of fiber, so for those that aren’t used to getting much fiber in their diets, it could take a few days to get used to. It’s not something serious and should go away on its own, but make sure to contact a doctor if you experience severe pain after starting a high fiber diet. Because of its fiber content, jujubes can create some unwanted gas problems in your digestive system, but is certainly not life threatening.
Another thing to look out for is the sweetness of jujubes. Those who are diabetic will want to make sure with a doctor that they’re able to add jujubes to their diet. Your teeth should also be fine if you’re eating a small amount of jujubes each day and rinsing out afterwards. Because of the sweetness, jujubes can cause long term tooth decay, otherwise. Outside of the minor details that shouldn’t keep you away, jujubes are a great way to get some positive nutrition that will help with your short term and long term living!