A well-balanced diet is essential for overall health and wellbeing. Everything you eat has either positive or negative influence on the organs and various processes in your body. Your nutrition also plays a role in the quality of sleep and stress levels. An important part of a well-balanced diet is consumption of fruits and vegetables. Fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients. While some fruits are well-known to everyone, others are not. One of these lesser known fruits is jujube, dubbed to help you sleep better and manage stress. What is jujube? Is it really effective? Keep reading to find out.
What is Jujube Fruit?
The ziziphus jujuba or the jujube fruit originated in China. They are also known by other names such as Chinese dates, red dates, Korean dates, and Indian dates. It is a small, red and round fruit with a sweet flavor and edible skin. For thousands of years, this fruit has been used as a remedy for a wide array of health conditions. Nowadays, the popularity of jujube in the Western countries keeps increasing* as more and more people get to know the amazing benefits of the fruit. Jujube belongs to the Rhamnaceaeor Buckthorn family and they have been cultivated for more than 4000 years. It’s important to mention that there are about 400 jujube varieties. Although jujube trees are very hardy and are able to flourish even in extreme temperatures and conditions, they prefer sunny over shady areas. Jujube fruits are red inside and out with crispy texture and sweet-tart, apple-like flavor.
Nutritional Content of Jujube
Jujube fruits are highly nutritious, which is why you should make sure you starting eating them. For example, 100g (3.5 oz) of jujube contains:
- Calories: 79
- Carbohydrates: 20g
- Protein: 1.2g
- Potassium: 250mg
- Fat: 0.2g
- Vitamin C: 69mg (115% RDV or recommended daily value)
- Niacin: 0.9mg (4% RDV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.1mg (4% RDV)
- Copper: 0.1mg (4% RDV)
- Manganese: 0.1mg (4% RDV)
- Iron: 0.5mg (5% RDV)
Scientists identified eight flavonoids in jujube, including spinosin and swertish, which are known for their sedative properties and the primary reason why jujube fruits were used to treat* insomnia in traditional Chinese medicine. Additionally, jujubes contain 18 amino acids which aid in the formation of about 50,000 proteins in the body.
Health Benefits of Jujubes
Jujubes are associated with a wide array of health benefits, including these:
- Anticancer – Evidence suggests that jujube extract can suppress* the human tumor cell lines, particularly a leukemia line. Plus, jujubes are rich in antioxidants which destroy free radicals and prevent oxidative damage. One of the most severe consequences of oxidative damage is cancer
- Gastrointestinal health – regular, daily consumption of jujube improves* the overall gastrointestinal health environment and reduces* the exposure of intestinal mucosa to toxic ammonia and other harmful compounds
- Constipation relief – if you struggle with constipation, then eating jujube is an effective and natural way to relieve that problem
- Rich in Vitamin C – as seen above, jujube fruit is abundant in Vitamin C which acts as an antioxidant, boosts* your immune system, and improves* your overall health
- Blood pressure management – due to a decent content of potassium, jujubes can aid in blood pressure management in individuals who deal with hypertension
- Youthful skin – thanks to Vitamin C and flavonoids in jujubes your skin can look youthful and radiant
What About Insomnia and Stress?
In Chinese medicine, jujubes and their seeds are praised for their ability to treat* common sleep problems like insomnia. Thanks to flavonoids mentioned above, this fruit can help you get a good night’s rest. Moreover, jujubes contain saponin which gives it the ability to act as a natural sedative and have a relaxing effect on the entire nervous system. A study carried out by the Chinese scientists found that saponin in jujubes showed an effective sedative and hypnotic function, which can be used to help people fall asleep. In fact, jujubes can help you sleep better without medications whatsoever.
Furthermore, jujubes are well-known for having a relaxing effect on a person’s mind and body. That is the primary reason why they’ve been used as a natural antidepressant, anti-stress, and anti-anxiety medicinal food. The Journal of Ethnopharmacology published a research which found that jujubes exert anti-anxiety benefits when consumed in lower doses and sedative effects when consumed in higher doses.
Jujubes have been cultivated for more than 4000 years and play an important role in the traditional Chinese medicine due to a highly nutritious content. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that improve* your overall health, regulate blood pressure, destroy free radicals, and so much more. Consumption of jujubes is also strongly associated with better sleep and stress management. Jujubes can help you sleep more and reduce* stress in an entirely natural manner.