When you hear the word “Jujube,” do you immediately think of the multi-colored gummy candies in the bright green box that were once popular staples in almost every movie theater in America? The Jujube fruit should not be confused with the nostalgic chewy candy, although they share one thing in common — they are both delicious!
Keep reading, and you will quickly discover that “deliciousness” may be the only thing these two foods share. The Jujube date is so nutritious and beneficial that many health experts consider this lesser-known fruit a “superfood.”
What is Jujube
Jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba) grows on a deciduous shrub native to Central Asia and is one of the oldest cultivated fruit trees.
While it resembles a fruit tree, it is technically a member of the Buckthorn (Rhamnaceae) family. Jujube grows approximately 15-30 feet tall and contains shiny, oval-shaped green leaves and thorny branches.
The tree produces a red-colored fruit that is reminiscent of the size and shape of a plum. Although these fruits are botanically unrelated, the jujube fruit is also known as the red date, Chinese date, Korean date, or Indian date.
Jujube trees are well-suited for arid areas due to their hardiness and drought tolerance. They also tolerate soilborne diseases and are resistant to insects or nematode pests, making them ideal for organic growing.
History & Traditional Use of Jujube
Revered in Asia, Jujube seeds, leaves, and fruit of the Jujube tree have been used for centuries in Traditional Medicine.REF#1181
The Jujube tree has a long history of domestic cultivation, dating back at least 3,000 years, as evidenced by its mention in China's oldest collection of poems, The Book of Songs. The line "Jujube fruit picked in August and rice harvested in October" highlights the significance of this fruit in Chinese culture.REF#1181 Some sources suggest that the cultivation of Jujube may date back as long as 7,000 years.REF#1182
The seed of the Jujube date is a key component in a classic and highly recommended Traditional Chinese Medicine formula known as the Zizyphus combination, which has been in use since 220 A.D. This formula is known for supporting healthy sleep throughout the night.*
Health-Supporting Benefits of Jujube Fruit
The health benefits of Jujube make it a highly valued traditional herb and tonic. Believed to have calming and sedative effects on the mind, heart, and digestive system, they can help support optimal sleep patterns and nourish the body.
The Jujube fruit is a nutrient powerhouse, containing various vitamins, minerals, and bioactive compounds. It includes high levels of vitamin C, vitamin B, and vitamin A, along with amino acids, healthy fatty acids, flavonoids, polysaccharides, betulinic acid, iron, potassium, calcium, and zinc.
These compounds are associated with antioxidant activity, anxiolytic properties, and phosphorus absorption.* Jujube's antioxidant properties help combat free radicals and reduce oxidative stress in the body.*
The components of Jujube believed to be responsible for observed activity are called triterpenes, known collectively as jujuboside. The jujuboside is nearly identical to the active constituents found in Asian Ginseng (Panax ginseng), an herb traditionally used to support calm and as a general health tonic.*
Who Is Likely To Benefit Most From Jujube?
Jujube fruit can benefit many people due to its rich nutritional value and potential health benefits.*
Individuals with digestive issues, such as constipation, may find relief by consuming jujube fruit. The high fiber content in jujube fruit can aid in regulating bowel movements and promoting digestive health.*REF#1185
Jujube may protect the intestinal mucosal layer, which is vital for protecting against ulcers and other intestinal issues.* Studies have shown that jujube extracts can help soothe intestinal irritation in animal models.*REF#1187
Those with imbalanced blood pressure may also benefit from consuming jujube fruit due to its high potassium content. Potassium can help support healthy blood pressure.*REF#1183REF#1185
The fruit is rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, and saponins, natural compounds that can help support healthy blood pressure levels, reduce irritation, and support heart function.REF#1187
People who need to manage blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight may also benefit from incorporating jujube fruit into their diet. Jujube fruit is low in calories and high in dietary fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and aid in weight loss efforts.*
Jujube may also help support healthy blood sugar levels.* One study found that consuming jujube extract for 12 weeks supported insulin sensitivity and influenced fasting blood glucose levels.REF#1186
Those with mental health and cognitive struggles may benefit from the beneficial effects of Jujube. A study showed that consuming jujube fruit extract for four weeks supported cognitive function and soothed feelings of stress and sadness in healthy adults. Jujube fruit extract could be a practical, natural remedy for supporting mood and cognitive function.*REF#1184
Individuals at risk of developing long-term health conditions may also find jujube fruit beneficial due to its ability to support the immune system. Jujube fruit contains triterpene acids and phenolic compounds, which may support long-term health.*
Jujube properties may help the body's immune function and build a natural defense against infections and illness.* This benefit can help those undergoing harsh treatments, which may weaken the immune system.*
Jujube fruit is also rich in iron, a mineral crucial in producing red blood cells. Increased iron levels can support the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin.
Moreover, jujube fruit is a good source of vitamin C, which can help the body absorb iron from plant-based foods. This vitamin also helps prevent the breakdown of red blood cells, which can worsen iron deficiency.*REF#1184
Jujube fruit also contains other nutrients like vitamin B6 and potassium, which can support the proper functioning of the body and can help alleviate symptoms of iron deficiency uch as fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath.*REF#1184
Does Jujube Have Any Potential Side Effects?
While jujube is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, some people may experience side effects. The most reported side effects of jujube include:
- Allergic reactions: Some people may be allergic to jujube fruit or pollen and experience itching, hives, or difficulty breathing.
- Drowsiness: Jujube may have a calming effect on the mind and body and may cause drowsiness in some individuals.
- Drug interactions: Jujube may interact with certain medications, such as blood thinners or sedatives, and should be avoided by individuals taking these medications.
- Diarrhea: The high fiber content in jujube can cause digestive discomforts, such as diarrhea or bloating, if consumed in large amounts.
Herbal medicines and supplements do not replace medical treatment. Always consult your healthcare professional before adding jujube to your diet or taking jujube supplements.
Can Pregnant Women Take Jujube?
It is generally safe for pregnant women to consume jujube fruit in moderate amounts as part of a balanced diet. However, it is always best to consult a healthcare professional before adding new food or supplement to your diet during pregnancy.
Some herbal products or supplements that contain jujube may not be safe for pregnant women, so it is essential to exercise caution and seek medical advice before use.
How Do You Consume Jujube?
You can enjoy Jujube fruit, either fresh or dried. The flesh of fresh Jujube fruit is a mottled yellow-green and mahogany brown with a crisp, but not juicy, texture. Conversely, dried Jujube fruit is a brilliant red color. The fruit is described as sweet (although some people consider it more sour-sweet) and contains a small pit in the middle.
Various recipes can use fresh and dried Jujube fruits, from jams and wines to desserts and savory dishes. They make a versatile and flavorful addition to many different types of cuisine.
Dried jujube fruit is not only a healthy snack straight out of the bag, but it also adds a burst of flavor when paired with nuts and cheese or used to add some sweetness to a salad.
Jujube fruit is naturally vegan and gluten-free, making this a truly versatile ingredient that works well in most diets and offers limitless possibilities as a recipe addition.
Some people prefer to eat fresh jujubes, while others prefer to consume powdered or as dried fruits. Some people also take jujube supplements in capsule or gummy form.
Ultimately, the best way to take jujube will depend on individual preferences and health goals.
Not All Jujubes Are Created Equal
Gaia Herbs prioritizes sustainable sourcing of high-quality ingredients for their products, adhering to their commitment as a Certified B Corporation® to consider the environment as a valued stakeholder.
In our search for a source of Jujube fruit, many imported options did not meet their stringent quality standards due to heavy metal contamination.
We seek organic or sustainably grown herbs from farmers and suppliers who uphold environmentally and socially responsible practices for plants used in our supplements that we source and cannot produce on our farm.
Gaia Herbs partnered with Rock Front Ranch, a top-quality grower and supplier of Certified Organic Jujubes in California, located in the Los Padres National Forest and protected from environmental contamination.
Rock Front Ranch's owner, Alisha Taff, practices regenerative farming, water conservation irrigation, and carbon sequestration and doesn’t use pesticides. These practices earned them dual organic certifications from California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), and Real Organic Project Certification go above and beyond the USDA Certified Organic standards.
By sourcing high-quality, sustainably grown Jujube fruit from Rock Front Ranch, Gaia Herbs ensures its products contain only the best ingredients.
Jujube for Better Sleep
For Gaia Herb’s products, we use the whole tree-dried Jujube fruit plus the seed, which is part of the plant believed to contain the most potent phytochemicals to support healthy sleep.* The Jujube fruit that we source from Rock Front Ranch can be found in our best-selling, sleep-supportive herbal supplement called SleepThru®.*
SleepThru® is an ideal supplement for when you're stressed out and struggling with getting consistently restful sleep. This formula contains the adaptogenic herb Ashwagandha, which helps the adrenal glands respond to stress healthily, plus Passionflower, Magnolia, and Jujube date — creating the perfect herbal blend to help you rest more easily.*
If you prefer gummies over capsules, our Sleep Gummies with Jujube is a convenient solution. They contain natural ingredients, including jujube, passionflower, and valerian root, traditionally used to promote restful sleep*.
Not only are these gummies effective, but they are also delicious. The natural berry flavor makes them a tasty treat that you can look forward to taking every night. They're great when you're on the go to get a good night's sleep anywhere.
Next time you want to try something new in your diet, consider adding the Jujube fruit. This fruit is naturally sweet and delicious and a nutritional powerhouse with many health-supportive benefits.* Fresh or dried, the Jujube fruit makes a great snack.
While this fruit is still not widely available in all grocery stores, you should be able to find fresh Jujube fruit seasonally and dried organic Jujubes year-round in most natural grocers and health food stores.
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