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23 Health Benefits Of Jujube (Beir)

Jujube, commonly known as beir or plum in India, is a small sweet and tarty fruit that makes waiting for the spring worthwhile. It has a close resemblance to dates and that's why the fruit is called red date, Chinese date or Indian date. Its botanical name is Ziziphus jujuba [1] .

The jujube tree is erect and widespread and has a fast-developing taproot. Its branches are gracefully dropped downwards with short and sharp spines on the branchlets. Jujube fruit is oval or round in shape with a smooth, sometimes rough skin which is light-green or yellow while raw and turns to red-brown or burnt-orange when ripe. The flesh of raw jujube is crisp, sweet, juicy and astringent while the ripe fruit is less crisp, mealy, wrinkled but soft and spongy.

In India, there are around 90 varieties of jujube grown differing in their leaf shape, fruit size, colour, flavour, quality and season as some ripen in early October, some in mid-February and some in mid-march till April. Jujube tree requires full sunlight for the high production of its fruits [2] .

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Jujube has incredible benefits from rejuvenating the skin, helping in weight loss and relieving stress [3] to boosting our immunity. The benefits of jujube are incredible but it is not limited just to the fruits. Let's dive into the details of the useful benefits of jujube fruit, leaf and seed.

Nutritional Value Of Jujube

100 g of jujube contains 77.86 g of water and 79 kcal energy. Other essential nutrients present in the jujube are as follows [7] :

  • 1.20 g protein
  • 20.23 g carbohydrate
  • 21 mg calcium
  • 0.48 mg iron
  • 10 mg magnesium
  • 23 mg phosphorus
  • 250 mg potassium
  • 3 mg sodium
  • 0.05 mg zinc
  • 69 mg vitamin C
  • 0.02 mg vitamin B1
  • 0.04 mg vitamin B2
  • 0.90 mg vitamin B3
  • 0.081 mg vitamin B6
  • 40 IU vitamin A

Bioactive Compounds In Jujube

Jujube is a natural source of many bioactive compounds.

  • Flavonoids: Jujube contains flavonoids like apigenin which has anticancer and anti-inflammatory activities, puerarin with antiageing properties, isovitexin with anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties and spinosyn with sedative property [8] .
  • Triterpenoids: The sweet and tangy fruit contains triterpenoids like ursolic acid which has antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties, oleanolic acid with antiviral, antitumour, and anti-HIV properties and pomolic acid with anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties [9] .
  • Alkaloid: Jujube contains an alkaloid called sanjoinine with anti-anxiety properties [10] .

Health Benefits Of Jujube

The fruit, seeds and leaves of jujube tree are used widely for their multiple health benefits.

Fruit benefits

1. May prevent cancer: The dried form of jujube fruit contains a high amount of vitamin C which is believed to have strong anti-cancer properties. Also, the triterpenic acids and polysaccharides of the fruit help kill cancer cell lines and prevent them from spreading [11] .

2. Minimizes heart disease: The potassium content in jujube fruit helps in maintaining an optimal blood pressure which minimizes the risk of heart disease. Also, the antiatherogenic agent in the fruit prevents the decomposition of fat, hence reducing clogging of the arteries [12] .

3. Treats stomach disorders: Saponins and triterpenoids, the two natural terpenes present in jujube fruit, allow the uptake of essential nutrients and help with the healthy bowel movement. This treats stomach disorders like cramping, bloating and others [5] .

4. Treats chronic constipation: The high fibre content in jujube fruit is best known to regulate the bowel movement and ease serious constipation problems. Researchers proved that a handful of dried and ripe jujubes is sufficient to get relief from this problem [4] .

5. Helps in weight management: Jujube fruit is packed with fibre and as experts say, fibre helps in giving us a feeling of satiation without going high on calories. This high fibre and low-calorie fruit, if added in our regular diet, can help in controlling our weight [13] .

6. Improves digestive problems: Polysaccharides in jujube fruit strengthen the lining of the intestines which in turn, helps in improving all kinds of digestive problems [14] . Also, the fibre content in jujube acts as a food for the beneficial gut bacteria, helping them to grow and rule over harmful ones. The jujube fruit, when mixed with salt and pepper cure indigestion [5] .

7. Improves blood circulation: The rich amount of iron and phosphorus in jujube fruit helps in the red blood cell formation along with managing the overall blood circulation of the body [12] .

8. Purifies blood: Jujube fruit contains elements like saponins, alkaloids and triterpenoids which help in purifying the blood by removing the toxicity. The fruit also helps in improving the blood circulation [11] .

9. Treats infection: The flavonoids in jujube fruit act as an antimicrobial agent and fight against the pathogens entering our body. Also, ethanolic in jujube fruit extract helps prevent infection in children while betulinic acid helps to fight HIV and influenza virus [15] .

10. Treats skin problems: As jujube fruit is extremely rich in vitamin C [2] , adding it every day to your diet helps vitalize skin and prevent other skin problems like acne, eczema and skin irritations. The fruit also helps prevent wrinkles and scars.

11. Strengthens immunity: Jujube contains polysaccharides that help to reduce the body's oxidative stress by neutralizing free radicals. This strengthens the body's immunity and prevents the onset of diseases [16] .

12. Treats ovarian cysts: In a study conducted among females with ovarian cysts, jujube fruit extract has proved to be effective in comparison to birth control pills. The study proved that jujube is 90% effective in treating ovarian cancer with negligible side effects [17] .

13. Removes breast milk toxins: Due to the exposure to environmental pollutants, breast milk may contain harmful heavy metals like arsenic, lead and cadmium. Consuming jujube helps in minimizing the toxic elements in human milk [18] .

14. Relieves blood pressure: As jujube acts as an anti-atherogenic agent, it prevents the deposition of fat in the blood vessels and keeps the blood pressure under control. Also, the potassium content in the fruit helps in relaxing the blood vessels [12] .

Seed benefits

15. Treats insomnia: Jujube seeds contain high amount of flavonoids and polysaccharides which help in arousing sleep in patients with insomnia by calming the nervous system. They are also known for their sedative and hypnotics effect due to the presence of saponins [6] .

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16. Reduces potential inflammation: The essential oil from the seeds of jujube possess anti-inflammatory properties which help in relieving inflammation of joints and muscles. Also, they improve the blood flow which in turn, treat muscle pain [19] .

17. Helps with anxiety and stress: In a study conducted on mice, jujube seed extract has shown to reduce anxiety and depression due to anxiolytics content in it. This compound soothes the body and reduces the effect of stress hormones like cortisol [20] .

18. Protects the brain against seizure: A research suggests that jujube seed extract has an anticonvulsant effect which significantly helps in improving the cognitive impairment induced by seizures [21] .

19. Improves memory: In a study, it is proved that jujube seed extract helps in the formation of new nerve cells of the brain in the area called the dentate gyrus. This helps in preventing the memory-related disorders [22] .

20. Maintains brain health: Jujuboside A, an active compound found in jujube seed, helps in reducing glutamate levels in the brain whose increase level causes epilepsy and Parkinson's and fights against amyloid-beta that causes Alzheimer's, hence maintaining the brain health [23] .

21. Improves hair growth: Essential oil extracted from the seeds of jujube possess hair growing properties. These properties help in improving the growth of hair and making them thick and shiny [24] .

Leaf benefits

22. Treats haemorrhoids: According to traditional Chinese medicine, jujube leaves extract prepared by jujube leaves and other active compounds help in treating haemorrhoids without causing any side effects [25] .

23. Increases bone strength: The red date contains mineral like iron, calcium and phosphorus which not only make the bones strong but also keep us away from age-related bone diseases like osteoporosis [2] .

Side Effects Of Jujube

The red date is normally well tolerated by humans. However, the possible side effects of jujube are as follows:

  • Bloating [5]
  • Intestinal worms
  • Phlegm
  • Gum or tooth disease

Jujube Interactions

The possible interactions of jujube with other drugs are as follows:

  • If a person is on diabetes medicine, consuming jujube may lower their blood glucose further.
  • If a person is on sedative medicine, consuming jujube may cause excessive sleepiness [6].
  • It may interact with anti-seizure and antidepressant medications [26] .

Precautions

Jujube is beneficial for health but in certain conditions, it may harm our body.

  • Limit the consumption of dried jujube as it contains more sugar content than raw ones.
  • Avoid the fruit if you have diabetes.
  • Avoid the fruit if you are allergic to latex [27] .
  • Limit their intake of the fruit if you are lactating or pregnant.

Fresh And Tasty Jujube Salad Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups ripe jujube (washed
  • 1 tablespoon sugar/honey/jaggery
  • 2 tablespoons coriander leaves
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 green chopped chillies (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Method

  • Smash jujube lightly with hand or spoon and remove their seeds.
  • Add onion, chillies, mustard oil, sugar and salt to the fruit and mix well.
  • Decorate the salad with coriander leaves and serve.
View Article References
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  2. [2] Abdoul-Azize S. (2016). Potential Benefits of Jujube (Zizyphus Lotus L.) Bioactive Compounds for Nutrition and Health. Journal of nutrition and metabolism, 2016, 2867470. doi:10.1155/2016/2867470
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  5. [5] Huang, Y. L., Yen, G. C., Sheu, F., & Chau, C. F. (2008). Effects of water-soluble carbohydrate concentrate from Chinese jujube on different intestinal and fecal indices. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 56(5), 1734-1739.
  6. [6] Cao, J. X., Zhang, Q. Y., Cui, S. Y., Cui, X. Y., Zhang, J., Zhang, Y. H., ... & Zhao, Y. Y. (2010). Hypnotic effect of jujubosides from Semen Ziziphi Spinosae. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 130(1), 163-166.
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  9. [9] Kawabata, K., Kitamura, K., Irie, K., Naruse, S., Matsuura, T., Uemae, T., ... & Kaido, Y. (2017). Triterpenoids isolated from Ziziphus jujuba enhance glucose uptake activity in skeletal muscle cells. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology, 63(3), 193-199.
  10. [10] Taechakulwanijya, N., Weerapreeyakul, N., Barusrux, S., & Siriamornpun, S. (2016). Apoptosis-inducing effects of jujube (Zǎo) seed extracts on human Jurkat leukemia T cells. Chinese medicine, 11, 15. doi:10.1186/s13020-016-0085-x
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