7 Health Benefits of Jujube Fruit
1. Anticancer Abilities
The water extracted from jujubes has demonstrated its potential at inhibiting cancerous cells. One study in particular from the Vaccine and Serum Research Institute in Iran tested the water extract of dried jujube fruit for possible anticancer effects and induction of apoptosis (automatic cell death) of human tumor cell lines. Using DNA fragmentation analysis, researchers showed that jujube extract suppressed the human tumor cell lines, especially a leukemia line. Overall, this scientific study showed jujube’s impressive ability to kill off tumor cells, making jujube fruit a potential cancer-fighting food.
2. Insomnia Treatment
Jujubes and their seeds are commonly used in Chinese medicine to treat common sleep troubles like insomnia. Jujube fruit and jujube seeds contain compounds known as flavonoids, saponins and polysaccharides. Studies have shown that its jujube’s high saponin content that gives it the ability to act as a natural sedative and have a soothing effect on the entire nervous system.
One study out of China found that the saponin in jujubes demonstrated an effective sedative and hypnotic function, which can be used to help sleep. (4) A cup of jujube tea before bed might be just the ticket to a restful night’s sleep and help treat insomnia without drugs.
3. General Gastrointestinal Benefits
Jujube fruit has traditionally been used as a puree, paste, tea or soup to improve digestion. A study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry showed that an adequate consumption (defined as 40 milligrams per day) of jujube each day can improve the overall gastrointestinal environment and reduce the exposure of intestinal mucosa to toxic ammonia and other harmful compounds.
4. Chronic Constipation Relief
A specific gastrointestinal benefit of jujube is relief from the common and very unwanted health problem of chronic constipation, working as a natural constipation remedy. A study published in Digestion investigated the safety and efficacy of an extract of jujube on people with prolonged transit time, which is indicative of constipation. Subjects received liquid Z. jujuba or placebo for 12 weeks.
5. Uplifting and Calming Fruit
Jujubes are known for having a soothing effect on the mind and body. That’s exactly why they’ve been traditionally used as a natural antidepressant, anti-anxiety and anti-stress medicinal food. The seeds of the jujube fruit have been specifically implicated in reducing anxiety in animal subjects.
Results from one study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggest that jujube seed extract has anti-anxiety effects at a lower dose and sedative effects when used at a higher dose. (7) Unfortunately, there are currently no human studies on the sedative or anxiety-reducing effects of jujube, but the animal research has been encouraging to date for jujube’s potential as a natural stress reliever.
6. Rich in Disease-Fighting Vitamin C
As both a high-antioxidant food and vitamin C food, jujube consumption is an excellent way to increase your intake of key nutrients. Antioxidants are nutrients that block damage caused by free radicals. Excessive levels of free radicals in the body are linked with an accelerated aging process as well as more serious health concerns like cancer and heart disease.
Since our bodies can’t produce vitamin C on their own, it’s essential that we make sure we get enough vitamin C in our diets. Having just under a half cup of fresh jujubes fulfills over 100 percent of your daily vitamin C requirement. That’s a pretty easy and tasty way to fight free radical damage and stave of disease.
Vitamin C is also key to healthy skin and hair, while helping heal wounds and injuries to the body more quickly.
7. Blood Pressure Helper
A cup of fresh jujubes has around 15 percent of your daily potassium needs. Do you know what potassium is good for? It’s excellent for keeping your blood pressure at healthy levels, which in turn is excellent for heart health. Jujube’s potassium is helpful for keeping the blood vessels relaxed. When blood vessels are relaxed, blood flow and pressure is much better. (8)
If you notice any high blood pressure symptoms creep up, jujubes may be helpful to get your blood pressure back in check.