8 Reasons to try jujube, a sweet superfruit that can improve sleep quality and digestion
05/05/2022 / By Rose Lidell / Comments
8 Reasons to try jujube, a sweet superfruit that can improve sleep quality and digestion

Jujube is an amazing fruit that offers many health benefits, such as boosting your digestive health and improving sleep quality.

As a superfood, jujube can provide plenty of essential nutrients. Jujube is also used in traditional medicine to treat anxiety, insomnia and digestive problems.

A naturally sweet source of antioxidants

The jujube plant (Ziziphus jujuba) is a small shrub native to parts of Asia, Australia, Southern Europe and the southern United States. Jujubes are edible fruits with similarities to another sweet superfood, dates. Jujubes are low in calories but rich in fiber and other nutrients.

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A three-ounce (100-gram) serving of raw jujubes (about three fruits) contains only 79 calories and one gram of protein. The same serving contains zero fat, 20 grams of carbs and 10 grams of dietary fiber. Three jujubes contain 77 percent of the daily value (DV) for vitamin C and five percent of the DV for potassium.

If you’re looking for a healthy snack, try jujubes. They’re a great source of vitamin C, an important nutrient with antioxidant and immune-boosting properties.

Additionally, jujubes contain potassium, a mineral with an important role in muscle control and electrolyte balance. Jujubes also contain carbs in the form of natural sugars that can give your body energy.

Note that dried jujubes contain more sugar and calories than fresh jujubes because sugar may be added during processing.

Health benefits of jujubes

Jujubes are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a sedative or as a digestive aid. The fruits and seeds are also used in supplements, both on their own or combined with other natural ingredients.

Here are the eight incredible benefits of jujubes:

Anxiety and stress relief

Most people struggle with both anxiety and sleep problems.

Fortunately, the same bioactive compounds in jujube that can help improve sleep also relieve anxiety, even if you don’t have a sleep problem. The effects that jujube has on gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and serotonin, two crucial neurotransmitters for mood and relaxation, are responsible for jujube’s anxiolytic benefits.

Anxiolytics, also called anti-anxiety or anti-panic drugs, are medications used to treat anxiety. Data suggests that the same saponin and flavonoid compounds that promote sleep and relaxation are also behind jujube’s anti-anxiety effects.

Promotes brain health 

According to studies, jujube may offer protective benefits to the brain such as protecting neural cells against damage and deterioration.

Jujube can also help repair memory, improve learning and prevent cognitive impairment. Some studies have also found that jujube can help block dysfunctional activity in the brain linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Cancer prevention

Researchers have often looked into jujube’s cancer-fighting properties.

Many of the bioactive compounds in jujubes, like antioxidants, flavonoids, saponins and triterpenoids can help slow the growth of and eliminate certain kinds of cancer cells. Scientists are also examining jujubes as a potential preventative therapy and treatment for cancer.

Improves digestive health

In traditional medicine, jujubes are used to treat gastrointestinal problems such as bloating, constipation and stomach pain.

Studies have also determined that jujube can reduce gastric acid and protect against and treat stomach ulcers. Data has also revealed that jujubes help relieve chronic constipation.

Promotes heart health

Jujubes also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory abilities that can offer many benefits for your heart and cardiovascular system.

Saponins in jujube can help lower cholesterol. Findings from studies have shown that jujubes can increase levels of HDL (high-density lipoprotein) or “good” cholesterol without increasing the “bad” LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

Research has also revealed that jujubes can reduce triglyceride levels and concentrations of C-reactive protein. Finally, jujubes can help prevent arteriosclerosis or the build-up of substances in the arteries that hinders healthy blood flow.

Improves immune health

Jujube can help boost your immune system by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress that weakens immune function and makes you more susceptible to disease.

Compounds in jujubes like flavonoids, polysaccharides and saponins are believed to be behind jujube’s benefits for immune health.

Boosts metabolic health

Data suggests that jujubes can naturally lower blood sugar and that they can potentially be used as a natural therapy for diabetes prevention and treating other blood sugar-related disorders like metabolic syndrome.

Study findings also revealed that jujubes have anti-obesity effects and that the superfruit can help prevent fat accumulation in the body.

Improves sleep quality

Jujube supplements can help patients with insomnia or other sleep issues, especially when they are linked to stress and anxiety. The supplements can also help calm the mind, quiet neural activity and help induce and sustain restful sleep.

According to animal studies, jujube extends sleep time in mice because both flavonoids and saponins, two bioactive compounds found in jujubes, helps increase sleep time.

Data from other studies imply that one of the flavonoids in jujube can increase time spent in slow-wave sleep and REM sleep, which experts consider as two of the most restorative stages of sleep.

Considerations before eating jujubes

If you’re not used to eating jujubes or taking jujube supplements, check with a trusted physician to determine possible drug or allergic interactions.

The appropriate dose of jujube depends on your age, weight and health condition and any existing conditions that require treatment or medication. You can use jujube on its own or in combination with other natural medicines.

Always start with the lowest suggested dose then gradually increase as needed.

Possible side effects of jujubes

Jujubes are often well-tolerated by healthy adults. However, you should check with your physician before taking jujubes if:

  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You have diabetes. Jujube can lower blood sugar.
  • You have a latex allergy. If you are allergic to latex, you may also be allergic to jujube so don’t eat it or take supplements.
  • You have undergone surgery. Jujube’s effect on blood sugar may interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Like anesthesia and other medications used in surgery, jujubes may slow down your body’s central nervous system. If you take jujube supplements regularly, stop using jujube for around two weeks before any surgical procedures.

Not sure how to eat jujubes? Enjoy a couple of fresh or dried jujubes as a quick snack or add sliced jujubes to cereal, oatmeal, salads, or yogurt. You can also use jujubes to make delectable jams, sauces and desserts.

Eat fresh or dried jujubes or take jujube supplements to improve sleep quality and boost your immune and digestive health.

Sources:

PsychologyToday.com

Healthline.com

MedicineNet.com

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