What do Jujube fruit, red dates, and Chinese dates all have in common? As it would turn out: everything.
It is only natural that a fruit that has been cultivated for over 4,000 years gathers a few nicknames along the way. But, have no fear - it’s all good gossip.
A feature ingredient in our Mind Unwind superblend, Jujube is known in Traditional Chinese Medicine for its ability to tonify the blood (Qi), nourish heart Yin, and improve both sleep quality and digestion.
Why did we choose Jujube as a core ingredient in our superblend? There are oh, so many reasons to appreciate this delightful fruit. Whether it’s because it tastes like natural marshmallows with notes of caramel (yum) or because it is jam-packed with antioxidants, flavonoids, and other beneficial compounds, there are a good many reasons to add Chinese dates to your diet.
What is a Jujube Fruit?
Beyond the multiple iterations of English names the Jujube has garnered, red dates have several titles in Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well.
Some refer to Jujube as ‘Suan Zao Ren’, which specifically refers to Jujube seeds. In its entirety, the red jujube fruit is often referred to as ‘Hong Zao’ or ‘Da Zao’’. In Chinese culture, the Jujube plant and its fruits can signify flourishing business, harmony, happiness, and a ‘sweet life’.
The history of the Jujube fruit is rich and long - red dates have been cultivated for thousands of years. They are also well documented in Traditional Chinese Medicine, with texts speaking to their benefits dating back to Huangdi Neijing (475-221 BC) and Shennong Bencao Jing (300 BC - 200 AD).
Jujube fruit can be found growing from large flowering shrubs and trees, which are native to Southern Asia. Today, the Jujube fruit is cultivated and used in multiple regions globally.The red date is considered a type of drupe, which is a fruit characterized by having an outer “skin” and a pit on the inside, much like a plum, cherry, or olive.
Jujube fruits are often compared to dates (the other shriveled fruit) due to their size, texture, and flavor. For those enjoying Jujube as a snack - which can be found at most Chinese markets and grocery stores - they are low in calories and rich in fiber and nutrients, particularly vitamin C.
There are many benefits to consuming Jujube Fruits and Jujube Seeds, which derive from the active compounds they contain. Red Chinese dates contain flavonoids, polysaccharides, and triterpenic acids. As such, they have antioxidant properties that may delay or prevent cellular damage caused by free radicals in the body.
So, what are the benefits of Jujube, and why do Jujube seeds make an excellent natural medicine? Below, we outline the top five health benefits Jujube has to offer.
The Top 5 Benefits of Jujube (Red Dates)
Jujube can help improve sleep quality
Individuals who get a sufficient amount of sleep each night get sick less often, better manage their weight, are less likely to fall victim to chronic health conditions, and enjoy better mental clarity - just to name a few of the many benefits of a good night’s sleep.
For those burning the midnight oil, or who may just be having trouble falling and staying asleep at night, Jujube is a great supplement to help encourage better rest and deeper REM sleep.
Two compounds that are found in Jujube, called flavonoids and saponins, have been shown in studies to increase sleep time because they have a sedative effect on the brain - these compounds trigger changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters and quiet activity in the brain’s hippocampus.
Together, they help to promote a calm mind and deep sleep. Because of this, we were sure to include Jujube seeds in our Mind Unwind formula for relaxation and sleep support.
Jujube is full of beneficial antioxidants
An antioxidant-rich diet is extremely beneficial to our daily health. We hear about foods and beverages that are rich in antioxidants all the time, but why are they important?
In short, antioxidants are little nutritional heroes in the battle against evil free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable atoms that can build up in the body and damage otherwise healthy cells, resulting in accelerated aging and disease. It is believed that free radicals in the body can increase an individual’s risk for developing cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other illnesses.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, have the ability to guard cells against the damaging impacts of free radicals. This is why we love antioxidant-rich superfoods.
Jujube is jam-packed with several antioxidant compounds, including flavonoids, polysaccharides, and triterpenic acids.
A study conducted at the University of Calabria even showed that Jujube extract could even help slow the spread of, and kill, malignant breast cancer cells, supporting the use of Jujube in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help treat cancers.
The antioxidant effects of Jujube can additionally help to reduce inflammation and protect the liver, giving us more cause to celebrate the antioxidant content of Chinese dates.
Jujube may help control blood sugar levels
It’s no secret that modern western diets often contain high levels of processed sugar, which can result in a myriad of health problems if not properly regulated. Frequent spikes and elevated levels of blood sugar in our bodies can, over time, cause damage to several of our organs (like our heart, kidneys, and eyes) and lead to type 2 diabetes.
In several human clinical trials, Jujube fruit was shown to help control spikes in blood sugar and reduce glycosylated hemoglobin in those with type 2 diabetes, which often marks poor blood sugar regulation.
Alone, Jujube should not be considered a cure-all for high blood sugar, but it can act as a helpful tool for those working to regulate their blood sugar levels.
Jujube may provide stress relief
Stress and anxiety have been shown to be more than just a feeling - when we’re “stressed out”, chemical changes are triggered in the body that result in high blood pressure and cortisol levels, which can, over time, be bad for our overall wellness.
If you’ve been experiencing stress, whether caused by work or life events, you’ll be happy to learn that Jujube has been shown to have potential stress-relieving benefits for those who regularly consume the fruit or take it as a supplement.
In a general sense, Jujube can relieve stress on the body through its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, helping our immune systems to ‘do less’ by supporting our internal systems. When inflammation is at bay and our immune systems are getting quality assistance from our diet and lifestyle habits, it is much easier for our bodies and minds to relax.
On top of this, Jujube has been shown to have potential anxiolytic effects, meaning that it can help to reduce anxiety and feelings of calm.
Jujube can improve memory and brain function
Looking to sharpen your mind? Studies of Jujube fruit have shown that its consumption may help to improve cognitive function.
Research of Jujube extract conducted on mice has shown that the fruit is able to boost memory, may help to improve learning capacity, and could support cellular proliferation (growth) in the brain.
If you’re anything like us, you can’t afford brain fog in your daily life. Our brains need nutritional support to keep performing at a high level, and Jujube can help us to feel more alert and retain more information in our day-to-day lives.
How to Take Jujube Supplements
Those looking to enjoy the many benefits of Jujube fruit will be happy to know that they can be consumed in many ways. The preparation of Jujube varies globally - it has been known to be made into juices and teas, used to make marmalades, and is even used to make Jujube pickles! In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Jujube is often prepared in soups and teas.
If you’re looking for a more efficient way to enjoy the benefits of Jujube, you can also find this superfruit in the form of tinctures and herbal supplements. We combine jujube fruit and seeds into our superblend supplements, which make incorporating ancient TCM formulas into your routine a breeze. Together, the botanicals we use enhance each other’s benefits, helping to create an effective supplement sure to support a healthy lifestyle.
When looking for a Jujube supplement, it’s important to make sure that the product is coming from a trusted source. Keep your sources honest - look for those who use third party testing (we use the Natural Products Association) to screen for purity and quality of ingredients. That way, you know that your supplements contain only high-quality ingredients and no unwanted additives.
Unwind with the Benefits of Jujube
Whether you call them red dates, Jujube fruit, Chinese dates, or one of its many other nicknames, the Jujube has proven over thousands of years to be an incredible natural medicine.
Jujube fruit may help people fight cancer, sleep more soundly, prevent signs of aging, and promote feelings of calm. The benefits of Jujube are bountiful, and research continues to reveal more incredible ways that the Jujube fruit can be used to help balance our bodies and promote overall health.
For those looking to invite more balance into their lives, we encourage you to try implementing red jujube fruit into your daily routine - you may be surprised at just how much this one superfruit can do to help make you feel calm, balanced, and whole.