Red Dates (Ziziphus jujuba)

Red date is the fruit of Ziziphus jujuba Mill. that belongs to Rhamnaceae family. Ziziphus jujuba is native to China, and which has been commonly consumed as food supplement and traditional Chinese medicine for thousands of years. These small round fruits with a seed-containing pit grow on large flowering shrubs. When ripe, they’re dark red or purple and may appear slightly wrinkled.

The main biologically active components are vitamin C, phenolics, flavonoids, triterpenic acids, saponins and polysaccharides.

Jujuboside A (saponin)                        Kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside (flavonoid)

Spinosin (flavonoid)                                 Betulinic Acid (triterpene)


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HEALTH BENEFITS

1. Anti-Inflammatory

Ziziphus jujuba fruits have significant potential in protecting against acute and chronic inflammatory reactions.

Study showed that pretreatment with Ziziphus jujuba extract decrease serum nitrite/nitrate compared to control group, possibly by inhibiting nitric oxide expression. This effect may be due to the presence of jujubosides, flavanoids and terpenes.

2. Improves Mental Health and Brain function

Ziziphus jujuba fruits possess neuro-protective effects and also promote memory and learning. It imparts anxiolytic and soothing effects on the body thereby relieving anxiety and insomnia. It treats various neurological degenerative diseases and improves quality of life. Studies also show that it has anti-depressant action and has positive effects on neurotransmitters and stress hormones. The fruit contains flavonoid kaempferol 3-O-rutinoside which is a potential option to protect neuronal cells against oxidative stress.

Study showed that significant decrease in cholinesterase activity observed in the pentylenetetrazole (PTZ) seizure model was significantly reversed by pretreatment with hydroalcoholic extract of Ziziphus jujuba (HEZJ) fruit. HEZJ provided protection against the development of seizures, as a result of which acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and butyrylcholinesterase (BChE) activity was significantly increased.

 

High in antioxidants.

Ziziphus jujuba fruits are a rich source of compounds such as flavonoids, polysaccharides, and triterpenic acids which have antioxidant properties. The fruits are also rich in vitamin C and contain a chemical constituent called betulinic acid that helps increase as glutathione levels thus, protection against oxidative stress.

Improve sleep quality

Two types of phytochemicals in Ziziphus jujuba, saponins and flavonoids, have been shown to increase sleep time because they have sedative effect on the brain. These compounds trigger changes in the brain’s neurotransmitters, including GABA and serotonin, which can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. One of the saponins in Ziziphus jujuba, Jujuboside A, helps to quiet activity in the hippocampus region of the brain. Ziziphus jujuba also contains a flavonoid compound, Spinosin, which appears to trigger sleepiness through its effects on serotonin.

Boost Immunity

Ziziphus jujuba polysaccharides, which are natural sugars with antioxidant properties, may fend off free radicals, neutralize harmful cells, and decrease inflammation.

Help with digestion and constipation

Ziziphus jujuba fruit possesses high fiber content that aids in preventing chronic constipation. Dietary fiber works as a good laxative that makes bowel movement easier.

 

Usages:

  • as food, food additive, and flavoring
  • ingredient in supplement

Reference

  1. Hydroalcoholic extract of Zizyphus jujuba ameliorates seizures, oxidative stress, and cognitive impairment in experimental models of epilepsy in rats
    DOI: 10.1016/j.yebeh.2011.05.013
  2. Possible attenuation of nitric oxide expression in anti-inflammatory effect of Ziziphus jujuba in rat
    DOI: 10.1007/s11418-011-0531-0