Jujube

Jujube, also known as Chinese red date, is a delicious fruit which belongs to the Rhamnaceae and Buckthorn family.

It has been used medicinally in China and other parts of Asia for over 2,500 years.

Dried jujube varieties can be used to substitute apples or dates in recipes.

Nutrition Facts

100g of dried jujube contains:

  • 287 calories;
  • 73.6g Carbohydrate – 25%DV;
  • 3.7g Protein – 7% DV;
  • 217mg Vitamin C – 242% DV;
  • 0.2 Thiamin – 14%DV;
  • 0.4mg Riboflavin – 21% DV;
  • 0.5mg Niacin – 12% DV;
  • 79mg Calcium – 8% DV;
  • 5.1mg Iron – 64% DV;
  • 37mg Magnesium – 9% DV;
  • 100mg Phosphorus – 10% DV;
  • 531mg Potassium – 15% DV;
  • 0.2mg Zinc – 1% DV;
  • 0.3mg Copper – 13% DV;
  • 31mg Manganese – 1351% DV.

They also contain health benefiting tannins, a class of astringent, polyphenolic biomolecules which are known to possess anti-inflammatory, anti-infective, and anti-hemorrhagic properties.

Health Benefits

Vitamin C

This powerful antioxidant helps your immunity flourish by encouraging the growth of white blood cells. In addition, vitamin C is able to neutralize free radicals, that are responsible for numerous chronic illnesses and diseases within the human body.

Consuming jujube tea helps treat the flu, common cold, coughs as well as it soothes achy throat and cough.

100 grams of dried jujubes have 217 mg of vitamin C that is about 242 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Protein

A high-protein diet triggers feelings of fullness between meals, according to a study that was done by the Scientists at Purdue University and published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Protein also helps the cells in your body to function healthily as they are required for the maintenance of tissues and organs, according to the US National Library of Medicine.

Moreover, you need protein when you practice any type of physical exercise, especially when you try to build muscle through weightlifting.

100 grams of dried jujubes have 3.7 grams of protein which is about 7 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Riboflavin

Image credit – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Azufaifas_fcm.jpg

Vitamin B2, also referred to as riboflavin, is a yellow natural chemical which is essential for the function of our nervous systems and for healthy eyes, skin, and hair. This vitamin also works effectively with vitamin B6, iron, and folate.

A vitamin B2 deficiency has a negative impact on:

  • skin health;
  • metabolism;
  • brain function;
  • gastrointestinal tract;
  • metabolism of tryptophan;
  • iron absorption.

100 grams of dried jujubes have 0.4 mg of riboflavin which is about 21% of the daily recommended intake.

Side Effects

These fruits typically show very few side effects, except in people with a natural allergy to the jujubes.

Medjool Dates

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Medjool dates are a type of fruit which grows on date palm trees (scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera) in hot, dry climates such as Africa, the Middle East, and California.

They are softer than other varieties of dates and possess amazing texture and taste. These fruits can be consumed dried or fresh, but, it is more common for them to be dried, that prevents early spoilage and lengthens their lifespan.

Nutrition Facts

100g of medjool dates contains:

  • 277 calories;
  • 6.7g Fiber – 27% daily value;
  • 1.8g Protein – 4% DV;
  • 2.7mcg Vitamin K – 3% DV;
  • 0.1mg Thiamin – 3% DV;
  • 0.1mg Riboflavin – 4% DV;
  • 1.6mg Niacin – 8% DV;
  • 0.2mg Vitamin B6 – 12% DV;
  • 15mcg Folate – 4% DV;
  • 0.8mg Panthothenic Acid – 8% DV;
  • 64mg Calcium – 6% DV;
  • 0.9mg Iron – 5% DV;
  • 54mg Magnesium – 14% DV;
  • 62mg Phosphorus – 6% DV;
  • 696mg Potassium – 20% DV;
  • 0.4mg Zinc – 3% DV;
  • 0.4mg Copper – 18% DV;
  • 0.3mg Manganese – 15% DV.

Health Benefits

Potassium

This mineral regulates blood flow and relaxes your blood vessels preventing your body from falling prey to hypertension.

In addition, potassium is required to maintain the correct acid-base balance in the body and to maintain normal fluid volumes. Also, this mineral is needed by the body to ensure that the nerves function correctly and the muscles move as required as well as to control the electrical activity of the heart.

According to research, people who intake 4 grams of potassium per day have a 50 percent reduced risk of dying from heart disease when compared to people who consumed 1 gram of potassium a day.

Potassium also helps retain calcium in the body, that results in stronger joints and bones. Additionally, this essential mineral counteracts the sodium-heavy diets that most people in the United States undertake, that can strip bones of calcium.

A deficiency in potassium may cause the following symptoms:

  • heart palpitations (irregular heartbeats);
  • muscle weakness;
  • muscle cramps;
  • muscle aches.

100 grams of Medjool dates have 696 milligrams of potassium that is approximately 20 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Fiber

Beta-D-glucan present in these fruits adds bulk to stool and helps in water absorption which prevents the risk of constipation. Also, the food supply of fiber promotes smooth bowel movements and digestion and prevents problems related to constipation.

According to a 2015 study done at the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Reading, United Kingdom, individuals who consumed 7 dates a day for three weeks had a significant increase in bowel movements and experienced improvements in stool frequency.

100 grams of Medjool dates have 6.7 grams of dietary fiber that is approximately 27% of the daily recommended intake.

Copper

The copper in these fruits helps in energy production, that helps ensure the tissues have proper access to the fuel they require to function. Also, this essential trace mineral combines with proteins to manufacture enzymes which can enhance biological processes.

Copper also stimulates brain function via the enzyme monoamine oxidase and the neurotransmitters:

  • dopamine (activated in the reward-center of the brain);
  • norepinephrine (noradrenaline);
  • epinephrine (adrenaline).

Symptoms of a deficiency in copper can include:

  • hair with less pigment than normal;
  • anemia;
  • paleness;
  • osteoporosis;
  • a low level of white blood cells.

100 grams of Medjool dates have 0.4 mg of copper which is about 18 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Bottom Line – Jujube vs Dates

In conclusion, both fruits are healthy and should be included in your regular nutrition, but jujube has a better nutritional profile than Medjool date due to the higher content of iron, vitamin C, and manganese.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5478819/
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2305050015300075
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf901559a