Are There Health Benefits of Chinese Jujube Fruit?

Reviewed by Poonam Sachdev on November 01, 2021

Jujube fruit has been eaten and used in traditional medicine for over 3,000 years. Today, it is popular all over the world.

Jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba) is also known as the Chinese date, jujube, or red date. The plant is native to China and has been grown in the US for more than 175 years.

The jujube fruit ranges in shape from round to pear-shaped. It may be as small as a cherry or as big as a plum. It has a thin, edible skin and whitish flesh. When ripe, the fruit turns dark red. After turning fully red, the fruit begins to wrinkle and soften, but it is still edible.

What Vitamins and Minerals Are in Jujube Fruit?

Jujube fruit is high in vitamins and minerals and low in calories.

A 100-gram serving (about 3 fruits) contains:

Calories: 79

Fat: 0.2 grams

Protein: 1.2 grams

Potassium: 250 milligrams

Vitamin C: 69 milligrams (about 77% of the recommended daily value)

Iron: 0.48 milligrams

Do Jujube Fruits Have Health Benefits?

Jujube fruits have been used in traditional medicines for thousands of years.

More research is needed to clarify its effects on people.

High in antioxidants. Jujube fruits are a rich source of compounds such as flavonoids, polysaccharides, and triterpenic acids. Some of these compounds have antioxidant properties.

Antioxidants are substances that may prevent or delay types of cell damage, including damage caused by chemicals called free radicals. You’re exposed to free radicals from air pollution, cigarette smoke, and sunlight. Your body also makes free radicals during normal metabolic processes.

May improve sleep. Chinese jujube is used in traditional medicine to help promote sleep. Early research suggests that this may be due to the antioxidant properties of the fruits.

May help with digestion and constipation. Jujube has high fiber content. A 100-gram serving of dried jujube has 6 grams of dietary fiber.

You should aim for 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day. A diet that’s high in fiber has many benefits, including:

  • Prevents constipation
  • Makes you feel full for longer, which can help you with weight loss
  • Helps improve your blood sugar levels
  • Reduces your risk of diseases like colorectal cancer
  • Lowers your cholesterol, which lowers your risk of heart disease

Jujube fruit extract may also help to relieve constipation. A small study found that those who took liquid jujube extract had improved constipation symptoms compared to those who took a placebo.

May boost immunity. Jujube fruit may be able to boost your immune system, as it’s rich in vitamin C.

Depending on the size of the fruit, eating one to three jujube fruits will meet the daily vitamin C recommendations of 90 milligrams for men and 75 milligrams for women.

Are There Side Effects from Eating Jujube Fruit?

One of the traditional medicinal uses of jujube is as a laxative. While there’s been little research on its laxative effect on people, you may want to be careful with the amount of jujube fruit that you eat.

Experts say that you may also want to avoid eating jujube fruit if you take antidepressant drugs like venlafaxine. Jujube may interact with such drugs.

Early animal studies have found that jujube extract may interact with some seizure medications, such as carbamazepine, phenytoin, phenobarbitone.

Talk to your doctor if you’re taking any of these medications and also want to eat this jujube fruit or its extracts. 

How to Eat Jujube Fruit

You can eat jujube fruit raw. Fresh jujubes are sweet and have an apple-like texture.

Jujube fruit is also commonly found dried. These dried Chinese jujubes are known as red dates. The dried fruits can be eaten directly, but they’re also often cooked into soups and tea. Dried red dates can be used in place of raisins or palm date fruits in cakes and other desserts.

Jujube fruits can also be roasted, smoked, soaked in liquor, candied, juiced, and made into jams and spreads.

Show Sources


The American Journal of Psychiatry: “Venlafaxine and Sour Date Nut.”

BioMedicine (Taipei): “Investigation the effect of jujube seed capsule on sleep quality of postmenopausal women: A double-blind randomized clinical trial.”

Cleveland Clinic: “11 Best High-Fiber Foods.”

Digestion: “Ziziphus jujuba extract for the treatment of chronic idiopathic constipation: a controlled clinical trial.”

Epilepsy & Behavior: “Interaction profile of Zizyphus jujuba with phenytoin, phenobarbitone, and carbamazepine in maximal electroshock-induced seizures in rats.”

Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine: “A Review of Dietary Ziziphus jujuba Fruit (Jujube): Developing Health Food Supplements for Brain Protection.”

FoodData Central: “Jujube, Chinese, fresh, dried”; “Jujube, raw”

Frontiers in Pharmacology: “A Review of Edible Jujube, the Ziziphus jujuba Fruit: A Heath Food Supplement for Anemia Prevalence.”

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health: “Antioxidants.”

HortScience: “Past, Present, and Future of Jujubes—Chinese Dates in the United States.”

Linus Pauling Institute: “Vitamin C.”

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Antioxidants: In Depth.”

NC Cooperative Extension: “Jujube, an Uncommon Fruit.”

Research Journal of Pharmacognosy: “Evaluation of anti-melanogenic activity of Ziziphus jujuba fruits obtained by two different extraction methods.”

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