Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Is Jujube Fruit Bad For You?

Also Known As: Red date, Chinese date, Korean date



Short answer

Jujube fruit, or red date, is not inherently bad for you and offers numerous nutritional benefits including essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. It supports immune function, aids digestion, and can help manage blood sugar levels and weight. However, moderation is key due to its sugar content, particularly for those with diabetes or watching caloric intake. Mild allergy cases are rare but possible. Jujube interacts with certain medications, so be cautious if combining with drugs. Overall, when consumed in moderation, jujube can be a healthy part of a balanced diet.



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Long answer

Nutritional Benefits of Jujube Fruit

Jujube fruit, also known as red date or Chinese date, is a small, reddish-brown berry that packs a punch when it comes to its nutritional profile. Rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, jujube offers a variety of health benefits. Let's break down the nutritional components:

Vitamins and Minerals: Jujube is high in Vitamin C, an essential vitamin that supports the immune system, skin health, and wound healing. It also contains significant amounts of potassium, which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood pressure and heart function, as well as smaller amounts of other minerals like calcium, iron, and phosphorus which are vital for bone health, oxygen transportation, and energy metabolism, respectively.

Dietary Fiber: The fruit is a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber aids in digestion by preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements. It also helps control blood sugar levels and can contribute to a feeling of fullness, which may assist in weight management.

Antioxidants: Jujube contains several types of antioxidants, including flavonoids, polysaccharides, and saponins. These compounds can help protect the body from oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.

Caloric Content: Jujube fruit is also relatively low in calories, making it a healthy snack option for individuals monitoring their caloric intake.

The following table provides a detailed nutritional breakdown of 100 grams of fresh jujube fruit:

Nutrient Amount
Calories 79
Protein 1.2 g
Total Fat 0.2 g
Dietary Fiber 1.6 g
Vitamin C 69 mg
Potassium 250 mg
Calcium 21 mg
Iron 0.48 mg

With ongoing research, we continue to find more about the health-promoting aspects of this fruit. A study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology highlighted the jujube fruit's potential anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, further underscoring its benefits.

It's important to note that while jujube fruit can be a nutritious addition to one's diet, it should be consumed in moderation like any other food. Individuals with specific health conditions, such as diabetes, should consider the fruit's sugar content and consult with a healthcare professional before integrating it into their diet.

Overall, the nutritional benefits of jujube fruit are clear. From its vitamin and mineral content to its antioxidant properties, jujube fruit can be a healthy and delicious part of a balanced diet. Including this fruit in various forms such as fresh, dried, or in extracts, can contribute to a more varied and nutrient-rich diet.

Sugars in Jujube: Balancing Sweetness and Health

When assessing the impact of jujube fruit on one's health, it is crucial to evaluate its sugar content. Jujube, also known as red date or Chinese date, offers a sweet flavor profile that implies a natural sugar presence. But understanding the type and amount of sugars in jujube can help consumers make informed decisions, particularly if they are monitoring their sugar intake due to health concerns like diabetes or a desire to limit extra caloric consumption.

Primarily, jujube fruit contains fructose and glucose, which are simple sugars. These simple sugars are directly absorbed into the bloodstream, providing a quick energy source. However, excessive consumption of simple sugars can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels, posing a risk for individuals with insulin resistance or diabetes.

According to research, the total sugar content in raw jujube fruit ranges from 20% to 30% by weight, which can vary based on the ripeness and variety of the fruit. It's important to note that these sugars are accompanied by dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals in the whole fruit form, unlike the refined sugars found in processed foods.

The presence of dietary fiber in jujube, particularly when consumed in its fresh or dried form, slows down the digestion and absorption process of sugars. This can mitigate rapid increases in blood glucose levels, making it a better option than snacks with added sugars or low in fiber. To illustrate, one medium-sized jujube (approximately 30 grams) contains about 6 grams of dietary fiber, which constitutes roughly 24% of your daily fiber needs based on a 2,000-calorie diet.

For those concerned about sugar intake, it's also beneficial to consider the glycemic index (GI) of jujube. The GI is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood glucose levels. Generally, jujube has a moderate GI, which varies depending on its form (fresh or dried) and preparation. This suggests that jujube may have a relatively moderate impact on blood sugar levels when eaten in moderation.

When including jujube fruit in a diet, it's advisable to factor in its sugar content along with the overall dietary pattern. Portion control can be key—for example, enjoying a small handful of dried jujube as part of a balanced diet rather than consuming them in large quantities will help manage sugar intake while still reaping the nutritional benefits of the fruit.

Additionally, considering the form in which jujube is consumed can influence its sugar impact. Dried jujubes are significantly higher in sugars and calories compared to their fresh counterparts due to water loss that concentrates their sweetness. Therefore, it's especially important to regulate portions of dried fruit to avoid excessive sugar consumption.

In summary, while the natural sugars in jujube do contribute to its sweet taste, their impact on health can be balanced by the fruit's fiber content, its moderate glycemic index, and mindful consumption practices. Including jujube as part of a diverse and balanced diet can provide its sweet enjoyment without necessarily being detrimental to health, particularly when portions are controlled and other high-sugar foods are limited.

Potential Allergies and Sensitivities to Jujube Fruit

When considering the consumption of jujube fruit, it's important to be aware of potential allergies and sensitivities that some individuals may experience. Allergies to jujube are relatively rare, but they can occur, especially in those who have a history of reactions to other fruits or who may suffer from Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS).

OAS typically arises in individuals with allergies to pollen, as certain fruit proteins can resemble pollen proteins. If you experience itching or inflammation in the mouth, lips, or throat after ingesting jujube fruit, you may be exhibiting symptoms of OAS. In most cases, the symptoms are mild and often subside on their own. However, in rare instances, individuals may experience a more severe reaction known as anaphylaxis, which requires immediate medical attention.

Another aspect to consider is the presence of saponins in jujube fruit. Saponins are natural compounds that, while having health benefits, can also cause digestive issues for some people. Symptoms may include nausea, bloating, and diarrhea. It's important to listen to your body and reduce or cease consumption if you suspect you're sensitive to saponins in jujube or any other foods.

Consumers should be mindful of the following points when considering allergies and sensitivities to jujube fruit:

  • Identify Your Risk: If you have a history of fruit allergies, consider getting an allergy test before adding jujube fruit to your diet.
  • Pay Attention to Symptoms: Monitor your body's reactions to jujube fruit, especially if you are trying it for the first time.
  • Be Cautious with Other Medications: Consult a healthcare provider if you are on medication, as jujube may interact with certain drugs, potentially triggering allergic reactions.
  • Read Product Labels: Jujube fruit is often found in processed forms such as candies, teas, and extracts, which may contain additional allergens.

A study published in the International Archives of Allergy and Immunology, examining the allergenic potential of jujube, suggests that there are certain protein components in jujube that could trigger allergies in sensitive individuals. However, comprehensive data on jujube allergies is limited, and further research is required to fully understand the scope of allergenicity associated with this fruit.

It's always recommended to approach new dietary additions with caution if you have known food sensitivities or allergies. When in doubt, contact a healthcare provider or a specialist in food allergies who can provide personalized advice and conduct any necessary testing.

Interactions Between Jujube and Certain Medications

Understanding the potential interactions between food and medication is crucial for avoiding adverse effects and ensuring the efficacy of drug therapy. In this context, Jujube, or Ziziphus jujuba, despite its numerous health benefits, may interact with certain medications, warranting a cautious approach for individuals on specific drug regimens.

Sedatives: Jujube possesses sedative properties that could potentially enhance the effects of medications that promote sleep or reduce anxiety. It is rich in compounds like flavonoids and saponins, which might intensify the drowsiness experienced with sedative drugs. For example:

  • Benzodiazepines
  • Barbiturates
  • Antihistamines with a sedative effect
  • Central nervous system (CNS) depressants

Antidiabetic Drugs: With jujube containing elements that can influence blood sugar levels, such as polysaccharides and saponins, it's important to be cautious when consumed alongside antidiabetic medications. There may be a risk of blood glucose levels dropping too low (hypoglycemia), requiring careful monitoring and potential dosage adjustments of drugs like:

  • Insulin
  • Sulfonylureas
  • Meglitinides
  • Thiazolidinediones

Immune Suppressants: Jujube may also bolster the immune system, which may be a concern for individuals taking immunosuppressant drugs, leading to decreased effectiveness of these medications. The immunomodulatory effect could counteract with drugs such as:

  • Cyclosporine
  • Azathioprine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Chemotherapy drugs

Metabolism and Excretion: The liver plays a significant role in drug metabolism, and jujube can affect liver enzymes that metabolize various medications. It is particularly relevant to the cytochrome P450 enzyme system which metabolizes many drugs. Interactions may lead to altered levels of the medication in the blood, potentially reducing efficacy or increasing the risk of side effects.

While not all potential interactions of jujube fruit with medications have been extensively studied, the above points highlight the importance of discussing dietary habits with a healthcare provider, especially when taking prescription drugs. It is advisable to consult with healthcare professionals about the consumption of jujube when on medication. Studies and expert opinions may provide guidance, but individual circumstances can significantly vary, making personalized medical advice essential. Should any unexpected symptoms arise when combining jujube with medication, seeking immediate medical attention is imperative.

Overconsumption: When Too Much Jujube Becomes a Problem

While jujube fruit is often celebrated for its potential health benefits, it's important to consider that, like all foods, it can be possible to have too much of a good thing. Overconsumption of jujube fruit may lead to several unwanted side effects due to its nutrient profile and bioactive compounds.

  • Sugar Content: Despite their natural origin, jujubes are high in sugars. Overindulgence could contribute to increased blood sugar levels, particularly concerning for individuals with diabetes or those at risk of developing the condition. Maintaining moderation is key.
  • GI Distress: Jujubes are rich in fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health in appropriate amounts. However, excessive consumption can lead to gastrointestinal issues such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea. It's advised to increase fiber intake gradually to allow the body to adjust.
  • Caloric Intake: The calories in jujube fruit can add up quickly if eaten in large amounts, potentially leading to weight gain. Those monitoring their caloric intake or trying to lose weight should be mindful of the portion sizes.
  • Interference with Medications: Jujube contains compounds that can interact with certain medications, such as sedatives and anti-diabetes drugs. It is crucial to speak with a healthcare provider about possible interactions if you are taking any prescribed medications.
  • Antinutrient Content: As with many plants, jujubes contain antinutrients like tannins and saponins, which can interfere with the absorption of nutrients when consumed in excessive amounts. Moderation can help avoid these negative effects.

While studies on the overconsumption of jujube are limited, it's important to apply general dietary guidelines to the consumption of this fruit. For example, research has indicated that high dietary fiber intake without adequate hydration may aggravate digestive discomfort (American Journal of Gastroenterology). Furthermore, the high fructose content found in jujubes and other fruits has been linked to metabolic issues when consumed in excess (Nutrition & Metabolism).

Recognizing individual tolerance is also crucial. Some people may experience sensitivities or allergies to jujube fruit, which could exacerbate with overconsumption. Symptoms may include skin rashes, itching, or gastrointestinal distress.

Therefore, even though jujube fruit can be an excellent addition to a balanced diet, moderation should be practiced. The daily recommended fruit intake varies depending on individual dietary needs, but generally, a serving size of 1/2 cup to 1 cup of fresh fruit is a reasonable guideline for most adults. Consulting with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian can provide tailored advice, especially if you have underlying health conditions or specific dietary concerns.

Frequently asked questions

Jujube fruit contains compounds like saponins and flavonoids, which have sedative properties that may help promote sleep and reduce anxiety. Consumption of jujube can be a complementary natural approach to managing stress and improving sleep quality, when included as part of a balanced diet.

Yes, the form can affect nutritional value. Fresh jujube retains most of its vitamins and antioxidants, whereas dried jujube is higher in sugars and calories due to water loss. Consuming jujube in different forms (fresh, dried, extract) can vary your nutrient intake, so it's important to adjust portions accordingly.

Jujube fruit contains natural sugars, which contribute to its carbohydrate content. While it can be part of a balanced low-carb diet in small amounts, those strictly monitoring carbohydrate intake, like individuals on ketogenic diets, may need to limit their consumption of jujube to maintain their dietary goals.

To incorporate jujube fruit into your diet, you can eat it fresh as a snack, mix dried jujube into oatmeal, yogurts, or salads, or use jujube extracts in teas or smoothies. It's versatile and adds a natural sweetness, but remember to consume in moderation, especially if you are watching your sugar intake.

Ask a question about Jujube Fruit and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • gi distress
  • blood sugar spikes
  • interactions with medications
  • allergic reactions

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • nutrient absorption interference
  • possible exacerbation of chronic diseases (diabetes)

Ingredients to be aware of

  • fructose
  • glucose
  • saponins
  • antinutrients (tannins)


  • boosts immune system
  • improves skin health
  • aids digestion
  • regulates blood sugar
  • low-calorie snack
  • provides antioxidants

Healthier alternatives

  • whole fruits with lower sugar content
  • gradual fiber intake increase
  • mindful portion control

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Organic Medjool Dates

  • Naturally sweet
  • Soft, chewy texture
  • Pits removed
  • High in fiber
  • USDA Organic
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 12-18-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 12-18-2023

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