Eat Red Dates to Stay Young

Eating jujube dates are a great way to stay young. (Image: Nikolaydonetsk via Dreamstime)

Eating red dates is a great way to stay young. (Image: Nikolaydonetsk via Dreamstime)

There is a Chinese saying that: “Three jujubes a day will help you stay young.” This saying speaks to the benefits of eating the jujube fruit (Ziziphus jujuba) which is also known as the Chinese date or the red date. Nowadays red dates are not only one of the most popular medicinal foods in China, but they are also used all over the world for health and physical well-being.

Red dates are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and other essential vitamins and they contain 18 kinds of amino acids and minerals. They are known as the “King of Fruits.” Medical research shows that red dates have an ingredient that destroys cancer cells and can also protect the brain. A study published in the journal Food and Function in 2018 stated that triterpenoids isolated from red dates induce apoptosis of cancer cells in the lungs, breast tissue, and prostate gland, which causes the cancer cells to self-destruct. According to a 2016 study published in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine, triterpenoids also contain anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce fever, prevent liver damage, improve heart function, and reduce pain.

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Additionally, in 2017, Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine published a study on red dates. The study showed that red dates can protect the brain, increase the growth of nerve tissue, and promote memory and learning. The study concluded that red dates are a potential food for developing treatments for neurological disorders.

In traditional Chinese medicine, Li Shizhen wrote in the Compendium of Materia Medica (1552-1578 AD) that the jujube is sweet and warm in nature. It can invigorate and replenish qi, nourish the blood, and promote body fluid. It is used to treat diseases such as a weak spleen, loose stools, and deficient qi and blood.

Ways to incorporate red dates into your health regimen

Jujube honey tea

Efficacy: Replenish the blood and beautify the face

Drinking red jujube tea with honey consistently will do wonders for your complexion.

Red date and tremella soup

Red date and tremella soup is known to relieve coughs and moisten the lungs.
Red date and tremella soup is known to relieve coughs and moisten the lungs. (Image: 贤杰 李 via Dreamstime)

Efficacy: Relieve cough and moisten the lungs

In the Bi Xiaofang written by Yu Sheng in the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), it was recorded that boiling red dates, tremella, and rock sugar together in a soup can relieve coughing and moisten the lungs.

Angelica and red date porridge

Efficacy: Nourish the blood and regulate the meridians, promote blood circulation, relieve pain, moisten the bowels, and act as a laxative

Method: Wash and cut the angelica into small pieces. Wash and cut the red dates open. Wash the japonica twice. Put the three ingredients into a bowl, add an appropriate amount of water, and soak them overnight. The next day, simmer in a saucepan for 1 to 2 hours to make it into a porridge.

Boiled egg with red dates

Efficacy: Replenish the blood and beautify the face

Method: Boil the red dates, longan, and brown sugar in water until the dates and longan are well cooked. Add the eggs, cook over low heat, and serve.

Jujube wine

Efficacy: Soften your blood vessels

Method: Soak red dates with wine to release the organic substances that are in the dates. Drink a proper amount to soften the blood vessels.

Ginger and red date tea

Ginger and red date tea provides a balanced effect.
Ginger and red date tea provides a balanced effect. (Image: Lee Foong Lee via Dreamstime)

Efficacy: Warms the body and dispels cold, strengthens the spleen, and nourishes the stomach

Method: Red dates generate dampness and ginger removes dampness; red dates stop sweating and ginger causes sweating; red dates nourish qi, and ginger raises and disperses qi. The two are a perfect match. Taking them together can achieve a balanced effect, so that there will not be too much qi replenished which can cause a blockage in the body.

Licorice, wheat, and jujube tea

Efficacy: Invigorates the spleen, nourishes the blood, nourishes the heart, and soothes nerves

Drinking licorice, wheat, and jujube tea can make you calm, act as an anticonvulsant, relieve nervous tension, and make people happy. It can also help to improve immunity. Traditional Chinese medicine believes that inner righteousness qi can prevent diseases from entering the body. Improving the immune system can keep viruses and germs outside.

Method: Grind licorice, shriveled wheat, and red dates into a coarse powder, put them in a thermos bottle, pour in the boiled water, and let it steep for 10 minutes. Drink it after it cools down a bit.

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