I bet you’ve heard of the candies known as jujubes, juju fruits or Jujyfruits. These variations of chewy, colorful, artificially flavored “fruit” flavored candies are anything but healthy. So why do these unnatural candies have the same name as a natural exotic fruit that’s loaded with health benefits? Well, according to food historian Charles Perry, the candies originally contained jujube fruit juice, and at the turn of the century, it was common to use the candies for chest complaints. They were especially popular in theaters when moviegoers didn’t want their coughs to disturb fellow viewers.
Today, the candies unfortunately don’t contain any jujube juice, but the good news is that jujube fruit, commonly called red dates, can be eaten fresh, raw or infused into tea to gain their anciently old (4,000 years!) health-promoting properties.
Similar to an olive or small date in size, fresh jujube fruit has the texture and crisp, bright flavor of an apple. In traditional medicine, the fruit, seeds and bark of jujube have been used to treat anxiety and insomnia, as well as as an appetite stimulant or digestive aid. While fresh jujubes have flesh that tastes similar to an apple, dried jujube tastes much like dates and have a similarly impressive nutritional profile. Like dates, jujube fruit is loaded with energy, essential vitamins and minerals, which provide its many health benefits.