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Red dates are one of the most popular health foods among the Chinese people. The health benefits of red dates are huge and these dates are often used as food, in making health tonics, adding in traditional herbs, and even in desserts.

fresh fruit jujube
Jujube fresh fruit

What are red dates?

Red dates, also called jujube, brown-red stone are oval fruits with a thin glossy skin. They vary in size between 2.5 and 6 centimeters and grow on trees. The red date tree, Ziziphus zizyphus, is also called jujube tree or Ziziphus jujube.

The tree is mainly found in Asian countries, but also in Arab countries and for several hundred years in Southern European countries. Jujube trees are now also growing in the US, where the production of red dates has increased dramatically.

The history of the red dates began in the new Stone Age (Neolithic), around 8,000 years ago. The people of the ancient Zhou dynasty (circa 1046-256 BC) used the red dates to brew wine. Since that time, red dates have often been mentioned in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), where the ideal meal consists of a combination of taste, nutrients and medicinal effects.

Even in the modern world, the red date is very popular and is recommended as a "natural vitamin supplement" because of its health benefits.

Nutrition facts of red dates

First, dates contain many vitamins. B vitamins are well represented in dates and this means that you get a lot of vitamin B if you eat dates regularly. Vitamin B6 in particular, also called pyridoxine, is common in dates.

If you eat 100 grams of dates, you get almost 20% of the recommended daily intake (RDA) of vitamin B6; and 16% of the vitamin B5 RDI. Other vitamins in dates are the vitamins A, vitamins B2, B3 and B11.

Dates also contain various important minerals. If you eat 100 grams of dates, you get 40% of the RDA from copper; and 16% of the RDA of potassium. Other minerals found in dates are manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium and zinc.

health benefits of red dates
Dried jujube fruits (red dates)

Health benefits of red dates

In addition to vitamins and minerals, there are other healthy substances in dates.

Anti-cancer: The high lutein content in dates helps prevent cancer by eliminating free radicals in the body. Free radicals not only cause cell damage but also damage the DNA and can be very dangerous.

Anti-depressant, of course: Eating red dates can help to reduce stress and anxiety and also seems to support mental agility. Researchers discovered that data extracts had the highest biological effect on the activation of an important enzyme in our synthesis acetylcholine memory molecule, the so-called choline acetyl transferase.

Anti-inflammatory: Anti-inflammatory properties are also described that may be related, among other things, to the presence of oleamide. Oleamide is a very interesting substance that produces us in our brains when we are at rest. It is our built-in brake not to go on endlessly.

Blood building: Red dates are an excellent source of iron and a powerful natural remedy for anemia and red blood cell replenishment.

Blood pressure: Eating fresh jujubes or drinking red date tea regularly will help regulate your blood pressure. Red dates in dried form contain even higher potassium levels, which helps to keep blood vessels relaxed to improve blood pressure.

cataract: Zeaxanthin, a phytonutrient with many dates, is good for your eyes and prevents you from developing cataracts.

Heart health: Red dates also contain polyphenols that appear to have clear efficacy in preventing heart damage after a heart attack. It is therefore a myoprotective agent.

Immune system: Extracts from the fruit also seem to improve the immune system. In a clinical study, the fruit appeared to have clear therapeutic effects on constipation, something we mainly know about dried plums.

Sleep better: Jujube contains compounds known as flavonoids, saponins and polysaccharides that have a calming effect on the nervous system. This gives it the ability to induce sleep and help insomnia to get a restful night without drugs.

How to use red dates

Many traditional herbal remedies contain dates because they are used to improve blood circulation. Red dates are very versatile and can be eaten in many ways. They are also easy to store and easy to use.

You can eat fresh dates as they are, or you can add them to your kitchen, in broths, soups, tea or desserts. TCM suggests Eat 5 dates as snacks, three to four times a week. More does not mean better, so be careful to limit consumption.

Red dates for women to promote blood building

Red dates are used in TCM because of the high iron content to prevent anemia. We speak of anemia when we have low hemoglobin levels in the blood. Hemoglobin is a protein that is present in our red blood cells. This protein also gives these cells the red color.

Hemoglobin has only one task in your blood, it is responsible for the transport of oxygen-carbon dioxide through the blood. Iron deficiency is the main cause of anemia.

Traditionally, Chinese women eat red dates or regularly cook red date tea to replenish monthly lost blood. It is also said that it is the elixir of life that gives a youthful-looking skin.

Women who have recently given birth will receive brewed red date tea that is nutritious, improves blood circulation and revives the overall health of body and health.

Red dates porridge (Congee)

When you feel under the weather and your body feels weak, you probably have no appetite. Cook yourself a red date porridge (congee) in a stainless steel pot:

  • 1 cup of white or brown rice
  • 5 red dates (split them and remove the seeds)
  • 4 cups of water

Bring the rice with the red dates in it to the boil and simmer until the rice is soft. Make sure you cook at very low heat to prevent the water from drying. Bake for about 25-30 minutes. You get a very fragrant porridge (congee). Serve hot.

This simple bowl of red dates rice helps to improve the digestive system and blood circulation.

Are you deleting Red Date Seeds?

A TCM sinseh told me that the seeds in red dates can be "warm", so it is best to remove them before use, to prevent "heat."

If you suffer from these conditions, it is suggested to remove the seeds when eating red dates: constipation, gas and bloating, fever, cough with yellow mucus, mouth ulcers. These are signs of "heat" in the body.

dried red date tea
Dried red date tea

How to make red dates tea

Red dates are usually available in three forms: fresh, dried and sweet dates. Although the fresh fruit is good to eat and is full of vitamin C, dried red dates are often used to make tea or soup.

Dried red dates have skin that prevents the nutrients from leaching when they are brewed. It is suggested to split each length in length to get the maximum out of it.


  • Fill in a stainless steel pot with 500 ml of pure water and bring to the boil.
  • Make a slit in 10 dates and remove the seeds.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, let cool and drink.

You can also brew more and keep it in your fridge in bottles to drink for 2-3 days.

In Chinese culture other red foods are often added to these red dates, such as: dried longan, dried honey dates, white or black fungus, lotus seeds, lotus roots, ginkgo biloba, ginger root, goji berries, dried chrysanthemum and the list goes on.


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About Sara Ding

Sara Ding is the founder of She is a certified wellness health coach, nutrition consultant and detox specialist. She helps busy men and women identify their health problems at the cause, to eliminate the problems for optimal physical / mental health and well-being.

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