Ber Jujube: Nutritional Facts, Health Benefits, and Recipes

Updated on January 10, 2019
rajan jolly profile image

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Ber, Bor or Jujube ripe & unripe fruits
Ber, Bor or Jujube ripe & unripe fruits | Source

About Ber Fruit

Latin Name: Ziziphus mauritiana (Ziziphus jujube Lam)

Ber fruit is known by many other names, among them are Masau, Bor, Indian Jujube, Chinese apple, Indian Plum, Desert apple, and Chinese dates. Ber has a firm shiny skin with a color that varies from golden yellow to brown. It is a sweet tasting fruit that sometimes has a hint of sourness and a crunch to it. In India, it is called the poor man's fruit, since it is comparatively cheaper than most fruits.

Another type of ber, belonging to the same family, is the Chanya Manga bor, also known as Jharberi. It is a round, brick-red colored, berry shaped fruit slightly larger than a pea. It is commonly sold by street vendors in Mumbai, who sprinkle a little salt on it before packing it in paper cones. This bor is also sold in dried form and is eaten as is. Ber sells for about $0.75 to $1 a kilo.

Ber fruits, besides being eaten as they are, are also made into pickles, murabba, candy, chutney, and beverages. Ber is often used in Ayurveda. The leaves, root, and bark are used in various medicinal ways.

The ber fruit also has an historic association to it. It is mentioned in the Ramayana that an old woman named Shabari was so devoted to Lord Rama that in her eagerness and anticipation to meet the Lord, she tasted each ber berry to ensure only the sweet ones were offered to Lord Ram when he visited her. As he saw the offering was out of pure love, Lord Ram accepted these berries. The ber fruit is also offered to Lord Shiva while worshipping him, especially during Mahashivratri puja.

Ber Tree & Its Fruits

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Ber TreeBark Of The Ber TreeJujube FruitDried Jujube fruits resembling dried datesAnother variety of Ber (Chanya Manga Bor, the red orange colored fruit)
Ber Tree
Ber Tree | Source
Bark Of The Ber Tree
Bark Of The Ber Tree | Source
Jujube Fruit
Jujube Fruit | Source
Dried Jujube fruits resembling dried dates
Dried Jujube fruits resembling dried dates | Source
Another variety of Ber (Chanya Manga Bor, the red orange colored fruit)
Another variety of Ber (Chanya Manga Bor, the red orange colored fruit) | Source

The Ber (Jujube) Tree

Zizyphus mauritiana varies from a small shrub to a small, hardy evergreen tree that reaches a height of about 30 feet. It has a spreading crown with drooping branches.

It grows in the wild, but is cultivated in China, Korea, Japan, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Russia, and the central United States.

Ber is also a medicinal tree. Its leaves, bark, seeds, and roots can be used to treat a variety of health issues. It is native to India and grows all over. The ber tree is also used to rear the insect Tachardia lacca (Laccifer lacca), which produces lac or shellac.

The tender shoots and leaves are used as fodder, while the wood is used as fuel. The Chinese jujube is the Zizyphus jujuba tree, which is native to China, where it has been grown for over 4,000 years.

Ber Nutritional Facts

  • It's low in calories.
  • It has no fat or cholesterol.
  • It's low in sodium with moderate levels of potassium.
  • It's very rich in vitamin C, providing 115% of your daily needs per 100 grams of fruit.
  • It contains several B vitamins.
  • It also contains several minerals, like copper, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium
  • Ber contains tannins that provide positive health benefits.
  • The dried fruit is an excellent source of iron and calcium

Note: A more detailed nutritional analysis of the ber fruit can be seen in the table below, where the Jujube's nutritive value is measured per 100g. This information was gathered from the USDA National Nutrient data base.

Jujube Nutrient Values

(click column header to sort results)
Principle  
Nutrient Value  
Percentage of RDA  
Energy
79 Kcal
4%
Carbohydrates
20.53 g
16%
Protein
1.2g
2%
Total Fat
0.20 g
1%
Cholesterol
0 mg
0%
Vitamins
 
 
Niacin
0.900 mg
5%
Pyridoxine
0.081 mg
6%
Riboflavin
0.040 mg
3%
Thiamin
0.020 mg
2%
Vitamin A
40 IU
1%
Vitamin C
69 mg
115%
Electrolytes
 
 
Sodium
3 mg
<1%
Potassium
250 mg
5%
Minerals
 
 
Calcium
21 mg
2%
Copper
0.073 mg
8%
Iron
0.48 mg
6%
Magnesium
10 mg
2.50%
Manganese
0.084 mg
4%
Phosphorus
23 mg
3%
Zinc
0.05 mg
<1%
Phyto-nutrients
 
 
Catechin
3.2 mg
--
Quercetin
1.3 mg
--

Health Benefits of Ber Fruit

Ber (Jujube) fruit has astringent, cooling, pain relieving, stomachic, styptic (contracts blood vessels to stop bleeding) properties. The tannins provide anti-inflammatory, anti infective, and anti hemorrhagic benefits. It also has antipyretic, appetizing, aphrodisiacal, diaphoretic, digestive, expectorant, laxative, tonic, sedative activities. They contain 18 of the 24 amino acids our body needs.

Great as a low calorie snack, ber fruit provides a variety of vitamins and minerals that help maintain weight as well as provide several nutrients.

The many vitamins and minerals present in ber fruit, plus its excellent levels of vitamin C, help in boosting the immune system while its antioxidant flavonoids, the catechins, not only counter free radicals, but also keep the brain working sharp and clear, improving memory and retention.

Elements like potassium and magnesium, along with the flavonoids, help to regulate blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and reduce risk of heart disease. Because of its calming, soothing, and sedative action, the jujube fruit calms the nerves and nervous system, relieving anxiety and stress. For this reason, the ber fruit can help you sleep better (if it or its decoction is consumed at night). Other minerals present in jujube aid in keeping the bones healthy and strong, delaying, and possibly preventing, old age issues related to bone health.

The saponins and triterpenoids, as well as the fiber, in jujube prevent constipation, bloating, and flatulence, while improving digestion. They also aid in detoxifying the blood by removing toxins from the body's system. They help maintain a properly functioning liver. Studies have found that jujube's flavonoids lower the risk of cancer and tumors.

Some Ayurvedic Remedies With Jujube

  • For rheumatism, a paste of the leaves and root applied on the affected body part helps to relieve pain.
  • For pimples and acne, apply a paste of the leaves. When applied on wounds this paste helps to heal them.
  • For hair loss, apply a paste of ber leaves on the scalp.
  • For boils, apply crushed leaves on them.
  • For diarrhea, the powder of dried leaves can be consumed with water.
  • For indigestions, a paste of the root can be taken internally.
  • To reduce fluid retention, a decoction of the leaves acts as a diuretic.
  • For coughing, a paste of the bark fried in ghee and consumed with rock salt/sendha can help.
  • For fevers, the leaf paste can be applied externally to relieve the burning sensation.
  • For rheumatoid arthritis and ascites, the leaves of ber are used in the preparation of Panchamla Thailam oil.

Ber is also used in Panchkarma treatment. In piles, ber decoction is prepared and the patient is made to sit in it for five to ten minutes. This relieves pain, itching, and the size of the pile mass.

Precautions

Though ber is safe for consumption by everyone, the sour fruit should not be taken with milk, as it is incompatible. Sour fruits should not be eaten in gastritis. Only ripe and sweet fruits should be consumed.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or health care provider before taking any home remedies, supplements, or starting a new health regime.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly

    Comments

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      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        Thanks Flourish.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        3 years ago from USA

        I've never heard of this other than an American candy by a similar name. You educate us all!

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        @Hanzamfafa - thanks for stopping by.

        @MsDora - I believe these fruits ought to be available in Asian markets. Appreciate your visit.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        3 years ago from The Caribbean

        Never heard these names before though the fruit looks like a kind of plum I've seen. Good to know about it, in case we should ever meet. Thank you.

      • Hanzamfafa profile image

        Mike Leal 

        3 years ago from London

        Very informative and interesting. Thanks for sharing this.

      • rajan jolly profile imageAUTHOR

        Rajan Singh Jolly 

        3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

        @Shaloo, thank you.

        @aesta1 - ber is quite a useful fruit to have.

        @Bill - there are n number of things that are new to us. Always good to know this information is helpful. Thanks.

        @Devika - thank you.

        @manatita - glad to provide you with this information. Thank you, Bro.

        @tebo - it is also available in dried form if you'd like to have it. Appreciate your stopping by.

      • tebo profile image

        tebo 

        3 years ago from New Zealand

        I have never heard of this fruit before. It certainly sounds like a very useful and nutritious fruit. Probably can't get it in this part of the world.

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        3 years ago from london

        Yes, Bro. I know of the Jujube fruit. I do believe that I have had it in one form or another. You seem to write like the Master Herbalist Michael Tierra sometimes, in describing the qualities of the herb. Nice article.

      • DDE profile image

        Devika Primić 

        3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

        Interesting and fascinating. A well-presented hub with useful facts.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        3 years ago from Olympia, WA

        My education continues. I've never heard of this.....I'll be on the lookout around here, but I honestly have never seen it or heard of it.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 years ago from Ontario, Canada

        I see this in the grocery but have not really given it attention. Now that I know of its benefits, I will definitely try it.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        3 years ago from India

        Thanks for sharing the ayurvedic remedies...quite helpful!

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