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Unabi (Ziziphus): useful properties and contraindications

Historians claim that unabi fruits were one of the basic foods of ancient people. When it was not yet common to grow cereal crops, they were milled and from the resulting flour baked bread. The Chinese date, as this exotic fruit is often called, has played a huge role in the lives of many peoples around the world. For its great taste and valuable nutritional qualities the plant was called the tree of longevity and youth in Japan, in other countries it is known under the name ziziphus.

Although the exact age of this unique crop is not known, but there is a version that it was successfully grown as early as 3-4 thousand years ago. On the shelves of domestic stores, delicious and very nutritious unabi fruits appeared not so long ago, so they are not familiar to a wide range of consumers. We will try to fill this gap in gastronomic knowledge. We will tell you about the nutritional and medicinal properties of Chinese dates, what you can make from the fruit, and who is contraindicated to use them.

What is the Unabi (Ziziphus)

In the Muslim religion, the unabi is a cult plant. According to one legend, the tree grows in the Garden of Eden, and on its leaves are inscribed the names of people living on Earth. Each fallen leaf portends the death of the person whose name is inscribed on it. You can not trust the mythical judgments, but the scientific evidence of the benefits of the exotic fruit is beyond doubt. Today Chinese dates are in demand in cosmetology and the pharmaceutical industry, they have been used for thousands of years in folk medicine, and they are used to make sweet desserts in the national cuisines of many countries. Asian craftsmen make original handicrafts and souvenirs from unabi wood. This valuable wood species after special treatment goes to the manufacture of certain types of musical instruments.

The benefits and harms of unabye

What does it look like?

The variety of variants of the names of the ziziphus often leads to confusion, because people unfamiliar with the flora of the tropics believe that we are talking about different representatives of the plant world. In fact, the Chinese date, like no other plant, is endowed with more than a dozen colorful nicknames: it is called jujuba, yuyuba and jojoba. The plant is also distinguished by its species diversity. In the wild there are more than a hundred species and about a dozen cultivated varieties.

This exotic plant has the following characteristics:

  1. Belongs to the ziziphus family of Crushinus. The plant is a prickly arboreal semi-shrub that reaches 3-4 m in height as an adult. Life expectancy of some specimens reaches more than a hundred years.
  2. The small leaves of the unabie have an elliptical shape. The shrub is very branched, so it delights in the spring with fresh abundant greenery, but with the onset of autumn all the leaves fall off.
  3. Blooming subtropical culture continues throughout the summer, and by autumn the stone fruits appear.
  4. The ripe fruits are bright red in color. They are oblong in shape and resemble a plum or kiwi. The taste of the Chinese date is similar to an apple.
  5. The tree begins to bear fruit as early as 2-3 years of life. Therefore, in the southern regions of the post-Soviet space, gardeners are happy to cultivate this unique culture. Usually the harvest is taken off in late autumn after the leaves fall.

Useful to know: The paradise tree dies at low temperatures. Therefore, gardeners growing the culture for decorative purposes, tightly wrap it up for the winter.

Where does it grow

Some scientists believe that the homeland of ziziphus is China, others call Syria and the north of the African continent. The crop spread rapidly across southern Asia in ancient times, and in the early 20th century, the paradise tree was introduced to America, where it successfully took root in southwestern areas. In Russia, the tropical fruit is now grown in the Caucasus, the Crimea and Krasnodar Krai. The crop is widespread in Moldova, India and Bulgaria, Afghanistan and Madagascar. Mediterranean countries are also among the main suppliers of tropical fruits to the world market.

Unabi feels comfortable in tropical climates. For example, a large orchard was planted in Crimea's Sun Valley as early as 1953 and still produces high yields. Breeders have even managed to bring out their own Crimean variety of ziziphus.

This is interesting: The paradise tree is very demanding to the soil: it grows and bears fruit well on loams in places where groundwater is deep. On the quality of the soil directly depend on the useful properties of the fruit.

Composition and calories

The unabi fruit is unique not only botanically, it contains several dozen biologically active substances. But the main component of the composition is ascorbic acid. The content of this component in the Chinese date is 50 times more than in apples, and the citrus fruit ziziphus exceeds in this indicator by 20 times. In addition to vitamin C, the fruit contains:

  1. Amino acids. Dates contain almost two dozen of them. These substances are involved in important synthesis processes, regulate intestinal function, and have anti-inflammatory properties.
  2. Carotenes. They are derivatives of vitamin A. These substances provide the strength of hair follicles, have a powerful antioxidant activity.
  3. Starches. Useful for the gut, stabilize microflora and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal cancer.
  4. Mineral elements. There are a lot of substances of this group in Chinese dates. These are zinc, iron, magnesium, cobalt, and manganese. Each of these elements takes part in biochemical processes in the human body.
  5. Carbohydrates. Natural sources of energy.
  6. Pectins. Have anti-diabetic properties. They help keep sugar levels stable.
  7. Proteins. Natural proteins, which are essential building blocks for tissues and cells.
  8. Bioflavonoids. These unique natural compounds cleanse the body of toxins and free radicals, and effectively fight inflammation.
  9. Nicotinic acid. It is an important participant in metabolic processes, stimulates the production of gastric secretion.
  10. Tannins. Belongs to the group of tannins. Their presence in drinks cheers up and raises the mood.

Fresh and dried fruits of unabi contain essential compounds and some other substances necessary for human health.

With such a rich composition, the caloric value of a hundred-gram serving of exotic fruit is only 80 units. This figure is within the acceptable limits for products that are included in dietary diets for obesity and some other pathologies.

Note: The bark and roots of the paradise tree contain up to 9.3% tannins. They are used in the treatment of hard leathers. Also in these parts of the shrub is a dye that gives leather goods a pleasant red-orange hue, and silk fabrics - terra cotta color.

Unabi properties

General benefits

Since ancient times, the heavenly tree has been actively used in Oriental medicine. The Chinese still make tonic and soothing drinks from the fruit. Interestingly, these two effects depend on the concentration of the infusion, that is, when using a higher dosage of plant material, the tea is invigorating. If you take a small portion of the base - the drink will help a person to relax and calm down. In Chinese medicine, ziziphus is one of the five most effective medicinal plants.

Benefits of Unabi

In official medicine, plant components are used for the production of various medicines. And for these purposes not only the fruits are used, but also the green leaves and sometimes the bark, roots and even fruit bones. The Chinese date is considered a universal natural remedy, because it has the following set of beneficial actions:

  • Effectively cleanses toxic products, including free radicals;
  • activates brain activity;
  • increases body resistance;
  • reduces appetite;
  • helps normalize sleep;
  • regulates the process of hematopoiesis;
  • strengthens the nervous system;
  • stimulates the liver;
  • improves digestion;
  • strengthens bones and teeth;
  • normalizes blood pressure;
  • supports heart function;
  • relieves muscle spasms.

It is possible to enumerate for a long time the useful properties of this unique tropical fruit for human health. But the main purpose of the Chinese date fruit is to saturate tissues with vitamins and mineral elements. It should be noted that the fruit copes wonderfully with this function.

The nutritional and therapeutic properties of the ziziphus fruit are worth using for the following pathological conditions:

  • respiratory infections;
  • Sore throat and respiratory diseases;
  • insomnia;
  • chronic fatigue;
  • dermatitis and other skin diseases;
  • weakened immunity;
  • nervous disorders;
  • urogenital disorders in women and men;
  • Stomatitis and toothaches;
  • obesity;
  • hypertension.

Scientists have proven that regular consumption of unabi fruit strengthens blood vessels and significantly reduces the risk of atherosclerosis. Tonic drinks based on the tropical fruit energize and improve memory. Cytotoxic activity of the fruit blocks the development of foreign cells. Therefore, the presence in the diet of Chinese dates will be a reliable prevention against the development of cancer. It is enough to eat 20-30 fresh or dried fruits daily to strengthen and provide the body with necessary nutrients.

The unabi fruits are included in the list of the safest products. Nutritionists recommend adding them to the menu of people of all ages and genders. Let's consider what is useful about the tropical fruit for certain groups of people.

For women

The Chinese date is considered one of the best natural antioxidants. Cosmetic products with the inclusion of components of the fruit rejuvenates and cleanses the skin well. It has been found that ziziphus has a moderate antihistaminic property, that is, it reduces itching and irritation in allergies. The high content of vitamins in the off-season will help strengthen immune forces. And in case of sleep disorders, fresh tea with unabi fruit will help to cope with this widespread problem. In addition to these properties, the exotic fruits improve the condition of the reproductive system of women, as well as reduce the negative symptoms of premenstrual period.

For men

Although members of the stronger sex do not favor the exotic fruit because of its sweet taste, Chinese dates can provide significant support for the following male health problems:

  • prostatitis;
  • male infertility;
  • low potency;
  • Poor quality of seminal fluid.

Having a positive effect on the state of blood vessels, the presence of unabi fruits in the daily diet will be a reliable prevention of the development of cardiac pathologies. In addition, with the help of the fruit you can improve performance and cope without losses from the effects of stress that haunt modern men at every step. And another useful property of the tropical plant for men is to help against baldness. Simple homemade recipes will help to preserve the hair. Also the product perfectly copes with the consequences of nicotine and alcohol addiction.

When pregnant.

Despite a whole list of food bans, Chinese dates are allowed to consume future mothers. Physicians and nutritionists made an exception for the subtropical fetus, based on the positive properties of this product.

  1. After all, fruit rich in vitamins and minerals can provide a supply of necessary substances to two bodies at once.
  2. The presence of iron in the composition will help to prevent the development of anemia in a pregnant woman, and ascorbic acid will increase defenses.
  3. Antioxidant substances in the composition remove toxins and excess fluid from the body, which will prevent the appearance of edema.
  4. For women in the position of the fruit unabi is also useful with high fiber content, which improves intestinal peristalsis. Therefore, the presence in the diet of such a product, in addition to all these advantages, will also help ensure regular stools.
  5. We would like to mention the benefits of folic acid for the developing fetus. In the first trimester, when the nervous system of the future child is formed, the lack of this component can lead to congenital anomalies in the baby.

It is important: If a woman has not consumed Chinese dates before pregnancy, there is a risk of developing an allergy to the tropical product. Therefore, before the introduction of an unfamiliar product in the diet should consult a doctor.

When breastfeeding

Nursing mothers in the first three months after childbirth should refrain from eating any fruit, especially exotic. But after this period, Chinese dates are well worthy to become part of a woman's daily diet, if the baby does not cause allergies. Ziziphus fruits stimulate breast milk production, improve digestion, help to combat constipation. All these actions together will certainly be very useful for the recovery of a woman. But eat sweet fruits in small portions. One fresh or dried date per day is enough to vitaminize the main menu.

Video: What fruits can a nursing mother Expand

For kids.

Rich in the content of vitamins and minerals, the fruit is certainly useful for the growing body. But give such a delicacy to children only after two years. By this time, the child's body is fully adapted to the consumption of solid food. The fruit should be introduced to the diet gently and in small portions. To prevent the fruit pulp from sticking to the child's teeth, it should be crushed, and after drinking it, give the baby a drink of water.

Unabi fruits should be given to teenagers who suffer from excessive body weight. The substances present in the product reduce the concentration of lipids in the blood, thereby reducing the risk of a child developing heart disease.

For weight loss.

The sweet taste of the Chinese date will not be a hindrance for those who monitor the volume of their waistline. On the contrary, nutritionists recommend that all thinning individuals necessarily supplement their diet with this useful fruit. The exotic fruit will help to endure the hardships of a tough diet, increase overall tone, provide vitamins and minerals. The ability of ziziphus to relieve nervous tension will help in this period to establish sleep. Just one cup of warm fruit tea will act as a mild sedative, providing a good restful sleep.

The product's low calorie content combined with high protein and fiber content will give good satiety during the day's snack time.

Note: Chinese dates are hugely popular with fitness enthusiasts.

For Diabetes.

Nutritionists and endocrinologists not only welcome the inclusion of ziziphus fruit in the diet of diabetics, they strongly recommend the use of this product for such patients. As studies have shown, the Chinese date is the best natural substitute for sugar, which, combined with its set of beneficial effects will help strengthen the weakened body of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Of course, before including the tasty fruit in the menu, you should first consult a doctor. But even in the case of normal blood glucose levels, you should not get carried away with unabi fruit. Diabetics can consume several fresh or dried fruits a day, but it is better to prepare healing decoctions or vitamin teas and compotes.

Addendum: According to the recipes of folk medicine at home you can prepare decoctions, infusions and ointments from different parts of the paradise tree. It is interesting that absolutely all elements of the plant, including the seeds of the fruit, are used for therapeutic purposes. For example, to treat skin diseases is enough to mix in a ratio of 1:5 crushed fresh leaves and olive oil. After 10 days of infusion, the ointment for external treatment is ready for use.

Important: The glycemic index of unaby is 20 units.

Harm and contraindications

Harm and contraindications of unabi

The list of positive qualities of the Chinese date is impressive. But, despite the great benefits of the tropical fruit for people of all ages, if you want to improve your health due to its valuable composition, it is necessary to take into account the existing contraindications. The product in any form is prohibited to consume:

  • young children;
  • Persons prone to allergic manifestations;
  • hypotension;
  • people suffering from flatulence;
  • People with poor appetite.

Pregnant women are allowed to eat the fruit in moderate quantities, but it is strictly forbidden to take medicines from the seeds and leaves. These parts of the plant contain substances that can provoke a miscarriage.

For an adult, the maximum daily rate of fresh and dried fruits of ziziphus is 80 g. If you exceed this dose, headaches, apathy, weakness may appear. Therefore, if you want to resolve the situation with insomnia at the expense of a useful fruit should be very careful to determine the dosage.

Otherwise, Chinese dates - a very tasty and nutritious product, which is worth to pay attention to all, especially in periods of winter deficiency of vitamins.

How to choose and store

Unfamiliar products, especially exotic fruits, must be able to choose correctly. Chinese dates rarely appear in our stores, so consumers are not familiar with the rules of fruit selection. They are not complicated:

  1. Ideally, buy fresh unabi specimens with a red-brown hue and a slightly wrinkled rind.
  2. Irregular coloring with yellowish spots is allowed, but damage, dents and signs of rot should not be present.
  3. It is desirable to know in what area the fruit was grown. Preference should be given to fruit from mountainous areas.
  4. Chinese dates retain their valuable properties in any form for a whole year. In canned form the product can be stored for up to 3 years.
  5. In the case of storing fresh fruit in the refrigerator, they must be sold within a month.

Important: People prone to allergic manifestations and suffering from digestive disorders, it is advisable to consult a doctor about the inclusion of a new product in the diet. It is also necessary to consult with a specialist, if there is an intention to undergo a course of home treatment with preparations prepared from various parts of the paradise tree.

How to eat unabi correctly

Ziziphus fruits are more often eaten fresh, which gives the human body the maximum benefit. But before consuming the fruit, be sure to rinse thoroughly under running water. In the rind of Chinese dates concentrated a lot of useful substances, so they should be eaten with the outer shell. In stores you can find dried fruits unabi, packed in bags. From such dried fruits you can prepare home compotes, vitamin drinks, add them to porridge. In specialized stores of oriental spices ziziphus is sold as a spice.

In terms of taste, the Chinese date is very close to the apple. But it differs from the traditional for our table fruits by the dense structure of the pulp and sensitive tart notes in the taste bouquet. When dried, unabi is difficult to distinguish from ordinary dates.

Norms of consumption
To maintain health and immune strength is enough to eat a few fruits a day, but no more than 20 pieces. Particularly worth to lay on the Chinese dates when there is a risk of catching the flu and other viral infections. If valuable fruits will be constantly present in the diet, the benefits of such a supplement will immediately have a positive effect on the overall condition. The exotic fruit is useful for the elderly: it will help stabilize blood pressure, improve memory, inhibit the growth of malignant cells.

What can be cooked from the unabi: recipes

In European cuisine and eastern countries, the Chinese date is a desirable product. From it you can prepare a huge number of original dishes with exquisite taste characteristics. Dried, dried, canned fruits are used as the source culinary material. Powdered mixture is used to prepare medicinal teas. Fresh fruits are ideal for a hearty and healthy snack of the day.

What can be cooked from the unaby

Here are some interesting ways to prepare Chinese dates:

  1. In Korea and China, ziziphus are loved in tea.
  2. In Japan, particles of the sweet fruit are added to rice and baked goods.
  3. Europeans love to make smoothies with fruit and Chinese dates.
  4. There are recipes for roasted Chinese dates in the world collection.
  5. Many kinds of world-famous oriental sweets are also made with the obligatory inclusion of particles of dried unabi fruit.
  6. There are recipes for pickles that include this exotic fruit in the list of ingredients.
  7. Ziziphus is added to baked goods, wine, fruit desserts, salads, and first and second meat dishes.
  8. Since the fruit is rich in tannins, when crushed it can be used as a coffee substitute.

Our pragmatic housewives have also contributed to the treasury of world cookery. Here are some popular recipes using fruits and other parts of ziziphus.


Our lovers of natural flavors will also appreciate this stimulating tea, made according to a traditional Chinese recipe. If you carefully follow the correct sequence of preparation, you will get a product that will instantly reduce fatigue, calm the nerves and give positive energy.

The composition of the plant base for the drink includes the following ingredients:

  • 20 fruits of Chinese dates (dried fruit);
  • cinnamon stick;
  • a sprig of anise;
  • a full tablespoon of leafy quality tea (you can take black or green varieties)
  • a piece of ginger root (5 cm);
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar (preferably coconut sugar).
  • These proportions are given per liter of purified water.

Preparation process:

  1. The procedure is simple, but takes time. First, slice the ginger root into thin circles.
  2. Mix all the above components, except sugar, in a container, pour the mass with water.
  3. Put the pot with the composition on low heat.
  4. Boil until the fruit softens.
  5. At the end of the process add sugar.
  6. The ready tea according to the Chinese recipe to infuse for another 15 minutes, then pour it into cups.

After the first sip of the refreshing drink immediately feel a rush of energy, lift your spirits.

Simplified recipe
This simple method was invented already by our enterprising housewives. You must put in a thermos 15-20 fruit unabi, pour boiling water over them. Then close the thermos tightly to allow the tea to infuse. After 20-30 minutes you can enjoy the tart and a little sweet taste of the drink. If the sweetness is not enough, you can add a small spoonful of honey to the tea.

Video: How to make candied ziziphus Expand


There are many recipes for making compote from fresh and dried Chinese dates. The advantage of such a drink is that it can be preserved. In winter, a refreshing invigorating drink will be a real boon, and its taste is so rich that no soda can compare to it in this respect. Even for the New Year's Eve party, the vitamin compote is perfect. Here is a set of products for its preparation:

  • 2 cups of dried fruits ziziphus;
  • The same amount of apricots;
  • One cup each of strawberries and raspberries (you can take frozen berries);
  • 3 full cups of sugar;
  • 5 liters of water.

Scheme of preparation:

  1. First, in a bowl of suitable volume, bring water to a boil.
  2. Then put in the boiling water unabi fruit and dried apricots. Boil for 5 minutes.
  3. After that, add the berries.
  4. Boil the whole compote for another 10 minutes.
  5. Then take it off heat and cool.
  6. Decant or strain into cups with dried fruit pieces.


Chinese date jam can be made in a variety of ways. Here is a popular among housewives method "five-minute".

There are only two ingredients:

  • 800 g granulated sugar;
  • 1 kg of ziziphus fruit.

How to prepare:

  1. First of all, thoroughly rinse the fruit under running water.
  2. Then each fruit to pierce in several places with a toothpick.
  3. Fill the mass with sugar.
  4. Wait until the fruit will not give juice. It is therefore best to leave the preparation for jam overnight.
  5. If the juice is not enough, add a little water. True, such an addition will somewhat reduce the taste characteristics of jam.
  6. After all the above steps, boil the jam three times for 5 minutes each. Between the stages of heat treatment, the beverage should cool down completely.
  7. After the third boiling, the hot product immediately determine in jars, and then close with iron lids. The canned food should stand in the room for twenty-four hours. At the same time banks should be placed upside down. The ideal place for storage of jam from Chinese dates - a cool cellar.

Chinese date jam with cinnamon
This recipe for jam will appeal to the small and adult members of the family. The fruit treat would be a great addition to pancakes and pancakes, but you can enjoy it in combination with ice cream.

The following ingredients will be required:

  • 2 kg of fresh ziziphus fruit;
  • 2 kg sugar;
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon;
  • 20 grams of citric acid;
  • liter of water.

Scheme of preparation:

  1. Thoroughly washed fruits pierce with a fork or toothpick.
  2. Boil for 5 minutes in boiling water.
  3. Now prepare the syrup. To do this, mix the entire amount of water with the sugar.
  4. Boil the syrup until the sugar has dissolved.
  5. With the hot syrup pour boiled Chinese dates. In this state, the preparation should stand for 5-7 hours.
  6. Boil for 25 minutes on low heat.
  7. When it cools, pour into sterilized jars.
  8. Close the jars tightly with plastic lids. Cooked in this way jam stored in the refrigerator.

Pickled ziziphus fruit

Such a spicy snack will decorate the holiday table and diversify the daily menu. But for this recipe, you need to prepare 5 kg of unripe unabi fruits. In addition to the main ingredient, you should also take:

  • 1 kg of sugar;
  • 1 kg of garlic;
  • 500 ml of table vinegar;
  • salt, spices.

Method of preparation:

  1. Cut the washed fruits, remove the pips.
  2. Peel the garlic and wash it.
  3. Then in each incision put one garlic clove.
  4. In pre-sterilized jars put first spices, and then stuffed with garlic dates.
  5. Now prepare the marinade: in a pot combine vinegar, salt and sugar, and boil.
  6. Fill jars with brine, cover the jars with lids.
  7. After 20 minutes, drain the marinade, boil it again and pour it back into the jars.
  8. After this procedure, each jar is closed with metal lids.
  9. After complete cooling of the container to send for storage in the cellar or the refrigerator.
Video: How to pickle ziziphus for the winter Expand

Interesting facts

Interesting facts about ravine berries

  1. In the Russian regions of the Caucasus, the leaves of the paradise tree are fed to silkworms. This diet allows the arthropods to produce high quality fiber.
  2. If one chews the leaves of ziziphus for a long time, they suppress the sensitivity of the taste buds. Only after half an hour, a person can once again sense the bitterness and sweetness of food.
  3. People living in the Himalayas believe that the sweet aroma of the Chinese date promotes love relationships. That is why the local boys attach stalks with ziziphus flowers to their clothes to attract the attention of girls. And during the wedding ceremony, in the bedroom of the newlyweds, the unabi branches are necessarily placed before the first wedding night as a sign of future happiness and fertility.
  4. Dried fruits of ziziphus taste very much like "bird's milk" candies.
  5. Korean craftsmen use ziziphus wood to make dishes, beads, and parts for violins and reed drums.

«Important: All information on this site is provided for informational purposes only. for informational purposes only. Please consult with your health care professional before using any of the recommendations. specialist before using any of the recommendations. Neither the editors nor the authors shall be liable for any possible harm caused by materials."

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