Chinese Red Dates | Jujube | 红枣 hóng zǎo

It took me half a year of living in China to try this fruit. I didn’t know what it is, how it tastes and even I was not sure if you eat it just like that or you need to cook it. Fortunately, one of my friends introduced these berries to me. Now it is one of my favorite snacks. 

there are different forms of this fruit:

FRESH – it is rather less sweet, but not sauer, it’s hard, like an apple, not very juicy.

DRY (whole fruit) – it has a specific taste, not very sweet, but if you are sugar craving, eating this fruit may help you control it. It is spongy, soft but still consistent. If you want to compare it to a regular dry dates, the Chinese one are definitely less sweet, but the consistency seems similar.

DRY (cut fruit) – when I first ate it, I thought it is a wood. It is hard, crunchy and smells like wood.


Later I have learned that this fruit is considered in China as a good source of blood and Qi. In Chinese Medicine, if you are “lucking blood or Qi”, eating this fruit (dry and red) will help you regain strength. For example it is recommended for women during their period or after birth, also if the person has anemia, etc.

Blood deficiency can be caused by poor Spleen and Stomach Qi. If the Spleen and Stomach luck the Qi, the digestion and food absorption will be weakened. This also mean that the blood supply is worsened. The following symptoms can appear:

  • poor appetite
  • lack of energy
  • pallor
  • lack of muscle on the arm and legs
  • overweight
  • diarrhea
  • sluggish bowel movements or bowel movements straight after eating
  • bloating after eating
  • stomach cramps or diarrhea from eating cold food
  • light and shorter menstruation
  • insomnia

If the Blood is in deficiency, it is also unable to properly moisturize Liver and Heart. That is considered as one of the major reasons for sleep disorders.

CHINESE RED DATES nutritional facts

Looking at nutritional facts of Jujube, these berries are packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Fresh jujube are an excellent source of vitamin C.

While the dry one are rich in iron and calcium. This probably explains the chinese prescription of them. Iron is a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells and is responsible for oxygen transport. Calcium, apart from making the bones strong, is important in muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve impulse.

Dry as well as fresh Jujube carry modest levels of the B-complex group of vitamins. Moreover, Jujube contains magnesium, potassium, manganese and phosphorus.


In conclusion Chinese Red Dates:

  • strengthen the immune system (anti cancer abilities, fighting diseases),
  • help sleep and rest better,
  • cure nervousness (they have uplifting and calming properties),
  • help in indigestion (good for chronic constipation, improve digestion power),
  • stabilizes blood pressure.

Other Info

  • If you want to buy whole dry fruits, chose one, which are dark red with the good consistency (pretty hard and filled in).
  • Do not eat too many of red dates (at most 10 dates). Overeating can cause bloating and diarrhea.
  • In China the fresh Jujube are available from July till the end of November. While dry, voila, you can get at any time, as they can store well for several months.
  • Dry Chinese Red Dates are also commonly used in a tea. Take 3 or 4 dates, squeeze them slightly and pour with hot water. Drink hot/warm.