Functionality of Loquat - An Asian Fruit That Has Some Health Benefits

Originating in China, the loquat fruit tree can grow to approximately 10 to 20 feet tall or be as short and stocky as a 3-foot high evergreen shrub. Loquats are in the pome family with apples, plums, and pears. When loquats are ripe, the flesh tastes similar to apricots, cherries, and other sweet fruit. They should be eaten or processed soon after being picked. Loquat quality diminishes with water loss once they are picked. The fruit, sometimes called a Japanese plum, has been harvested for about one thousand years in China and India. The fruit made its way eventually to Hawaii and other states and countries.
Loquat fruits serve as landscape decoration as well as food and medicinal purposes. The tree forms small white, fragrant flowers that eventually produce a tangy but sweet ripe, dark yellow to peachy, orange colored oval fruit. Deep green leaves are luscious backdrop to the fruit as it grows its yellow fruit and ripens to orange. It is tempting to pick loquats before they ripen but they are much less sour and easier to peel when ripe. Cultivated in subtropical and temperate climates, the loquat's biggest producer is Japan.
loquat health benefits
Loquat health benefits

Once the thin skin is peeled off to the brown seeds, the loquat fruit can be eaten directly, canned, or made into a fruit salad, pie, jam, jelly or chutney, a wine, or even sake from the seed. Loquat seeds are bitter and large quantities are not recommended. The nutritional benefits from the fruit include Vitamin A, B, C, and B17 along with malic, tartaric, and citric acids that support human vision and dental health. The fruit is also low in cholesterol and fat and a fiber-rich source which can help with weight loss efforts. Four ounces of the fruit is only about 50 calories. Ten loquats would be a healthy, refreshing, and quick snack for just about anyone. Studies continue to explore the significant amount of amygdaline that the fruit seeds have compared to their leaves and what benefits that can provide.
Medicinally, the loquat has a mild sedative quality. It can be processed into a soothing cough syrup or paste that can also relieve nausea. This syrup or paste, improves respiratory function by loosening phlegm and making it easier to cough. Loquat leaves also provide relief to those suffering from digestive problems. Significantly, loquats contain laetrile, a known anti-cancer agent. The fruit also compliments healthy blood pressure. Loquat leaves can be boiled and infused in green tea and various additions to suit individual taste toward bitter or sweet.
By Tad Kumagai. Many people are not aware there is a healthier Japanese herbal tea than Green teas, called Tenchicha. The tea contains 12 herbs with no caffeine. Mr. Kumagai is the president of Eco Vita, which provides information on health benefits of herbal products including tenchicha. For more detail, please visit [].

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