Jambu | Water Apple | Bell Fruit | Nutrition And Health Benefits
Jambu (Water Apple)
About Jambu (Water Apple)
Latin name : Syzygium samarangense / Eugenia javanica
Among the many names of Jambu are bell fruit, wax apple, love apple, java apple, Jamaican apple, water apple and rose apple though it is neither related to apples or roses.
Jambu is a crisp and crunchy, wafery textured, mildly sweet exotic tropical fruit.
Wax Apple Tree & PartsClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Jambu (Water Apple) Tree
Also called wax Jambu the tree belongs to the family Myrtaceae. It is native to India, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and the Caribbean.
It is a a fast growing tree that grows in most tropical and sub tropical areas of the world today. The tree is very sensitive to frost and grows to a height of 5 to 15 meters.
The water apple tree has thick, wide and dark green leaves and is a heavy producer of the jambu fruit yielding up to 700 fruits per season. It starts fruiting around 5 years of age.
Sygygium samarangense grows best in full sun and needs a moist fertile soil for best quality fruits.
The Jambu fruit is produced in a variety of colors ranging from white to off white, cream colored to greenish white, and pink to red.
Externally the fruit has a glossy, smooth and waxy skin and is pear or bell shaped. the skin is thin and the flesh white and spongy with a faintly aromatic taste.
The water apple is eaten raw and also used in a variety of dishes, desserts, salads and made into a pickle as well.
Juice and jelly are also prepared from the fruit.
Variously Colored Wax ApplesClick thumbnail to view full-size
Nutrients In Water Apple
The fruit pulp is a rich source of phenols, flavonoids and several antioxidant compounds.
It contains about 93% water and supplies per 100 grams, the following nutrients.
- 25 calories, 1% of the daily needs
- vitamin C 73%
- vitamin A 7%
- calcium 3%
- niacin 4%
- riboflavin 2%
- potassium 4%
- and 1% each of magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and thiamine.
Health Benefits Of Water Apples
The jambu fruit have been used in traditional medicine for many disease conditions. It has antimicrobial, antiscorbutic, carminative, diuretic or astringent properties.
The fruits, leaves and seeds reduce fever while the roots are diuretic.
In summer its consumption is especially beneficial as it not only quenches thirst but also hydrates the body.
It prevents sunstroke and removes the ill effects of dehydration.
When eaten with a little salt it helps to comfort the stomach and the intestines.
Chinese medicine uses the flowers to treat diarrhea and fever due to its astringent properties.
Jambu is also used to treat high blood pressure and many inflammatory conditions like sore throat for example.
A compound in wax apple, vescalagin has anti hyperglycemic and anti hyper triglyceridemic activity that help in lowering blood sugar and triglyceride levels as well.
Jambu has shown antibiotic and antifungal activity against Staphylococcus aureus, candida and mycobacterium smegmatis.
Leaf extracts have shown immunomodulatory effects.
The fruit has also been used as an anticonvulsant and sedative and as an antimicrobial against the herpes virus and as inhibitor of histamine release.
The fiber rich rose apples prevent constipationand keep the digestive system healthy.
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.
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© 2016 Rajan Singh Jolly