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Loquats and Health Benefits

Updated on February 11, 2014
anglnwu profile image

A certified health and wellness coach, I love discussing food, health benefits and how to keep weight in check,

Loquats are highly nutritious and beneficial to health.
Loquats are highly nutritious and beneficial to health. | Source

I know loquats are in season, they’re hanging over the fence, like forbidden fruit, waiting for me. It’s the neighbor’s tree, and it’s free for the stealing. At least, that’s what my neighbor assures me, “Anytime, pick as many as you want.”

If you’re wondering what on earth are loquats, they’re small orange (when ripe) oval-shaped fruits. They grow in bunches and if you peel off the skin, the flesh is tantalizingly refreshing, with a hint of cantaloupe, plum and cherry, all beautifully blend into nature’s perfection. If you love fiber, eat them with the skin on, and from what I learned, they offer even more nutritionthanks to the skin.

Loquats have been around for a really long time….back when only royalties were permitted to partake of the fruit. Now, you can lay your hands on them---in the farmer’s market, specialty stores or in your own yard, or neighbor’s. They are believed to have originated from the southeastern part of China, preferring high altitudes. Chinese travelers introduced the fruit to Japan, where they are lovingly referred to as the Japanese plum (biwa) as opposed to the pipa (Chinese).

Although the tree is beautiful to look at and in some homes, are planted more for ornamental purposes, the fruits and leaves offer health and medicinal benefits. The long history of use to treat a number of health ailments testify to that.

You can easily peel off the skin for a juicy bite of the succulent flesh.
You can easily peel off the skin for a juicy bite of the succulent flesh. | Source
Source
Loquats in golden bunches.
Loquats in golden bunches. | Source
Glossy green leaves are choke full of medicinal value.
Glossy green leaves are choke full of medicinal value. | Source

Health Benefits of Loquat Fruit

As stated, loquats are best eaten fresh. They don’t keep very long and bruised easily but when refrigerated, they can keep up to a week. Loquats can be transformed into various culinary treats—in salsa, jam, tossed into salads or smoothies, used as garnishing on meat dishes. You don’t need much coaxing to like the fruit and what’s more, they are bursting with health benefits.

  • Promotes Weight Loss

Loquats are low in calories and rich in insoluble fiber and pectin. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack without a hefty caloric profile, loquats make a natural choice. The fiber and pectin also act to fill you up, high on satiety index, to help you stay full longer, thereby eliminating unnecessary snacking, a good way to help weight control.

  • Full of Nutrients

If you’ve a need to check out nutritional profiles, loquats have an impressive one. Loaded with calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin A and B-complex vitamins such as folates, niacin and vitamin B-6, loquats have a lot to offer. For instance, Vitamin A is quite a multi-tasker. Not only is it good for night vision, it stimulates the production of white blood cells, helps with bone growth and maintains the integrity of endothelial cells (those lining the body’s interior surfaces) and regulates cell growth and division. Potassium helps to regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

  • Promotes Good Health

Loquat’s pectin helps to protect the body against colon cancer by binding to toxins and flushing them out of the colon. Pectin is known to reduce cholesterol by preventing the re-absorption of cholesterol in the colon.

  • Helps Production of Blood

Various minerals can be found in loquats; among them: manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, copper and folate. These minerals play a crucial part in the formation of red blood cells. Working in tandem with this aspect of promoting health, the vitamin C found in the fruit helps to increase the absorption of iron.

Not to be outdone, loquat leaves boost numerous health benefits as well. If the glossy deep green leaves seem a bit show-offy, they have ample reasons to do so. They are gloriously health-promoting, boosting a long history of use in traditional medicine to treat a number of health conditions.

If you have a loquat tree, you may be happy to know that you’re actually growing a cabinet of medicine. Ponder the many health benefits of Loquat Leaves:

Health Benefits of Loquat Leaves:

  • Dissolves Thick Mucus

Are your lungs drowning in thick mucus, resulting in a heavy cough or are you having trouble breathing through the mass of mucus accumulating in your respiratory system? If you’re, loquat leaves extract may offer up some relief. The Chinese have long used it in a traditional medicine called “Pipa Gao” (aka Pei Pa Koa), made from a combination of loquat leaves and herbal ingredients as a demulcent and expectorant. Reportedly, it soothes the digestive and respiratory system.

  • Fights Inflammation

Utilize the soothing effect of Loquat leaves to fight skin inflammation. In Japan, dried loquat leaves are brewed for drinking to encourage good skin and treat skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It is also used in the making of topical creams to treat edema and histamine-induced skin contraction.

  • Treats Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes can be debilitating. Lack of insulin production or the body’s inability to regulate the movement of sugar into cells have dire consequences such as dizziness, thirst, poor eye and skin health, including numbness of the feet. Loquat leaves contain turmentic acid that helps to stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin.

  • Detoxifies

Toxins can build up in the body from the food we eat to the pollutants we breathe in. Whether it manifests itself in a sluggish metabolism or poor immunity, a body riddled with toxins is bad news. Loquat leaves contain Amygdalin (B-17) that supports the liver’s ability to process and eliminate toxins—good news.

  • Antiviral

Every day, our body is bombarded with virus. They clamor to bring us down. But why let them? Loquat leaves are rich in a variety of acids, among them megastimane glycosides and polyphenolic constituents, known for their antiviral properties.

Many Uses of Loquats

Now that we've learned how healthy loquats (and their leaves) can be, why not put them to good use? It's not quite possible to list them all but I'll try:

  • Eat it as a fruit--so delicious
  • Puree it and make it into a fruity yummy sauce
  • Use it in the smoothie
  • As an alternative/creative ingredient in salsa (try it!)
  • Dice it and toss it in salads, on pancakes or as a garnishing
  • Add it to cupcakes, fruitcakes or wherever fresh fruits are called for.
  • Loquat jam
  • Loquat pickles (use the green fruits instead)
  • Dry the leaves and use it as tea.


Nutritional Profile of Loquats

(click column header to sort results)
1 cup, raw  
Nutritional Data  
 
% Daily Value
Calories
70
Calories from Fat
2
Cholesterol
0
Sodium
0
Potassium
11%
Total Carbohydrates
18g
Dietary fiber
3g
Vitamin A
46%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
2%
Iron
2%

Comments

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  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 3 years ago

    Wow, you've loquats where you live to. They're lovely eaten as they're. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

  • vespawoolf profile image

    vespawoolf 3 years ago from Peru, South America

    I´m glad I read this article! We have loquats here, but they are called "nispero". They are delicious, but I didn´t realize how many health benefits they have! I will definitely be eating more loquats after reading about them. Thank you!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Word55, a vineyard, I'll trade you for the loquat tree. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • word55 profile image

    Word 4 years ago from Chicago

    Simply amazing anglnwu, I have a vineyard but no loquat tree. I'll try it. Thanks for sharing!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Jackie Lynnley, you can sometimes find them in the farmer's market. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • Jackie Lynnley profile image

    Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

    Sounds terrific but I have never seen them. My dad was always buying different or unusual fruits for us so I have a feeling they are just not in my part of the country. Really hate it but thanks and I will keep an eye open; just in case! ^+

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    vespawoolf, you don't have to be embarrassed. There are lots of things I'm not familiar with too. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • vespawoolf profile image

    vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

    After reading about all the benefits of eating loquats, I'm embarrassed to admit that I've never tasted this fruit. I'll definitely buy them next time I see them at the market. And I'm always interested in how the whole plant, even the leaves, can be used for teas, etc. Very interesting. Thank you.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    teaches12345, thanks for reading and commenting.

  • teaches12345 profile image

    Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

    This is the first I have heard of this fruit. You are so right, the tree looks beautiful. Your information is excellent and I would love to try one some day.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    precy anza, your mom is one smart woman. Mom is always right, as they say. Thanks for dropping by.

  • precy anza profile image

    precy anza 4 years ago from USA

    Hmmmnn...... I love this fruit! :) My mom used to make tea from the leaves. But I didn't know it has anti-viral properties and detoxifies too, now I know. Up and shared!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    rajan jolly, thanks and glad you like it. I like to peel the skin off.

  • rajan jolly profile image

    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Loquat is a refreshing and healthy fruit. Thanks for sharing such useful information. I like to eat it chilled and with the skin.

    Voted up and useful.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Rtalloni, good to see you here. I'm not sure if it will grow in your area. Perhaps, your local nursery can best inform you about that. Thanks for commenting.

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

    Loquats are amazing and now you've got me wondering if I can grow them in my area. I might have to maintain a greenhouse for them, but wow, it would be worth it just for the flavor. We should have known they would be beneficial--thanks!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Thanks, thumbi, appreciate you're reading this hub and commenting.

  • thumbi7 profile image

    JR Krishna 4 years ago from India

    I came to know about Loquats and learned about its Health Benefits.

    never seen this fruit before. Looks very fresh and tempting to eat

    Voted up and shared

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Hey, Om, so good to see you here. I know I've been delinquent but thanks for dropping by to comment.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 4 years ago

    Nice info and tips! So far I've only eaten them fresh, but loquat salsa and loquat cupcakes definitely sound intriguing and worth trying. Up and awesome!

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    So nice to hear from you carol. Glad you've tried loquats before. Thanks for reading and commenting.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    tirelesstraveler, thanks for dropping by to comment. Sounds like your neighbor had quite a number of yummy fruit trees.

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    I have eaten these before and actually enjoyed them. GOod to know the health benefits which makes them more attractive..

  • tirelesstraveler profile image

    Judy Specht 4 years ago from California

    There was a tree in the neighbors yard when I was a kid. I don't think they even knew they had them. I still remember how good they were. They had a mulberry bush in the front yard that were delicious too.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    Haha, Pamela, I know it's been a while since I have time to write for HP. Anyway, good to be back and the reason why I think I should be more active in HP? People like you--so encouraging and sweet. Thanks for dropping by to comment.

  • anglnwu profile image
    Author

    anglnwu 4 years ago

    ishwaryaa, thanks for your positive comments. I always like it when you visit. Thanks for the vote up and for sharing.

  • Pamela99 profile image

    Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

    It is good to see you have a hub as I must have missed you lately. We had a loqoat tree in our backyard many years ago when we lived in California. They are delicious. I don't think I've seen them in the stores here in Florida though. I did not know they were so healthy. Great article and useful as well.

  • ishwaryaa22 profile image

    Ishwaryaa Dhandapani 4 years ago from Chennai, India

    An engaging & informative hub! Thanks to you, I came to know about loquats and its numerous health benefits & uses. Well-done!

    Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

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