Red dates, or jujubes, are one of the most popular health foods in China. Dried dates are soft on the outside with a sweet smell and moist inside. Chinese people treat red dates not only as a food, but also as a health tonic and traditional herb.
How red dates are brewed for tea will determine their effectiveness. Since the skin of red dates is tough, brewing them whole will not completely leach out all the nutrients. Therefore, it’s best to break the dates apart before brewing. They should not be brewed for too long when making tea, as the Vitamin C content of the dates will be lost with prolonged exposure to hot water.
Jujubes are becoming more popular in the West in recent times. They look and taste similar to the brown Medjool date but have half the calories and sugar as well as 32 times the amount of Vitamin C compared to the Medjool date. They contain 18 out of 24 amino acids which help with the formation of proteins in the body. They’ve been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine to cure insomnia. They are an adaptogen – a substance that reduces stress.