Loquat benefits stand out for their high concentration of antioxidant compounds, vitamins, and minerals. This magical little fruit, also known as “Japanese plum” or Eriobotrya japonica, is known for its bright yellow or orange color.
In addition to having a delicious flavor, it is known for its bioactive compounds, which are used in natural medicine to improve health.
As compiled in an article published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, they concentrate sugars, organic acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and vitamins whose assimilation promotes well-being.
Loquat nutrition facts
First of all, it should be noted that loquats have an exciting nutritional composition. According to data published by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), every 149 grams of the fruit contains the following:
- Calories: 70
- Carbohydrates: 18 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Provitamin A: 46% of the Recommended Daily Value (RDA)
- Vitamin B6: 7 % of the RDA
- Folate (vitamin B9): 5 % of the RDA
- Magnesium: 5 % of the RDA
- Potassium: 11 % of the RDA
- Manganese: 11 % of the RDV
In addition to this, a publication in Frontiers in Plant Science states that these fruits are abundant in carotenoid antioxidants, associated with better visual health and disease prevention.
Due to their healthy compounds, loquats have been linked to good physical and mental health.
In fact, although they are not a first-choice treatment for a disease, they are considered an adjuvant in improving cardiac and metabolic functioning.
Body weight control
Each loquat contains between 40 and 70 calories per 100 grams. It is less caloric than other fruits such as apples (120 calories) or oranges (160 calories).
Because of this, it is considered a good option for weight loss diets or bodyweight control and management.
Its fiber contribution contributes to promoting satiety, which is key when it comes to losing weight. It also helps prevent other metabolic disorders, such as high blood sugar levels.
Undoubtedly, these prodigious fruits are good allies to your heart. Due to their contribution of carotenoid compounds – in addition to potassium and magnesium – they favor preventing diseases such as high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and death from heart disease.
Chronic inflammation is associated with many health problems, such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, and brain conditions.
Loquat benefits appear to have anti-inflammatory activity when assimilated into the body.
A study published in Food Chemistry found that loquat juice helped increase levels of an anti-inflammatory protein called “interleukin-10 (IL-10)”.
In turn, it served to reduce high levels of two inflammatory proteins. For now, more evidence is lacking to prove this action.
- Diuretic: They stimulate kidney function and helps to prevent or improve fluid retention by eliminating the extra fluid stored in the body
- Satiating: This is due to its soluble fiber content, which provides a feeling of satiety when swollen and helps us feel full for longer. Loquats can be of great help for overweight or obese people who want to lose weight
- Protects the digestive system: The loquat is a fruit with a protective effect on the gastrointestinal tract, being especially beneficial for people with gastritis, heartburn, slow digestion or even an ulcer. It is generally recommended for people with delicate stomach
- Hair and skin care: Due to its contribution in vitamins C and A, loquats can help improve the appearance of your skin and hair if it’s incorporated into your diet
- Eye health: The carotenes provided by this spring fruit are important to help maintain your eyesight and delay or prevent degenerative diseases of this type
- Delays aging: This fruit is loaded with antioxidant action and therefore will be beneficial to delay the aging of your cells and tissues and to combat the damage caused by free radicals. Antioxidants are key compounds for the prevention of cardiovascular and degenerative diseases
- Loquat for diarrhea: In case of diarrhea, loquat can be of great help to improve it. The astringent action exerted by its tannins contributes to stop diarrhea progressively and at the same time to take care of the mucous membrane of the digestive system
- Supports your kidneys: As loquats favor the formation and elimination of urine, they can be of great help to prevent or improve the formation of stones in the kidneys and infections affecting the urinary system
- Gout or high uric acid: Again, as it contributes to the formation of urine, waste products generated in the body are eliminated, as well as the accumulated uric acid (gout). This is why loquats are very interesting for people with any of these conditions
What about liver support, does it help?
The answer to this question is no. Although loquats have been popularized as a treatment to “purify” and “cure the liver,” there is no evidence to support these effects.
It seems that they do contribute to the care of this organ since they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds.
According to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, these fruits have hepatoprotective qualities.
You may want to read: The 8 Best Herbs for Liver Detox & Support
Their nutrient content contributes to reducing fat accumulation and minimizes the risk of conditions linked to inflammation.
In turn, an article published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy suggests that flavonoids, vitamins, minerals, and organic acids reduce the risk of fatty liver.
Loquat benefits: How to make it part of your diet
Loquats are versatile fruits that can be incorporated into a wide variety of recipes.
However, when it comes to taking advantage of their properties, it is best to consume them naturally, preferably ripe.
It is also recommended to use its leaves to make tea. We show you how:
- 10 loquat leaves
- 4 cups of water (1 liter)
- First, wash the leaves
- Bring the water to a boil
- Once it reaches boiling point, add the leaves and put them on low heat for 8 minutes
- After this time, remove from heat and let it stand for 5 more minutes
- Strain and drink a cup before each meal
Note: if you have any disease or are under drug treatment, consult your doctor before taking it.
Are loquats curative?
Due to their interesting nutritional composition, loquats stand out as a healthy fruit, ideal for improving the quality of any diet.
However, this doesn’t mean that they have curative or similar properties. Their consumption does not alleviate health problems and should not be considered a treatment.
As we said before, although some studies state that they support the liver, the evidence is still limited.
Therefore, in the case of liver disease, consultation with a doctor should be prioritized.
How to make loquat jam
Here’s a quick and easy recipe from a good friend and follower of our blog. We want to share it with you! Here it is:
- 1 kg of skinless, seedless loquats
- 200 grams of sugar (1 cup)
- 1 piece of lemon
- 35ml of water
- To better remove the seeds, we recommend peeling the fruit first and cut it in half (then remove them).
- Cut the loquats into smaller pieces, put them in a saucepan, add the sugar, the juice of half a lemon and 2-3 tablespoons of water, stir and let macerate for 1 hour, so it will release all its liquid
- Put the pan to heat over medium heat. When it starts to release all its juice, let the loquat jam cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on how ripe the fruit is. Stir from time to time so that it does not stick to the pan and burn
- When the jam is cooked, grind it if you want it finer. Of course, if you like to find chunks you can leave it uncrushed. If it’s too thick you can add a little water, as it will thicken as it cools. Taste the sweetness to see if it needs a little more sugar. In that case, you will have to heat it for a few more minutes so that the sugar dissolves
Ready! Your loquat jam is ready to be packed. It is perfect for serving during breakfast with toasted bread, filling cakes, or topping a cheesecake.
How to preserve homemade loquat jam
The best way to preserve homemade loquat jam for longer periods of time is to put it in previously sterilized canning jars.
To sterilize them, you only have to put them in boiling water and leave them for 10-15 minutes, allow them to dry completely, and that’s it.
Once the jars are full, you can close them once the jam is cold, keep them in the fridge, freeze them, or vacuum pack them.
If you want to vacuum pack your loquat jam, you will have to put the filled and closed jars in a pot of boiling water and leave them, again, for 15-20 minutes. Remove them and let them cool completely.