Loquat: chemoprotective, regulates circulation, respiratory systems, and other usesNuturemite
Pear-shaped and slightly larger than a plum, loquat fruits can have yellow or orange skin, sometimes with a red blush. The tangy flesh of the fruit is white, yellow, or orange with brown seeds. The taste of the loquat fruit has been compared to a cross between mango and peach. It can be eaten either fresh or in dried form. The brightly colored, blemish-free ones are juicy as compared to the greenish ones which are sour and acidic. Being one of the first fruits to be cultivated in the Asian continent, it is native to China but was naturalized in Japan more than a millennium ago.
Benefits of loquat
Lowers Blood Pressure –
One of the many nutrients found in good supply in loquat is potassium, which acts as a vasodilator for the cardiovascular system. By reducing the strain and pressure on the blood vessels and arteries, potassium is able to lower blood pressure and protect heart health. Potassium is often considered a brain booster, due to the increased flow of blood to the capillaries of the brain, which can improve cognition.
Prevents Diabetes –
Loquat tea is often suggested for preventing or treating diabetes, as blood sugar has been shown to significantly reduce in those who regularly consume it. The unique organic compounds found in loquat tea are able to regulate insulin and glucose levels, which helps protects against diabetes. Also, for those suffering from diabetes, avoiding spikes and drops in blood sugar is crucial, which this tea can help with.
Anti-cancer Potential –
As a traditional medicine component, the loquat is suggested to have chemoprotective properties. Animal studies conducted with the fruit extract showed that it can suppress cell carcinogenesis at different stages such as cancer initiation, proliferation, and metastasis. Additionally, loquat leaves contain polyphenols that displayed cytotoxicity against human oral tumor cells, according to a study conducted in Japan. Studies published in the Archives of Pharmacal Research also show that the leaves have anti-metastatic properties and display anti-cancer potential. Further studies are required to gauge the potential for cancer treatment.
Soothes Respiratory System –
Expectorant substances are important in the treatment of colds and other respiratory infections. Loquat tea is used as an expectorant, either when drunk or gargled, as it can cause coughing and through that, the expulsion of mucus and phlegm. This is where bacteria can live and grow, while also exacerbating other symptoms, so eliminating these toxic substances from your respiratory tract can help you feel better fast.
Boosts Immunity –
Loquat is a wonderful source of vitamin C, which helps stimulate the production of white blood cells, the body’s first line of defense against pathogens, and also works as an antioxidant to prevent chronic illness. Furthermore, vitamin C is needed for the production of collagen, which aids the growth and repair of tissues throughout the body. The loquat leaf also produces acids containing antigens like megastigmane glycosides and polyphenolic compounds, which act as antiviral agents. Triterpene compounds help destroy rhinovirus, which causes the common cold.
Aids in Digestion and Weight Loss –
Pectin is a particular type of dietary fiber found in loquat fruit, and it is often praised as a digestive aid. Dietary fiber can bulk up the stool and stimulate peristaltic motion, which helps with the regularity of bowel movements. If one suffers from constipation, diarrhea, cramping, bloating, or other stomach disorders, dietary fiber can ease that inflammation and improve the health of the gut. Eating more fiber can also keep one full for longer, stopping those hunger pangs that make them overeat.
Protects the Brain –
The powerful antioxidants contained in loquat combat oxidative stress due to free radicals, which is one of the primary causes of neurological degeneration and memory loss.
Controls Cholesterol Levels –
Although the precise mechanism isn’t fully understood, research has directly linked loquat with lower cholesterol levels in subjects who regularly consumed the fruit and tea. This health benefit of loquat is very exciting, but also relatively unproven on a large scale, and studies to find out more are ongoing.
Strengthens Bones –
Losing bone mineral density is a major problem for many people as they age, particularly for women following menopause. Fortunately, loquat has been shown to prevent bone density loss in various parts of the body, owing to its rich mixture of vitamins, nutrients, and hormone-mimicking chemical components.
Regulates Circulatory System –
High iron levels in a person’s diet are important if they want to avoid anemia and its brutal symptoms. Iron is found in high concentrations within loquat, which is good news for your red blood cells. Iron is a necessary part of hemoglobin, which transports oxygenated red blood cells throughout the body, thus boosting circulation. This can speed healing, increase energy, and ensure that all your organ systems are working at full capacity!
Adding loquat to your diet
Loquats can be consumed raw or in it’s dried form or added to salads or made into jams, jellies, syrups, etc.
Loquats can be consumed anytime of the day though the best time is at morning.
Word of caution
Too much intake of loquat leaf extract (a concentrated form occasionally sold in health food stores or naturally derived) can cause toxic myopathy, which is weakness and non-specific pain.
The seeds of the loquat fruit contain toxic substances and can be life-threatening if consumed.
Recipe for Loquat jam
8 cups seeded quartered loquats
6 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean
juice of a large lemon
Wash and de-seed loquats. Cut them into quarters. Add lemon juice to prevent them from browning (but also necessary for the jam to thicken).
Put the loquats, sugar and lemon in a large pot over high heat, stirring until the sugar melts.
Cut the vanilla bean in half and add to the loquat mixture.
Bring to a boil while stirring constantly, then reduce to a low simmer.
Stir frequently to prevent from burning. The fruit will start to break down. You will need to cook this for approx 1 hour.
At the 30 minute mark, remove the vanilla beans from the jam. Take a stick blender or immersion blender and blend the loquats. I like to leave some texture and lumps in my jam. Add the vanilla beans again and continue to cook for the hour time frame, until the jam is thick. I find that after blending, the jam can burn quicker, so remember to stir.
Ladle into jars and seal with a lid. Allow to cool and set. Keep refrigerated unless you have properly canned and sealed the jam. Enjoy.
Recipe for Loquat barbeque sauce
A sharp, tangy and spicy bbq sauce recipe to use up that seasonal glut of loquats
Prep Time: 20 mins, Cook Time: 1 hr 10 mins, Total Time: 1 hr 30 mins, Servings: 1 litre, Calories: 18kcal
900 g loquats
1 cup soft brown sugar
3 cups malt vinegar
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cloves whole, or 1/2 tsp ground cloves
Prepare loquats by washing them, cutting them in half and removing their stones. The loquats will lose about a third of their weight once stoned (900g of whole fruit = 600g of fruit, stones removed).
Add loquats and all remaining ingredients to a large saucepan.
Bring to a low boil, then simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. The liquid will have reduced quite a bit and the fruit will be collapsed and very soft.
Allow to cool slightly, then liquidise the sauce in your blender or food processor. Be careful, hot sauce really burns!
Pour into sterilised jars and seal.
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