The fruit is sweet in nature and its flavor is a blend of peach, citrus, and mango. Loquat (Eriobotrya japonica) is an evergreen shrub, known by different names such as Japanese medlar, Japanese plum, and Chinese plum. Originally, it has been grown in China but now grown throughout the world. However, as far as its production is concerned; Japan is the leading producer of the fruit followed by Israel and Brazil.
`Nutritional facts of loquats
The fruit is rich in sugar, acid and pectin. 100 gram of the fruit has nutritional values as follow: Energy (47kcal), carbohydrate (12.14g), dietary fiber (1.7g), fat (0.2g), protein (0.43g), vitamin A (76 μg), thiamine (0.019mg), riboflavin (0.024mg), niacin (0.18mg), vitamin B6 (0.1mg), folate (14 μg), vitamin C (1mg), calcium (16mg), iron (0.28mg), magnesium (13mg), manganese (0.148mg), potassium (266 mg), sodium (1mg) and zinc (0.05mg). It is comparatively low in sodium and high in potassium, dietary fiber and vitamin A.
Top health benefits of loquats
- For glowing skin: The dried leaves of loquats are used in making tea called ‘Biwa cha’. Biwa cha is good for glowing skin, and skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
- Loquat for weight loss: It promotes weight loss because of the presence of enough amount of dietary fiber which enhances metabolism and suppresses appetite. Enough fiber also discourages the longing for foods.
- Improves eye vision: It is full of antioxidants and phytonutrients including vitamin A. All these are helpful for eye health. These biochemical compounds not only improve eye health but also prevent retinal damage from free radicals. The fruit is also good to prevent cataract and macular degeneration.
- Treats respiratory problems: The extracts of dried leaves of it are good in treating respiratory conditions including asthma.
- Prevents colon cancer by removing toxins: The fruit is rich in pectin fiber that helps in removing toxins from the body. It eliminates extra toxins from the body and saves the colon from colon cancer.
- Controls cancer: Plenty of antioxidants combat free radicals and oxidative stress. These free radicals make lung weaken and prone to dreaded diseases like cancer. These antioxidants suppress many diseases and improve life expectancy as per a report from China.
- Maintains blood pressure: The fruit is good in maintaining high blood pressure as it balances electrolyte because of the presence of an adequate amount of potassium and a lesser amount of sodium.
- Good for RBC formation: The presence of the required amount of minerals such as manganese, magnesium, iron, and copper helps in the formation of blood. On the other hand, vitamin C increase iron absorption in the body.
- Diabetes control: The leaves of the plant produce a chemical called triterpenes which come under tormentic acid that enhances insulin production thus helps in minimizing the impact of diabetes mellitus. These leaves also promote the health of the pancreas.
- Good for liver health: The leaves of loquat present Amygdalin (B-17), which is known as releasing toxins from the liver thus help for the proper functioning of the liver.
Best uses of loquats
- It may be used as a sedative when eaten in moderate quantity.
- It is used in making fruit salads and fruit cups.
- Jam, jellies, and chutney are prepared from it.
- Unripe fruits are used in making pies or tarts.
- It is used in making wine.
- Medicinal uses of loquats: In China, it is used as cough syrup as it eases throat infections. Its leaves are used as an expectorant. Its leaves provide a soothing effect to digestion.