Millet & Jujube Fruit Porridge

By: Dorine Lam, RDN, MS, MPH

The tiny jujube fruit has many uses from eating dried, pickled, put in recipes or made into tea.The jujube, also known as red date or Chinese date, is a fruit related to the date. The unripe jujube fruit resembles an apple in taste and consistency. As it ripens, the jujube shrivels and turns brown, like a small date. The jujube has a pit, similar to an olive stone. There are more than 400 different jujube cultivars dating back 11,000 years.

Dried jujubes can be used as a substitute for dates or apples in many recipes, pickled, or steeped into a tea. Jujubes are high in fructose, which is a form of sugar, and should be consumed in moderation, especially by those who are watching their sugar intake. However, they are otherwise low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and protein, making them a great treat to satisfy your sweet tooth while boosting your energy levels.

Ounce for ounce, jujubes contain about 20 times as much vitamin C as citrus fruits. Because of this, they’ve been used in many cultures for thousands of years as a medicine to ease sore throats and ward off illnesses.

Aside from vitamin C, jujubes don’t contain huge amounts of any particular nutrient, but they do contain at least small amounts of many nutrients, phytonutrients, and flavonoids. At least eight of the flavonoids in jujubes have been shown to have sedative properties and have been used on traditional Chinese medicine to ease insomnia and anxiety. Jujubes can be an excellent natural alternative to prescription medications used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Jujubes are packed with 18 important amino acids, some of which cannot be produced in the body. These proteins are used in the formation of over 50,000 different proteins, which are used in thousands of different biological processes.

Jujubes are a great source of many antioxidants that can protect the liver against toxins and cellular DNA against damage caused by free radicals that can lead to many diseases and accelerate the aging process. Jujube fruit extracts have been used to treat sunburns, dry skin, and skin redness.

With more vitamin C for its weight than citrus fruits and a wide variety of other nutrients, Jujube fruit is loaded up with health!Jujubes are excellent for the digestive system. They contain compounds that work as a gentle laxative to ease constipation. They can also promote healthy digestion and stimulate the appetite.

Jujubes contain calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, all minerals critical the healthy bones and teeth. Magnesium is also vital to healthy nerve function and can help soothe muscle spasms. Jujubes also contain niacin to help promote healthy and efficient blood flow, and iron to help your blood cells carry oxygen more effectively, so your cells get the nutrients they need to keep your energy up all day long.

Various studies have shown jujubes and its extracts may be able to help lower blood pressure, promote liver health, and block the growth of certain cancer cells, including leukemia.

These health boosting properties of the jujube also have a direct impact on quality of life, in particular with regard to stress. Stress and health are actually tightly intertwined, as you cannot have good health without low stress levels and vice versa. The body’s capacity to handle stress is directly tied to the smooth functioning of much of the body’s systems. The nervous system, digestive system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system and more are components of the stress response circuits that make up the neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response.

When the body is under severe or prolonged stress, these functional components of the NEM stress response system are pushed to capacity to maintain homeostasis and keep the body running. These organs and systems require adequate nutritional reserves to remain functioning at optimal capacity. If the body’s nutritional needs are not met, however, the functional capacity of the body’s stress response drops, and instead of keeping the effects of stress under control, the body experiences symptoms of stress such as fatigue, anxiety, weight gain and brain fog. The jujube fruit as a well rounded combination of phytonutrients can be a powerful tool in ensuring the optimal level of nutrition for the body.

The combination of black beans, millet and jujube fruit pack a complete array of nutrition to start the day off right!Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup black beans – soaked over night
  • ½ cup glutinous rice – soaked overnight
  • 1 oz dried jujuba (hongzao) date – remove pits
  • Brown Sugar or honey or agave nectar for taste


  1. Drained the black beans and Glutinous rice.
  2. In medium size pot, put in 6 cups of cold water, black beans and glutinous rice.
  3. Bring to boil in high heat. After boil, simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add in Jujuba dates; continue to simmer for another 30 minutes. Make sure there is enough water every 15 minutes.
  5. Turn off heat, add in sweetener to taste.
  6. Serve.

Serves 2

© Copyright 2016 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.