The Health Benefits of Loquats
The loquat is brimming with anti-oxidants, flavonoids, vitamins and minerals including a very high content of Vitamin A and pectin (a water-soluble fibre) as well as an admirable share of amygdalin, copper, folate, iron magnesium, manganese, potassium, and zinc.
What is a loquat you may ask? A great question considering it really should be one of your new culinary best friends. A loquat is actually a small fruit native to Asia that grows on an evergreen tree and has a tremendous amount of health benefits and preventive capacities including but not limited to;
Anti-cancer properties The loquat’s high pectin content cleanses our bodies of potentially harmful toxins and protects the colon from colon cancer. Vitamin A prevents the production of DNA in cancer cells and slows down the growth of tumors. Amygdalin aka B 17 or laetrile is appreciatively nicknamed the “anti-cancer vitamin” as some studies have shown that it contains the cancer-killing chemical compound, cyanide.
Blood health Copper, folate, magnesium, manganese and zinc all help produce healthy red blood cells in the body.
Detox Due to its very high pectin content, the loquat fruit is a natural born cleanser, keeping the colon free of potentially harmful toxins and combating liver ailments.
Diabetes Loquat leaves contain an important chemical called tormentic acid, which is said to increase insulin production.
Eye health Vitamin A in its super power role as anti-oxidant, protects our eyes from free radicals and can stave off age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Heart health Not only is loquat very low in saturated fat, it also has a fair share of potassium and a good amount of magnesium, manganese, iron, copper, folate and Vitamin A, all of which are known to lower and maintain healthy blood pressure.
Healthy bones, healthy teeth Vitamin A is crucial in the building of strong bones and teeth.
HIV Although not yet widely studied and absolutely confirmed, some examination has indicated that loquat leaves contain useful acids that may have a stifling effect on the HIV virus.
Immune system health The loquat is an effective homeopathic treatment for bacterial and viral infections and can also alleviate persistent coughs, bronchitis, queasiness and vomiting. Loquat leaf extract is especially useful as an expectorant.
Stroke Vitamin A in good quantity lessens the risk of stroke-related death and disabilities.
Anti-oxidant properties Both the flavonoids and Vitamin A inherent in loquat’s fend off cell-damaging free radicals and protect the body from the oxidative stress that can often cause premature ageing including fine lines and wrinkles. These anti-oxidants also strengthen the hair and nails and make both less likely to experience breakage.
WEIGHT LOSS Loquats are very low in calories with only 70 in a one-cup serving, and a great treat for waist watchers, especially considering their high fibre content. One cup has 2.5 grams of fibre, which will keep you feeling full and sated between meals. Eating loquats suppresses the appetite and revs up metabolism.
Loquat leaves deserve special mention as they are widely purported to have tremendous health benefits. Some folks steep the loquat leaves to make their own special blend of healthy tea, add to green tea chilled with the delectable little fruit on top.
Loquat’s can be ingested are beaudelicous “au natural e” or even as an extract.
If you want to get kitchen experimental with them, there is no shortage of interesting culinary creations to be made. Add loquats to your festive fruit salad or boil them down into a sumptuous fruit leather, add some coconut cream, lime zest and flax seeds for a healthier option.
Loquat’s also make surprising additions to salsa’s when combined with olive oil, chilies, peppers, red onions and citrus juices and served with baked at home tortilla chips or as a colourful topping to grilled kobia, tuna or cod steaks.
Looking for an innovative and savory appetizer that is sure to wow your dinner party guests? Layer pumpernickel bread with some smoked Gouda cheese, raw red cabbage sauerkraut, a chunk of fresh loquat and an equally fresh sprig of basil and crushed pistachio nuts.
A raw loquat and cashew nut cheese tart would make a unique contribution to your next gathering. Another super cool idea is to substitute loquat’s for pineapples and make a loquat upside-down orange and polenta cake.
Some daring enthusiasts even make and age their own delicious loquat wine and/or liquor. And on the topic of libations, boil down a simple syrup made of loquats and mix it with mint, lemon juice and a healthy splash of gin, you have yourself a stand-out cocktail or loose the gin and add some smashed juniper berries for mocktail.
“I like making pies. I have a bunch of fruit trees in my backyard. My loquat tree sprouted, and I like making loquat pie. They’re really hard to peel and everything, and it took me forever, but they make the best pies. They’re amazing.”