Loquat Tree: Benefits of Loquat Fruits
You may have spotted the small, yellow cluster of fruits grown from the gorgeous, exotic looking tree along the streets of California. Also known as the Japanese plum, the Loquat fruit tastes sweet, tangy, with a hint of sour at the same time.
Peel the thin outer layer and you will be rewarded with the succulent and juicy flesh of the fruit. Picking Loquat straight from the Loquat tree and eating them raw reminds me of careless warm days of summer.
Not only do they taste delicious and refreshing, there are many health benefits to the loquat fruit. Read more to learn the benefits of eating this pretty orange fruit.
The Loquat Tree
Although the loquat originated from southeastern China, Japan is actually the leading producer of loquats. Loquat trees are commonly found in Brazil and Israel. Surprisingly, they are now quite common in California!
In California, you can see them commonly lined along the coastal areas from San Diego to Sacramento. The fruits are now grown in many farm gardens such as Brentwood, Ca. The fruits are usually harvested between the months of March to June. Harvesting these fruits can be somewhat labor intensive for farmers since it is difficult to handle the fragile clusters of fruits. They also have a shorter shelf life. Thus, it limits the loquat fruit as a major commercial fruit.
Have You Eaten Loquats Before?
The loquat tree, scientifically named Eriobotrya japonica, can grow up to 30 feet, with their impressive foliage that adds that tropical look to any landscape. Loquat leaves are dark green, with a glossy appearance. Small white flowers provide a sweet subtle fragrance that appears early spring or late winter. The fruits are usually ready to be harvested by March.
I have a smaller loquat tree that is about 10 feet in my garden. Our friendly squirrels also love to compete for the fruits. I have to tie plastic bags around the clusters of fruits to protect them from the squirrels.
My neighbors have larger trees that bear an abundant of fruits. Some of them did not even know that the fruits can be eaten. Loquat trees are very easy to grow and they can yield a lot of fruit! If you want more tips on how to grow the Loquat tree in your own yard, click on this article:
Benefits of Loquat Fruits
I have only recently began to appreciate the health benefits of loquats. Although I was not that surprised to learn that there are some nutritional benefits.
When you eat fruits that come from Mother Earth's basket, you are bound to reap the benefits in some way or another.
In this case, it is extremely helpful for diabetics. My aunt is diabetic and uses the Loquat leaves to brew tea and it helps stabilizes her blood sugar level.
- Rich in soluble fiber, due to pectin, which is a soluble dietary fiber found in citrus fruits. Pectin binds to cholesterol in the stomach and slows glucose absorption by trapping carbohydrates. Pectin reduces cholesterol levels.
- Pectin in loquats also helps retain moisture in the colon and protects it from binding to toxic chemicals.
- High in antioxidants. The riper they are, the higher the concentration of antioxidants.
- High amount of Vitamin A (2276 IU per cup)
- High in potassium and some vitamin B-complexes
- Good source of minerals including calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium.
- Low Glycemic Load Index of 4
According to Dr. Michael Tierra L.Ac., O.M.D. , the Loquat leaves can be used for:
- "Beneficial to the vital energy of the lungs. It dissolves and expectorates phlegm and alleviates cough. Relieving coughing and vomiting. The flesh promotes the secretion of body fluids and eliminates thirst. The tender leaves are used for various types of coughs but the under side is usually prepared by rubbing the hairs off so they do not irritate the throat."
How to Eat Loquat!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Other Names for Loquat
- Japanese plum
- Chinese plum
- Japanese medlar
My favorite way to eat these healthy loquat fruits is raw. The flesh of loquat fruits is similar to a soft cantaloup. You can eat it fresh by itself, or mixed with other fruits in a fruit salad.
The loquat fruits can also be used to make jam, jelly, chutney, and even wine.
Disclaimer: The information and reference guides that are provided from are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.