Loquat is a type of flowering plant that belongs to the Rosaceae family. It’s native to South Central China and is commercially grown for its yellow fruit. Loquats are also sold as ornamental plant. The loquat plant produces edible fruits that ripen in late winter or early spring.
The fruits grow in clusters; they are oval-shaped with a smooth rind. The flesh of the loquat fruit is white, yellow, or orange and has a tangy, fruity taste. Loquat fruits are at their sweetest when they turn deep orange in color and become soft. The flavor of the fruit is described as a cross between peach and mango mixed with a slightly citrusy tartness.
Loquat fruits and leaves are extremely high in vitamin A and C as well as calcium, potassium, and iron. This makes loquat an ideal health food for those deficient in any of these nutrients. Although loquats are not as popular in the west, this fruit is widely available in most grocers.
Benefits of Loquat Fruits and Leaves
Loquat’s fruits and leaf extracts are popular health food because they help detox the system while also keeping the body healthy. Below are five reasons why you should add loquats to your diet:
Keeps the Mucous Membranes Healthy
Bioactive in loquat fruits and leaves assist in keeping the mucous membrane healthy by acting as a mucolytic agent. Thick mucus that is hard to expel is thinned out and dissolved quickly, making it easier for the body to expel it and the toxic compounds it holds.
Prevents Oxidative Stress
Loquat is chockfull of antioxidants that keep the heart, lungs, and brain healthy; protect the body from cancer; and delay the signs of aging! Eating loquat fruits regularly also strengthen the immune system, heals various diseases by neutralizing harmful compounds, and boost longevity.
Maintains Healthy Pancreas
The pancreas is a glandular organ that releases a variety of important hormones, including insulin. Loquat fruits and leaf extracts keep the pancreas healthy by stimulating cell regeneration. Apart from protecting from pancreatic diseases, loquat also minimizes the chances of developing diabetes.
May Help Prevent Diabetes
Loquat leaf extracts contain organic compounds called triterpenes. Of the triterpenes found in loquat leaf extracts, tormentic acid is said to be the most promising as far as assisting in diabetes prevention goes. Tormentic acid helps stimulate insulin production which could inhibit the progression of the disease. In China, tormentic acid is regarded as an anti-diabetic agent because it generates natural body chemicals known as polysaccharides. Polysaccharides also assist in the increased production of insulin in the body.
Keeps the Liver Healthy
Loquat is a great body purifier. It helps flush out toxins from the liver thanks to a substance known as Amygdalin (B-17). Amygdalin (B-17) prevents the progression of liver diseases as well as supports liver function. What’s more, Amygdalin (B-17) also acts as an antioxidant, forming a protective layer to keep the liver healthy.
Contains Antiviral and Anti-inflammatory Agents
Loquat is rich in anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agents, helping the body regain its ability to heal itself naturally and preventing viruses from infecting certain organs. The acids that loquat have also generate antigens called megastimane glycosides and polyphenolic constituents. These anti-viral substances prevent infection that leads to a variety of viral diseases.