Farmer's Market Fresh

Got Anxiety? Can’t Sleep? Try Jujubes.

I’m not talking about those candies they used to sell (do they still sell them?) at the movies. Also known as a Chinese date, jujubes may be a good, natural option to help ease your frazzled nerves and help you get to sleep a bit easier.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve battled with anxiety and sleeplessness since childhood, so I’m always on the look out for something natural and non-addictive to hasten the Sandman. I recently stopped taking Ambien due to the well-documented side-effect of temporary amnesia. I’d sometimes wake up in the morning surrounded by wrappers and food that I don’t remember eating.

Since I’ve been visiting my local farmers market every week, opting for the freshest, healthiest, and non-pesticide laden fruits and veggies, some of the farmers have tried to push off some of their jujube bumper crop on me. One of them, let’s call him The Hippie, told how the magic of the jujube put an entire car full of 8 year-old boys to sleep and tells me to taste them. They have the consistency of an apple, but it’s drier and a bit squishier than an apple, but that’s the best I can do to describe it. The first taste isn’t unpleasant. The aftertaste requires a bit of getting used to. It’s hard to describe, but the closest thing I can compare it to is…milk burps. You know when you’ve had milk and maybe burp it up after it’s been in your stomach for a few? It’s like that. I scrunch my face up when I taste his tiny wedges. As if reading my mind, The Hippie replies, “Well jujubes are more regarded for their medicinal qualities than for their taste.”

He has a point. Some research suggests that jujubes contain compounds that have a sedative effect. It’s also chock full of Vitamin C, B vitamins, amino acids, calcium, potassium and antioxidants. So I thought, what the heck, I’ll give the milk-vomit fruit a try. So for $3 a bushel, he sent me on my way and told me not to forget to vote democrat next November. (I know you guys think I make this stuff up, but I swear it’s true)

It works for me. Almost too good. I ate about three in the middle of a particularly stressful day, and fell asleep for two hours, which is no bueno on a school day and I need to be on my A-game or the kiddies start swinging from the chandeliers. So the next time, I took them a couple hours before bedtime and while I can’t say when I went to sleep, I know it was a deep and restful one, absent of wrappers and empty food plates.

For more on jujubes, click here.

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