Loquats are one of the first fruits to ripen in the spring. The tartly sweet, aromatic 1-1/2" golden-yellow to orange fruit that resembles an apricot in size and color usually ripen in mid to late spring. The juicy, crisp flesh is pale yellow and has a delicate, sweetly tart cherry-like or pear-like flavor. It surrounds 1 to 3 seeds that are about the size of apricot pits. The seeds are smooth and rounded but somewhat flatted on one or two sides. The yellow fleshy edible fruits are eaten raw, cooked, or made into jelly. These fruits are favorites among Asian cultures.
The Loquat tree is common to many countries: Italy, France, Germany, Spain, and Portugal, not to mention China and Japan. In Italy, it is known as nespola giapponese. In France, it is known as bibassier. In German, it is called wollmispel, in Spanish, nispero and ameixa amarelle in Portuguese.
The Loquat was first discovered in the West by a botanist named Kaempfer in the year 1690. A man named Thunberg discovered it in Japan in 1712. It was planted in Paris in 1784 and in England in 1787. It spread from there all over the world.
Loquat trees originate in the southeastern part of China and perhaps southern Japan, although some believe it was brought to Japan long ago by Chinese travelers. Legend has it that it has been grown in Japan for one thousand years.
Given below is the amount of nutrients per 100 g of loquat fruit:
Loquat is a good source of Vitamin A, which is crucial for people's visual and dental health.
Loquats are rich in fiber, making them suitable for those who wish to lose weight.
Loquats are appropriate for maintaining optimum health, as they are low in saturated fat and cholesterol.
Extract from loquat leaves is an important ingredient for lung ailments and has been used by Chinese since ancient times.
The loquat leaf is said to alleviate coughing and nausea. It even dissolves phlegm and is an expectorant.
It contains malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, vitamins A, B and C, and B17. Vitamin B17 is known as amygdaline.
Not only does the leaves contain laetrile which is known as the anti-cancer vitamin that helps prevent cancer but the Loquat seed pits contain 1300 times more laetrile or amygdalin than loquat leaves. Amygdalin is otherwise known as the anti-cancer vitamin B17 or laetrile. Click on "Seed Pits" button for more info.