Dates are some of the sweetest fruits, which have been in cultivation since 6000 BC. These also come in various varieties, differing in size, sweetness, texture and colour. Though, these dates can be eaten straight from the trees, they are mostly dried and then eaten. Whatever be the form that you eat the dates in, there are several benefits of dates, which you cannot undermine.
Nutritional Facts of Dates
Dates are a rich source of Potassium, Copper, Fiber and various other nutrients. These are therefore, quite nutritious and offer various benefits. The date fruits are quite small, so you will have to consume more of it for getting the necessary nutrition. The following are the nutritional data in dates, and these are based on a regular serving of 100g.
- Fiber – 6.5 g
- Potassium – 695 mg
- Copper – 0.4 mg
- Manganese – 0.3mg
- Magnesium – 54 mg
- Vitamin B6 – 0.2 mg
Dates have a high sugar content, with almost 66.5 g of sugar in 100g of dates.
Health Benefits of Dates
Even though, Dates do not contain as much nutrition as its counterparts, such as Kiwi, and other fruits, the fruit is still a wonder-fruit, and offers various health benefits. And, to top that, the taste of it is awesome. Here are some of the health benefits of dates.
1. Improves Digestion and Relieves Constipation
Dates contain Fiber, which is useful in promoting the colon health. It is also useful for the regulating the bowel movements. One can find both soluble and insoluble fiber in dates, which help in cleaning up the entire gastrointestinal system. This helps the colon in working with maximum efficiency. Other useful benefits of fiber include reduced risk of colon cancer, hemorrhoids, colitis, etc. You can soak the dates in water for some time, and then chew them. This will keep your digestive system in check and will relieve the constipation problems.
2. Improves The Health Of The Heart
Dates help in promoting the health of the heart as well. By improving the blood circulation, it helps a person to fight against all the cardiac problems.
Dates have a good amount of Magnesium, which are known for the anti-inflammatory benefits. This can effectively reduce the chances of cardiovascular issues, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, etc.
4. Reduces The Blood Pressure
The Magnesium in Dates can also help in lowering the blood pressure. And, the Potassium is another useful mineral, which fights against other heart-related problems.
5. Reduces The Risk Of Strokes
One of the most important benefits of dates is reduction in risk of strokes which can reduce by almost 9% for every 100mg of Magnesium that a person consumes each day.
6. Good Source Of Vitamins
Dates have all the important Vitamins, like A, B1, B2, B3, B5, and C. Dates are so good that one need not depend on the multi-vitamin supplements. These can help in keeping you healthy and fit, and can also improve your energy levels, due to the presence of natural sugars like sucrose, glucose, fructose etc.
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7. Good for Bones
Rich in Manganese, Copper, Selenium and Magnesium, dates are really good for the bones, and keeps them in healthy condition. These also prevent conditions like Osteoporosis.
8. Keeps The Teeth Healthy
The Fluorine in dates help in keeping the teeth healthy.
9. Improves The Skin
The Vitamin C and D in the fruit can help in increasing the elasticity of the skin, keeping it smooth. Also, if one suffers from skin related problems, consuming dates can be quite effective. It has the anti-ageing properties, which can help in preventing the melanin accumulation of the body.
10. Relief From Hangovers
For people, who suffer from hangovers after the drinking bouts, can find effective relief in dates, for controlling the inebriation. Soak the dates in water overnight, before consuming them.
11. Good for Healthy Pregnancy
Dates also have a huge impact on the labour parameters and the delivery outcomes. When a pregnant lady consumes dates in the final 4 weeks before the labour, they are able to significantly reduce the need for inducted labour. And, this led to a much easier and comfortable delivery.
12. Boosts The Nervous System
Dates contain Vitamin B6, which are related to the improvement of the performance of brain. Other than that, it also contains Potassium and Sodium, which are useful in keeping the nervous system in order. So, a person who consumes dates can see an improvement in his memory, and retention power.
13. Loss of Weight
Dates are also quite useful in losing weight for a person. So, a person, who wishes to lose weight, without affecting his or health, can find solace in consuming dates. But, for this, one should try eating it with cucumber.
14. Good For Weight Gain As Well
While the above point mentioned weight loss, this point elaborates on the weight gain properties of dates. Due to the presence of proteins, sugar and vitamins, it can help in gaining of weight, especially when one requires it.
15. Brings Down Cholesterol
The powerful fruits are also useful in bringing down the cholesterol level. They contain less fat, and are therefore, useful in keeping a check on cholesterol.
16. Rich in Proteins
One of the important sources of proteins, dates are useful in helping one stay fit, and in building up stronger muscles. Most of the gym-going people should have a few dates everyday as a part of their diet.
17. Increases Energy Levels
Due to the presence of natural sugars in dates, including sucrose, fructose, glucose, it is one of the best afternoon snacks. It gives instant energy and makes a person active.
18. Fights Against Anaemia
A lot of people are anaemic due to deficiency of Iron. Dates have a good amount of Iron, which can help the person in fighting anaemic problems.
One of the useful benefits of dates include its impact on Diarrhea. So, a person suffering from Diarrhea can consume dates and find relief.
One of the major problems faced by the youth of today, is impotence. And, Dates is quite useful in fighting this problem.
21. Promotes Respiratory Health
Dates are also useful in fighting the respiratory problems. Dates have lots of healing powers. And, Dates are not just effective for health, they are also quite tasty.
History of Dates
As per history, date palm originated in Iraq, but Egyptians used to make wine with these dates, even earlier than that. And, due to the trading between the nations, the dates travelled all the way to Southwest Asia, Northern Africa, Spain, Mexico and other places in United States. It is still considered as one of the main ingredients in the cuisine of Middle East. Even though, there are about 30 different varieties of dates available across the world, they are broadly classified as soft, dry and semi-dry dates. And, this differentiation is done as per the content of sucrose, glucose and fructose.
Different Variants of Dates
- The most popular dates are found in Gaza Strip, where the dates are red and sweet.
- Other variants of dates are found in Zaghloul, Egypt, and these have dark reddish skin, and have a long structure and are quite crunchy and sweet.
- The most expensive dates are found in Saudi Arabia, which are dark brown in colour, and have a very soft flesh and are exquisitely sweet.
- Khadrawy dates are the soft and dark ones, which are quite popular in Arabia.
- In Iraq alone, there are above 100 varieties of dates available.
- While picking out the dates, try to search for the plump ones, which are smoothly unwrinkled and unbroken. Don’t go for the hardened dates. While the dried dates can be kept up till a year in refrigeration, the fresh dates require refrigeration in tight and sealed containers.
Dates Used as Sweets
Most of the cuisines around the world make use of dates in varying quantities. Date are such rich source of minerals, vitamins and fiber, and contains some of the most important minerals, like Iron, Calcium, Potassium, Phosphorous, Magnesium and Zinc.
How to Cook With Dates?
Well, to enjoy the goodness of dates, one can also try to cook with them. You can add them to porridges or cereals to make an awesome breakfast meal. Dates are also available in Syrups form, which can be added to milk or other dishes, instead of sugar. These make the dishes nutritious. The jaggery, which is made out of date palm, makes the black coffee delicious. And, one can also make bread, cakes and other things with the help of dried dates. Seeded and unseeded dates can be eaten as snacks, and will prevent one from overeating.
So, to enjoy the benefits of dates, include them in your grocery list, and keep them stored in your refrigerator. You would be doing a great benefit to your body and mind, without any kinds of side effects.In spite of the fructose concentration, dates are really good for the overall health. So, include these wonder fruits in your regular diet, and enjoy the health benefits of dates.