Dates are basically palm tree fruits. It is rich source of fiber, minerals, vitamins and healthy antioxidants. Dates have gained quite popularity in the recent years. Western countries use dried dates. A wrinkled skin dates is the dries one and the smooth skin one is the fresh one.
Mostly two common consumed varieties of dates include the Medjool and the Deglet Noor. Dates have chewy sweet flavor and have many uses and posses many advantages. It is popularly known as Khajur in Hindi, Tawarikh in Arabic and in French it is known as Palmier.
It is believed to be originated in Iraq and scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera. The seeds are soaked and grounded for feeding the animals. The extracted oil is used in various cosmetics and soaps. The seeds may be sometimes used as an additive to the coffee beans.
Health benefits of dates
Bone Strength: Dates are good source of miners such as selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Theses minerals are integral part of healthy bone development and providing strength. As the people grow old their bones become weak. Dates are used for strengthening bones and fighting pain and debilitating diseases bone.
Promotes Digestion and relieving constipation: The pulp extracted from the fruit stimulates the gastrointestinal activity and treats and provides relieve in constipation. During constipation it aids with the mineral content deregulation and the fibers present in the dates prevents from the digestive system cancer.
It improves heart health: The antioxidant present in dates is said to prevent heart from atherosclerosis, which clogged the arteries with plague. So dates are rightly said to stimulate the cholesterol removal from the arteries cells. The isoflavones present in dates are said to reduce the risk of any cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease.
It helps to regulate the cholesterol: The regular intake of dates have effects on cholesterol level and oxidative stress level.
Side effects of Dates
Dates also come with some share of health risks. Their overconsumption may cause complications. Some of the side effects are listed below-
- Weight gain: Involving much in dates may help to gain weight. Though dates are medium energy density food and also rich in fiber but they have high calories and energy which may cause weight gain.
- Hyperkalemia: Hyperkalemia is basically high potassium levels in the blood. Dates are good source of potassium and their consumption can lead to Hyperkalemia. If the potassium level is high, one should avoid consuming too many dates. Potassium levels more than 7 millimoles per liter can cause dangerous situation and require immediate medical help.
- Increase in blood sugar level
- Skin Rashes: Dried fruits cause skin rashes due to the presence of sulfite in them. Rashes could also be due to the presence of molds in the dried fruits.
- Asthma attack: Since dates cause allergies hence the allergies can cause asthma. People suffering from asthma have allergies to molds and molds are also found in dates.
- Digestion problem and abdominal Pain: The sulfite added to the dates cause abdominal issue. Sulfites are added to the dates and other dried fruits to preserve them and prevent harmful bacteria. People who are sensitive to sulfites suffer from a number of problems like stomach pain, gas, bloating and diarrhea.
Dates are rich in fiber, if an individual is already consuming enough fiber and starts to munch on dates in excess then this will lead to abdominal problems like pain, constipation, bloating and also worsen diarrhea.
- The wax coating: Fruits often come with wax coating so as to enhance the appearance, shine and to look fresh for a longer period of time such as apples, even the dates are often coated with the wax. The shine in the dates is often achieved by the petroleum wax or the chemical spray; both of them lead to severe digestive problems.
- Unhealthy for babies: Dates are quite thick and babies find them hard to chew. Their intestines are developing; they may have difficulty to digest the dates. This can cause severe complications. Dates may also be responsible for choking the windpipe of the infants so they should be kept away from the babies.
- Fructose indigestion: The sweetness of the dates is due to the fructose present in them. Individuals may find it difficult to digest the fructose. The sugar may not be properly absorbed so it leads to abdominal pain and gas as sugar reacts with the natural bacteria present in the intestine.
- Tooth decay: Though the fluorine present in the dates is beneficial for our teeth as it provides strength to our tooth enamel and prevents from tooth decay. So dates are beneficial for our oral health. Dates contain sugar so it is not so good for our teeth and may give rise to cavities.
To protect the teeth against decay one should gargle with warm saline water and brush after eating dates. This will not only remove sugar but also the carbohydrates from sticking to the teeth and protect against bacteria.
- It may worsen diarrhea: Though dates are a natural remedy for providing relief from diarrhea. But a person suffering from diarrhea may avoid eating dates as dates contain dietary fibers which loose stools for the proper elimination of the waste from the body.
- Cause constipation: The dietary fiber is beneficial for our stomach and helps to keep the digestive system healthy. It helps in regulating the bowel movement and proper elimination of the waste from our body. If a person is suffering from constipation, they he should avoid to eat dates.
As excess of fiber is bad for the health and gives rise to constipation or might worsen the condition of constipation as dietary fibers absorb water and it tends to absorb water from our body making the stool dry thus making it difficult to excrete from our body.
If you are consuming excess of fiber, you should also increase the intake of water in your body. Excess of fiber causes abdominal cramping, diarrhea, malabsorption, constipation etc. And one should consume water about half an hour after eating dates.