Benefits of dates
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years. Dates were known to have healing powers. And while science has proved that for sure, we love to eat them mostly because of how delicious these dark fruits are. These were probably our favorite fruits since childhood! At least for most of us. And the healthiest too.
Popularly date palm also known as Khajoor or Khajur in Hindi, ‘Tawarikh’ in Arabic and ‘Palmier’ in French...
It is a flowering plant species from the palm family. It is usually cultivated for its sweet fruit. The seeds of the fruit are soaked and ground for animal feed. And their oil is used in cosmetics and soaps. The seeds, at times, are also added as an additive to coffee beans. While fresh dates are available from August to December, one can purchase dried dates any time of the year.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried. Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses.
This article discusses the most health benefits of eating dates and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Let’s see the reasons why you should eat dates regularly -
The date fruit contains many nutrients that help boost your energy levels. It also contains natural sugars like sucrose, fructose, and glucose - all of which offer an energy boost.
Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. Since they’re dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs. Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber.
Promote Brain Health
Eating dates may help improve brain function. Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. When plaques accumulate in the brain, they may disturb communication between brain cells, which can ultimately lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s disease. The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids.
Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health. Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool.
Adding some dates in your diet may help. Dates are a strong source of proteins that help us in staying fit, and even keep our muscles strong. A lot of regular gym goers are asked to eat a couple of dates every day as part of their daily routine.
Dates contain vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B5, as well as A1 and C. If you have a few dates every day, you won't have to take vitamin supplements. Not only will it keep you healthy, there will be a noticeable change in your energy levels as well because dates contain natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and fructose, too. So it works really well!
Did you know that dates are free from cholesterol and contain very little fat? Including them in smaller quantities in your daily diet can help you keep a check on cholesterol level, and even assist in weight loss. So start loading up on dates today.
Enhance Sexual Health
We already saw that dates can enhance male fertility. A few studies say that dates are rich in amino acids that increase sexual stamina. Soak a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk overnight, then grind them in the same milk with a mixture of cardamom powder and honey. This mixture becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sexual endurance and reducing sterility caused by various sexual disorders.
Improves Bone Health
Dates could do wonders for your bone health too. Yes, you heard us. Dates are rich in selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, and all of these are required when it comes to keeping our bones healthy and preventing conditions such as osteoporosis.
Promote Muscle Development
This has to do with carbs. Though they are often looked down upon, if you don’t get enough of them, your body might burn your muscles instead of energy. Dates, being high-carb fruits, might help in muscle development.
Benefits For Skin
Dates contain vitamins C and D that work on the skin elasticity. The fruits can also help combat skin issues - you can incorporate dates into your diet and see the results in the long run. Dates also come with anti-aging benefits; they prevent the accumulation of melanin in your body, which otherwise has undesirable effects. We know that hormones play a major role in skin aging and appearance. Date palm kernel extract is known to have phytohormones that exhibit significant anti-aging effects.
Hemorrhoids are a common complication during pregnancy. And this could be caused by an inadequate fiber intake. Dates, as we saw, are excellent sources of fiber. They can help prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Support Healthy Pregnancy
Heard of the benefits of dates during pregnancy? One way dates help pregnant women is through their calories. Pregnant women need about 300 calories more than their non-pregnant peers. But most pregnant women tend to choose high-calorie foods that are low in nutrients, which is a mistake. Consuming dates in the last four weeks before labor can produce more favorable outcomes. Dates are also known to strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last months of pregnancy.
Date palms contain components that fight inflammation. Dates also contain good amounts of magnesium - a mineral that is important for immune functioning. If your diet is low in magnesium in regular diets, your immune system cannot be strong enough to fight inflammation.
Prevent Hair Loss
Being rich in iron, dates promote blood circulation to the scalp and promote hair growth. This happens as oxygen is properly dispersed to your entire body, your scalp included. This ultimately prevents hair loss and stimulates new hair growth.
Prevent Night Blindness
The primary cause of night blindness is a deficiency in vitamin A. Dates are rich in this vitamin as well and help combat this condition. In fact, regions with more date consumption have rare incidences of night blindness. Dates can cure night blindness.
As per a study, the date pulp extract stimulates the gastrointestinal transit activity and can aid in treating constipation. The pulp of the fruit achieves this by correcting the mineral content deregulation that occurs during constipation. The fibers in dates were also found to prevent cancers of the digestive system.
Prevent Colon Cancer
Intake of dates can reduce the development of colorectal cancer. Consumption of dates also increases the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, and this promotes colon health.
Diarrhea can get better or aggravated by the choice of foods you consume. Which is why choosing the right food is important. Dates, being high in potassium, can help improve the condition.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Dates are rich in potassium, and the mineral helps lower blood pressure levels. One Medjool date contains about 167 mg of potassium, which is relatively high compared to other fruits. Not taking adequate potassium can also lead to kidney stones.
Improve Heart Health
A handful of dates a day was found to improve heart health. The antioxidants in dates prevent atherosclerosis, which is basically the arteries getting hard and clogged with plaque. These antioxidants stimulate cholesterol removal from the artery cells. Dates also contain isoflavones that are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Strengthens Nervous System
Dates are loaded with potassium, and yet contain little sodium, and that goes a long way in keeping your nervous system in order. The potassium helps to reduce cholesterol and keeps the risk of a stroke in check.
Dates also help to cure hangovers. But for best results, you have to rub the skin a bit, and soak it in water overnight and then eat it.
Relieve Alcoholic Intoxication
Dates are commonly used as a remedy for alcoholic intoxication. They provide quick relief and have a sobering effect in case you feel as though you have consumed an uncomfortable amount of alcohol.
Relieves Stress and Anxiety
Dates help in relieving stress and anxiety by producing calming effects in the brain.
The best ways to eat dates
Well, we don’t have any one single best way to take dates. But we have numerous great ones!
You can take them as a stuffed snack. Remove the pits and include dates with walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans for a delightful snack.
You can also mix diced dates with your breakfast cereal.
Wrap dates with tuna or chicken salad and other vegetables.
You can dice dates and serve them along with frozen vanilla yogurt.
The simplest – enjoy dates as they are.
You can also soak dates (the dry ones) to rehydrate them, and then eat them. And date syrup works well too.
Dates have antibacterial properties that, as per certain studies, are more effective than those of honey. Dates are a very healthy fruit to include in your diet. They are high in several nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which may provide health benefits ranging from improved digestion to a reduced risk of disease. There are several ways to add dates to your diet. One popular way to eat them is as a natural sweetener in various dishes. They also make a great snack. Dates are definitely worth adding to your diet, as they are both nutritious and delicious.
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