Dates Fruit – Benefits, Nutritional Facts & Recipes
August 11, 2023
August 11, 2023
Sweet, chewy, and packed with nutrients, dates are a delicious and versatile fruit that has been enjoyed for centuries. From their natural sweetness to their impressive nutritional profile, dates offer numerous health benefits and can be a valuable addition to a balanced diet. Whether eaten on their own, incorporated into recipes, or used as a natural sweetener, dates provide a host of nutrients and bioactive compounds that promote overall well-being. In this nutrition-based article, we will explore the various health benefits of dates, their nutritional composition, and how to incorporate them into a healthy lifestyle. Get ready to discover why dates are not only a tasty treat but also a nutritious powerhouse.
There lies no doubt in the richness of vitamins and minerals present in dates. They are highly rich in Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6), Vitamin A, and K.
They are deeply beneficial for the body as they contain rich nutrients and carry a lot of importance in regulating cholesterol levels, bone health, and boost cognitive importance.
This table states the only important nutritional values of a 100g of dates as approved by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture).
|Total Fat||0.15 g|
|Dietary Fiber||6.7 g|
|Potassium (K)||696 mg|
|Magnesium (Mg)||0.296 mg|
|Manganese (Mn)||54 mg|
|Iron (Fe)||0.90 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.249 mg|
Fruits like dates contain natural sugar, which does not cause any harm to the body if eaten in the right amounts. This combination makes them a highly consumable snack.
Consuming dates is one of the best ways to enhance your fibre intake. Fibre present in dates is known to control blood sugar levels by slowing down digestion. This process prevents the levels from rising immediately after eating food. Due to this reason, the glycemic index is low in dates.
As per research, regular and adequate consumption of fibre on a regular basis can prevent constipation, acid reflux and digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome. Consuming radish regularly will provide the fibre you need to ensure a fully functioning digestive system.
Additionally, studies show an inversely proportionate link between fibre intake and cholesterol levels. The high fibre content reduces the LDL cholesterol levels and thus wards off related heart complications.
Dates, with the help of antioxidants, fight off disease-causing agents. Antioxidants’ presence prevents the body from free radicals, reactive oxygen species molecules, that may cause life-threatening reactions in our bodies.
Dates can enhance the functioning of the brain by decreasing amyloid beta protein activity. According to research, these proteins are capable of the formation of plaques in our brain, which, when accumulated, can cause brain cell death leading to Alzheimer’s disease and even death.
You are likely to have a better memory and a good learning ability by including dates in your diet. It leads to a decrease in anxiety-related disorders.
Dates can support a healthy pregnancy by helping women with their calorie intake and promoting natural labour by cervical dilation in the last few weeks. As per studies, it reduces the need for induced labour and can decrease labour time.
The compounds present in dates bind to the hormone oxytocin, which is known to cause labour contractions. Studies indicate that date consumption can imitate the functions of oxytocin during childbirth.
Furthermore, the presence of tannins in dates facilitates contractions during childbirth. The natural sugar and calories present in them are useful in maintaining high energy levels during labour as well.
Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, is abundant in dates. They are useful and a healthy alternative to white sugar. In addition to their sweet taste, they are nutritious, fibrous, and high in antioxidants.
You can make dates puree and store it in the refrigerator and use it instead of white sugar too, but one must always keep in mind that – moderation is the key to healthy living.
The vitamins present in dates assist in the development of bone and eye health. Minerals like copper (Cu), selenium (Se), magnesium (Mg), and manganese (Mn) support keeping our bones healthy by preventing them from osteoporosis or other bone-related conditions.
Research shows that vitamin C and vitamin D present in dates promote skin elasticity properties. It fights other skin conditions like rashes, itching, and acne. It provides the skin with anti-ageing benefits with the help of phytohormones and prevents melanin accumulation. The incorporation of dates into diet can produce long-term effects.
The presence of magnesium and potassium in dates help in the regulation of blood pressure and in maintaining the heart’s health. Research indicates that potassium eases out the tension in the arteries (blood vessels) to reduce high blood pressure.
However, excess potassium in the diet is harmful to the kidneys. Therefore, it is recommended that you discuss with your physician before consuming potassium if you are having kidney issues.
Dates are beneficial in circulating oxygen all over the body. This process of oxygen circulation leads to the strengthening of the hair follicles, which prevents our hair from breaking and subsequent hair loss. Consuming 2-3 dates per day will help you to get stronger hair.
The presence of amino acids in dates causes an elevation in sexual stamina and enhancement of sexual health. It gives the body an instant energy boost.
Dates are not only a sweet and tasty treat but also offer a wide range of health benefits. Their high fibre content helps regulate blood sugar levels, prevent digestive disorders, and reduce cholesterol levels. Dates are rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids and carotenoids, which fight off disease-causing agents and promote brain health. They also support a healthy pregnancy by aiding natural labour and providing essential nutrients. Dates act as a natural sweetener, making them a healthier alternative to refined sugar. Additionally, they improve bone health, promote skin elasticity, regulate blood pressure, prevent hair loss, and enhance sexual health. Including a few dates in your daily diet can provide a natural energy boost and contribute to overall well-being.
Dates can be consumed in whichever way you want. You can directly chew them, blend them, or add them as your natural sweetener. You can try these two delicious and popular date recipes –
Purchase your dates carefully. Packaged dates in India are often combined with a sugar preservative which when consumed negates the health benefits of the dates themselves. Ensure to pick whole dates which have been dried without the addition of excessive sugar. Medjool, Kimia and Black Iranian dates are some of the varieties you can pick from. In order to make dates even healthier and have a more sustainable release of sugar into the body, you can try combining the dates with unsalted, raw almonds.
Consuming dates and including them in your diet is a step forward to a healthy lifestyle. Dates are highly nutritious fruits and contain the highest amount of antioxidants if compared to any other fruit.
Their high vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant content make them fight off various diseases. Dates fibre is useful in constipation issues and regulating blood sugar levels. Moderate consumption of dates can provide the body with some essential nutrients like potassium, iron, manganese, and magnesium.
You can consume them in either of their two forms, fresh or dried. Replace your artificial white sugar with a natural sweetener and get relief from various ailments like diabetes. Take a step towards better health today!
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and raise awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice from professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionists Here
A. If you do not have adverse health conditions, eating 4-5 dates a day can be highly beneficial.
A. Yes. A low glycemic Index and good fibre content allow diabetics to add 2-3 dates per day as long as they exercise and maintain healthy eating habits overall.
A. Dates are best stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container to help them retain moisture. They can be stored for up to 6 months in the refrigerator but may lose moisture the longer they sit. Large quantities of dates can also be frozen for up to one year.
A. Dates are also a source of folate, which helps reduce the likelihood of birth defects. They also provide iron and vitamin K, thereby helping a growing baby develop strong bones, and improving muscle and nerve function. Furthermore, randomized trials have found that eating dates in late pregnancy may increase cervical ripening, and reduce the need for a medical labour induction or augmentation.
A. The great range of date varieties can be classified into three groups depending on their maturation in the tree; they can be Fresh -soft, semi-dry and dry. All have their own unique taste and health benefits. Hence you can keep changing the dates you get home for more benefits. A Few popular varieties are Medjool, Ajwa, Kimia, Dayri, Barhi, Deglet Noor, Halawy, Khadrawy, Thoory and Zahidi.
A. Yes, you can eat dates every day as snacks or even add them in your smoothies or salads. However, keep a tab on the number of dates as they are rich in calories.
A. Dates are rich in fibre and antioxidants that help in enhancing metabolism, and promoting brain and bone health, they are also great in regulating cholesterol levels in the body and even managing blood pressure.
A. The calorific content of dates is quite high and thus excessive consumption of dates can lead to weight gain.
A. Medjool Dates are known to be one of the healthier varieties of dates in terms of quality and nutrition.
A. Dates are a great source of antioxidants and so known to reduce inflammation.
A. Dates are rich in Vitamin B6, which helps to treat stress and depression. It will also provide you with energy throughout the week and also improve digestion.
A. A pregnant woman can start eating dates from her third trimester, i.e. 2-3 dates daily. It helps with the labour phase and smoothens the delivery process.
A. Dates are a good source of antioxidants and could benefit reproductive fertility in females.
A. The fruit is low in GI so it is rather unlikely to increase blood sugar in an individual. So, it is safe for people with diabetes. However, only 1-2 fruits per day is considered to be appropriate, if one wants to eat this fruit daily.