Date (Phoenix dactylifera) is among the World’s sweetest fruits. It is believed to have hailed from Iraq. This fruit varies in color and size depending on their species and taste. It has several nutrients in it and may help control cholesterol levels, boost general performance, improve bone health, and aid a healthy pregnancy.
From the time date was discovered, which was about thousands of years back, a date is known to have strong healing powers. And while research has proved for sure, we still love to eat them majorly because of how palatable these brown fruits are. According to history, date palms are known to have hailed from what is now called Iraq; nevertheless, Egyptians were believed to have made wine with dates earlier as well. Thanks to marketing, dates traveled to S. Asia, N. Africa, Spain, and were later moved to California and Mexico. Presently, it continues to be among the most vital ingredients in Middle Eastern cuisine. While at least 30 varieties of dates are found around the globe, they so much fall under three broad categories (i.e., dry, semi-dry, soft, and the uniqueness is made according to their sucrose, glucose, and fructose levels. Fortunately, one of the highly coveted dates is found in The Gaza Strip, as the product is often known to be very red and sweet. Some of the remaining popular varieties are the Zaghloul, majorly found exclusively in Egypt.
It has a very dark red skin, is oblong in structure, and brittle in texture. It is also very high on the scale of sweetness. The Sukkary (Saudi Arabia variety) is one of the most costly types of dates. It has a dark brown epicarp, soft skin, and uniquely sweet. But then there is the Khadrawy, a very soft and dark date type that is also very popular in the Arabian countries. And of course, this is only the beginning; it is believed that Iraq has over 100 varieties of dates available! Cuisines across our World consume dates in large quantities, but it is also necessary to know that these fruits of the date palm also come with many known health benefits. The umpteen health advantage of dates has made the good fruit one of the most sourced after foods in the World of nutrition and health. The date is a very good source of various minerals and vitamins, sugar, and fiber. It is also very high in iron, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and potassium.
Health Benefits of Date Fruits
Highly Rich in Anti-inflammatory Attributes
Dates are high in certain essential minerals like calcium, zinc, iron, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium, which help the nervous system perform and function effectively. Magnesium has remarkable anti-inflammatory properties that aid in limiting inflammation-related sicknesses.
Help Maintain Healthy Cholesterol Levels
Israeli research suggests that consumption of dates, even by healthy folks, may have a lot of beneficial effects on levels of oxidative stress and cholesterol.
Dates have no cholesterol. They are also highly rich in iron and are loaded with more fiber than bananas. How these funny factors affect the fruit’s cholesterol-regulating attributes is yet to be studied.
3. Dates are Nutrient Filled
On average, three dates give about 200 calories, 54 g of carbohydrates, 1 g of protein, no fat, and up to 5 grams of fiber. This amount also supplies smaller levels of a wide range of beneficial nutrients, including vitamin K, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium, and manganese. In other words, the date is not just sugar bombs or empty calories.
Rich in Protein
Craving to load up on protein? Including some dates in your daily ration may help. Dates are a great pack for proteins, which help us stay fit and even give our muscles great strength. A lot of common gym customers are often asked to take a couple of dates daily as part of their routine.
Promotes a Smart Brain
The date also contains essential nutrients, which include vitamins such as vitamin B9 (folate), vitamin K, thiamin (vitamin B1), vitamin A (retinol), riboflavin (vitamin B2), niacin (vitamin B3), and vitamin B6).
Pyridoxine plays a vital role in performing psychological and physical functions; taking date fruits in great quantity tantamount to taking the proper index of vitamins; pyridoxine contributes a lot to brain health.
Also, the high potassium levels help to increase the speed of our brain. Potassium also coordinates the levels of blood pressure and that of our body’s heart rate, thereby stopping heart diseases.
6. May Boost Bone Health
Dates are great sources of selenium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. All these minerals are vital to prevent bone-related complications (like osteomalacia) and keep our bones healthy as well.
The date is also high in vitamin K (a blood coagulant nutrient) that helps metabolism in one’s bone. The date also contains a good level of boron. Studies proved that boron is among those important nutrients for maintaining bone health.
7. Dates have a lot of antioxidants.
In addition to the high fascinating vitamin and mineral contents, dates are high in health-protective antioxidants. A recent paper in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences claims that dates are a great source of natural and organic antioxidants, which can be effective in the management of illnesses related to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress develops when an imbalance between the synthesis of cell-damaging free radicals and one’s body ability to combat their deadly effects. It is a big contributor to cell damage and aging that can lead to disease conditions. The date also has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory compounds, which means they may play a role in fighting infectious diseases.
Other studies have shown that date contains many antioxidants, including polyphenols (e.g., phenolic acids, lignans, isoflavones, and flavonoids), tannins, carotenoids, and sterols. They also possess high anti-fungal features.
Strengthens Our Nervous System
Dates are filled with potassium and contain some sodium, and these go quite a long way in putting your nervous system in order. Potassium helps to control cholesterol and reduces the risk of having a stroke.
Against Sexual Disorders
Date fruits are well known to be aphrodisiac; this means they may improve one’s sexual strength and reduces lots of sexual disorders. The presence of flavonoid and estradiol in date has been researched and found to add greatly to the improvement of sexual urge and increase in testes volume as well as general fertility improvement. It also helps to boost sperm motility and count.
10. Support Healthy Pregnancy
Another way dates may help pregnant mothers is through their calorie count. Pregnant mothers need up to 300 calories more than their non-pregnant fellows. But most pregnant mothers tend to consume high-calorie diets that are also low in nutrients. This could lead to long-term issues.
Dates can be a quite healthy replacement. Although dates are a little high in calories, they are reasonably nutrient-dense. Some evidence also suggests that the fiber content of dates may control pregnancy hemorrhoids.
11. Naturally Sweet and Provide no Additional Sugar.
Many people consider dates as dried fruit, but they are very fresh fruits. And also, because the date is whole raw fruit, its sugar level occurs naturally. Better put, if an energy diet is sweetened only with dates, the label may read “0 g of sugar”. That is the key because additional sugar is majorly the type we ought to limit due to its strong link with a high risk of obesity and heart disease.
If you soak some dates in water and take them daily, your digestive tract will behave itself so well. Because of the very high fiber content in date, it is also highly recommended for folks who have constipation.
The insoluble and soluble fiber content in dates helps to wipe off the digestive system, aid digestion, and lower the risk of constipation. It is thus a great fruit for folks suffering from constipation.
It is very rich in soluble fiber and plays an essential role in sustaining healthy bowel motility and easy passage of food particles in the tract. It can be quite effective when soaked in water for long before taking.
While we may not have exactly tried this out, it is believed that taking dates are a great way to control inebriation. And it also helps to combat hangovers. But for best-required results, you may have to rub its skin a bit, then soak in water for long (overnight) before eating.