What are Dates?
Dates are a sweet fruit that grow on tall trees (21–23 meters high) known as Date Palm (Phoenix Dactylifera). They are one of the oldest cultivated fruit and are a native to the Middle East, North Asia and India. There are over 2000 varieties of dates which can be eaten raw or added to many dessert recipes, shakes and other dishes.
Nutritional Characteristics of Dates
- Rich source of vitamins (A, K, B-12, B-3)
- Contains minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium
- High percentage (6.4%–11.5%) of dietary fiber
- Contains unsaturated fatty acids include palmitoleic, oleic, linoleic and linolenic acids
- Has antioxidant properties
- Natural laxative
Proven Benefits of Dates
According to Dr. Marshall R.J., London Metropolitan University, Department of Health and Human Sciences, London, dates contain a high percentage of carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and minerals, dietary fiber and fatty acids that provide many benefits to health, hair and skin.
Let’s take a look at what benefits dates have to offer.
1. Treats Constipation
Dates are a natural laxative fruit and rich in dietary fiber that help in curing constipation. It is healthy and regulates your bowel movements. You can soak dates overnight and consume them in the morning like a syrup.
2. Promotes Bone Health
Dates contain significant amount of minerals that strengthen bone health and cures painful bone diseases like osteoporosis. They contribute in healthy bone development and strength as you grow older.
3. Maintains Healthy Nervous System
Dates are rich in vitamins and minerals which boosts the health and functionality of your nervous system. It also controls the heart rate and maintains blood pressure of your body. Hayley Timm, College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, USA, states that deficiency of Vitamin K can cause bleeding and pulmonary haemorrhage. You can take 3–4 dates every morning or evening.
4. Treats Night Blindness
Dates contain Vitamin A which keeps your eyes healthy. It also prevents many eye diseases such as night blindness. You can make a paste of date leaves and rub around your eyes or you can consume them raw to cure night blindness.
5. Promotes Weight Gain
If you are underweight, dates have essential vitamins and high amount of sugar that help you gain healthy weight. It also helps in gaining muscle mass if you are lean and slim. You can take 3–4 dates with cucumber paste to help you cure malnourishment.
6. Treats Anaemia
Dates are rich in iron that boosts haemoglobin of your body and regulates production of blood cells. It prevents anaemia in a pregnant woman as well as the foetus. Also, it helps in the smooth enlargement of uterus muscles.
7. Acts as an Anti-ageing Agent
Dates are a rich source of antioxidants that effectively counters the production of free radicals in your skin. It prevents accumulation of melanin in your skin and wrinkles. They also prevent many skin diseases due to the presence of Vitamin A.
8. Maintains Healthy Hair
Dates contain Vitamin B5 which is vital for the maintenance of your hair. It reduces hair fall, improves brittle hair and split ends. Daily consumption of 3–4 dates in the morning helps reduce hair problems.
How to Consume Dates?
- Add 3–4 Dates to your banana smoothie for a healthy morning breakfast
- Add dates to your oatmeal
- Add chopped dates to your Kale and Quinoa salad
- Soak 3–4 dates overnight and have it as a morning syrup
- You can also eat them raw twice a day (morning and evening)
Side Effects and Precautions
Dates are natural fruit that have no side effects. However, they have high sugar content and, hence, you should amount your dosage accordingly. It might increase your weight or your blood sugar levels.
Important Questions About Dates Answered
What are the benefits of eating dates?
Dates offer multiple health benefits to its consumers. Dates treat constipation, promote bone health, maintain healthy nervous system, treat night blindness, promote weight gain, treat anaemia as well as maintain healthy hair.
Are Dates bad for you?
No, Dates are actually good for human health.
What are dates before they are dried?
Dates are sold as fresh dates as well as in dried form. Except for a lower moisture content, there is not much difference between fresh dates and dried dates.
How many dates can a diabetic eat in a day?
Though dates are one of the sweetest fruits, they are rich sources of carbohydrates and energy. A diabetic person can eat 2-3 dates a day as long as he is maintaining a healthy routine.
Can you eat too many dates?
Over-consumption of dates can cause imbalanced blood sugar levels and loose motions.
Do dates make you put on weight?
Dates can make you put on weight because of their high sugar content. However, you can maintain optimal weight levels by consuming dates in moderate amounts..
Are Dates fattening?
Over-consumption of dates is fattening.
Do dates go bad?
Yes, dates do go bad. When dates smell bad or have a discoloured appearance, it is a clear sign of rotten dates.
Do dates raise your blood sugar levels?
Yes, dates can increase your blood sugar levels if you over consume them. Its best that you consume them moderately.
Where to Buy?
Dates are known for their energy boosting properties. Daily consumption of pure dates can reduce many health issues. You can buy original and 100% natural dates from these websites:
You can also save your money by using: