Dates, Who Knew They Were This Healthy?

Written by Ingo Loge

August 3, 2013

 Dates have recently become the healthier alternative to chocolate. In shops we can now buy different varieties of date – from dried and plain to stoned and glazed with pure sugar. The date itself is very nutritious but added Glucose is never a good thing. If you want to benefit most from this fruit, choose the most pure and natural version you can find. Sweetened dates will still have the benefits but also might carry disadvantages which are related to the overconsumption of sugar.

Dates originate from the Middle East and grow on palm trees. There are different types of date species cultivated which vary in size, colour and nutritional components.  A review by London Metropolitan University (read the review)  showed the nutritional differences in various stages of date development.
Dates are made out of simple sugars, some starch and cellulose. When ripening the simple sugar content increases and fibre concentration decreases. You can find more on fibre in the benefits of eating carrots. Dieters have recognised this property and commonly use it for enforcing weight loss. Dietary fibre also might prevent abdominal cancer.
 
Even though dates are fruit they still contain small amounts of fatty acids, both saturated and unsaturated. There has been spotted an opportunity to use dates as a source of oleic acid which can be found in the seeds of dates. Also found in the olive oil, it has a lowering effect on the blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  The problem would be though to ensure the digestion of these seeds to get any benefits at all.
 
Mineral Content
There 15 different minerals present from which some tend to decrease in concentrations in later stages of date development depending on variety – Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium and Phosphorus. This is another reason to eat more ‘young’ dates. Iron enhances the production of blood and dates are advantageous for people with Iron deficiency as the use of supplements can be avoided. Potassium is essential for a healthy nervous system and enhances physical activity too. On other hand Phosphorus is the building bone of genetic material in the body. It also is the part of the ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which is the energy fuel for all reactions in all living things. Lack of phosphorus might cause muscular and neurological dysfunction and disruption of blood cells. It is also beneficial for hardening the bones. Dates have 5 times larger concentration of these three minerals than bananas and apples.
Protein
Dates are also very rich in Protein, again 5 times more than other fruit. There are 23 different amino acids in dates from which most are not available in other conventional fruits at all. The concentration of these again decreases with ripening. Proteins are the building blocks of our body and are needed for the growth of muscles. Therefore people who want to widen the range and type of protein they intake, dates are a great option.  In the largest concentrations of protein in dates are Glutamic, Aspartic and Aspartamine amino acids. Glutamic acid is an essential neurotransmitter which mediates different metabolic reactions and as a supplement is widely used by athletes.
Vitamins
Different vitamins are also present but not in great amounts. You would have eat a lot of dates to reach the daily recommendation. The most significant amount of concentrations have vitamin C(Ascorbic acid), B1(Thiamine) and B2(Riboflavin) but there is also presence of Folic acid, Nicotinic Acid and vitamin A. Vitamin C mediates metabolism, is an antioxidant, detoxifier and has been claimed to boost the immune system. B1 has been associated with increased mental activity but B2 has been used for prevention of migraines.
  • Benefits of eating dates:
  • Increase of energy
  • Enhance bowel movement
  • Prevent abdominal cancer
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Lower Blood pressure
  • Enhance metabolism and absorption of nutrients
  • Enhance physical activity
  • Prevent neurological problems
  • Enhance blood production
  • Contribute to muscle growth
  • Might boost immune system
  • Prevent migraines and other physical pain

 

Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. These natural products contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health. It is said that consumption of one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. Dates help in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer.

Health benefits of dates have made them the best nourishment for muscles development. People consume dates in several ways, like mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yoghurt or with bread or butter to make the food tasty and healthy. This paste isbeneficial for both adults and children, especially during the time of recovery. According to the modern medicine survey, it is known that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. It is also seen that many Muslims break their fast by eating dates and water according to their traditions. Breaking fast with eating dates helps us to avoid overeating of the food after the fast. When the body absorbs the nutritional value of the dates, the feeling of hunger gets pacified.Dates are termed as a crown of sweets and ideal food which easily balances and digests food. It gives extra energy to a tired human body within half an hour after taking it. Dates are considered to be the best diet for confinement of the women. American Cancer Society recommends intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fibre in a day, supplied through dates. It is said that taking one date in a day will help you to maintain your healthy eyes for your lifetime. They are quiet effective in guarding the night blindness problems.
 

Benefits of Dates

 
Constipation: Date is termed to be a laxative food. This is the reason that dates are beneficial for people suffering from constipation. For getting the laxative effect from dates, you need to soak dates for one full night in water. You should consume these soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get their actual advantages.
 
Intestinal Disorders: The nicotinic content that is present in the dates is said to be beneficial for curing any kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to maintain a check on the growth of the pathological organisms and thus, helps in the rise of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
 
Weight Gain: Dates are said to be a part of healthy diet. They consist of sugar, fats, proteins as well as many essential vitamins. If the dates are consumed with the paste of cucumber, one can easily come out from the problem of over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories. These calories alone are sufficient to meet the daily requirements of a human body.
 
Healthy Heart: Dates are quite helpful in maintaining your heart in a healthy condition. When soaked for a night and crushed in the morning and consumed, they prove to be quite advantageous for weak hearts. They help in fortifying the heart, if taken twice in a week.
 
Sexual Weakness: Dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina in the human body. A handful of dates, when soaked in fresh goat’s milk for the night and then grinded in the same milk with the mixture of cardamom powder and honey, becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sex endurance and sterility caused due to functional disorders.
 
Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium. Potassium is beneficial for controlling diarrhea. They are easily digestible, which helps to cope up with the problems of diarrhea.
 
Intoxication: Dates are known as an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. Dates provide quick relief in the case of alcoholic intoxication. They should be rubbed and soaked overnight for getting more nutritious values from them.
Abdominal Cancer: Dates are beneficial for curing abdominal cancer. They work as useful tonic for all age groups. They work as better as the medicines, and are natural and do not bear any side effects in the body. They can be easily digested and used for supplying extra and needed energy.
 
Although dates carry tremendous nutritional values, great care should be taken in their selection because they consists of sticky surface which attracts various impurities in them. Hence, you should consume only those dates that are processed and packed properly. Make sure to wash them thoroughly before consuming. This will help remove the impurities present in them

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