Proven Health Benefits Of Dates

What are Dates?

Dates are sweet fruits of date palm tree scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera. They are one of the best versatile foods that can regulate the digestive process and have gained popularity in recent times. Date palm trees are cultivated all over the world especially across tropical regions. You can also use date molasses in your smoothies or desserts as a sweetener.

The American Cancer Society recommends an intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber per day, which can be supplied through dates. It is also said that taking one date per day will help you maintain eye health all your life. They are commonly known to be quite effective in guarding against the problem of night blindness. Medjool is one of the popular variety that has many benefits.

The massive health benefits have made them one of the best ingredients for muscle development.

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Dates Nutrition

According to USDA, dates are a good source of energy, fiber, sugar, and various vitamins and minerals. [3] Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and zinc can be found in dates. Apart from the above-mentioned nutrients, they also contain vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K

A 2008 review published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition journal by Cornell researchers Chang Yong Lee [4] and Mohamed Ali Al-Farsi suggests that over 15% of daily requirement of essential minerals such as copper, potassium, magnesium and selenium can be fulfilled by consuming 100g of dates daily

Health Benefits

Let us look at some of the key benefits of dates in detail below.

Good Source of Energy

Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. The high energy present in dates can be attributed to this high sugar content. [5] [6] Many people around the world eat natural fat-free dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish.

Often when you exercise in a gym, outside or even on a stretching machine at home, you feel exhausted. A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, dates rich in essential nutrients may help you regain your energy immediately.

People who follow Islam and observe fastings, break their fast by eating dates along with water. This also helps avoid overeating of food once the fast is over. When the body begins to absorb the high nutritional content of the dates, feelings of hunger are pacified.

Dates May Boost Brain Health

A  study  led by Musthafa Mohamed Essa, Ph.D. [8] et al. suggests that dates protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. According to research, “date palm fruits are a good source of dietary fiber and are rich in total phenolics and natural antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, and caffeic acid”. [9] The presence of these polyphenolic compounds may help in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Dates Rich in Fiber May Help Relieve Constipation

In traditional Tunisian medicine, dates are used for treating constipation. [10] According to research on the effects of fiber on dietary constipation, the foods that are rich in fiber are essential in promoting healthy bowel movements and comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract. [11] A 2005 study also suggests that dates have high levels of dietary fiber and insoluble fiber. [12] The insoluble fiber aids in digestion by bulking up the stool and may also aidin

How to use: Soak some dates in water overnight, then consume in the morning when they turn into a pure date syrup to get the most optimal results.

Relief from Intestinal Disorders

Research suggests dates contain insoluble and soluble fibers, as well as many beneficial amino acids which can stimulate the digestion of food and ensure quick passage through the intestine and stomach. [15] This may promote better absorption of nutrients by the digestive tract.

Give Relief from Anemia

Dates are a good source of many nutrients such as iron. Deficiency of iron causes anemia and intake of iron-rich foods help provide relief from it. [16] However, there is a lack of research supporting the direct role of dates in treating anemia.

Prevent Heart Diseases

A study by Rock W et al. concluded that dates have beneficial effects on saturated fatty acids and oxidative stress that are often linked to heart issues and has the potential to prevent atherogenesis that leads to cardiovascular diseases.

Dates along with pomegranate, rich in antioxidants may help in reducing risk of stroke. [19] They are rich in various phytochemicals which also help prevent heart diseases.

Furthermore, dates are a rich source of potassium, which studies have shown to reduce the risk of stroke and other heart-related diseases.

Treat Sexual Weakness

In 2006, a study revealed the effects of date palms and their oil on sexual functioning and found that the high levels of estradiol and flavonoid components of dates are help increase sperm count and motility. [22] Another study  conducted in India states that date palm pollen have been used to treat male infertility in traditional medicine. [23]

So, if you are looking for a masculine boost, you may eat organic dates, because they are a great natural aphrodisiac!

How to use: 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. However, consulting medical practitioner before trying is strongly recommended.

Prevent Night Blindness

Vitamin A deficiency is often linked to incidence of night blindness. According to an article by H.A. Hajar Al Binali, M.D. vitamin A rich dates may help prevent night blindness. [24]

Reduce Alcoholic Intoxication

According to a study by Mahmoudi et al. published in Journal of Organic Systems, dates have been used along with pepper to reduce toxication of beer in Nigeria. [25]

Help Treat Chronic Diarrhea

According to an article published in Columbia University Medical Center, foods rich in potassium such as dates are effective against diarrhea. [26] They also aid in digestion and may alleviate the unpredictable nature of chronic diarrhea.

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