Dates are not known for having high-quality nutrients. Dates are grown in every country and are quite popular for their wonderful sweet flavor. Most people enjoy them due to the easy to eat experience which makes them an excellent choice for any diet or as a snack.
Because it contains so many healthy and monounsaturated fats, dates are an ideal snack for heart health. Dates are highly nutritious, containing many essential vitamins and minerals which help maintain body functions and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
They also contain high levels of vitamin A which is essential in maintaining eyesight and also promotes the growth of the immune system. Other nutrients that are found in the dates are copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, and selenium. Dates are high in energy content and, fiber content and they also contain antioxidants and phytonutrients.
Dates are being cultivated in over 160 countries, and they are considered to be the world’s sixth most important food crop. Also referred to as a ‘super-food’, dates are used in various dishes and their nutritional value is extensively used by professionals and consumers alike.
Where are Dates grown?
Dates are mostly grown in Central and Northern Africa and Mediterranean countries.
Dates are also grown in Spain, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, and Japan.
Dates should be harvested in autumn, just before they turn to stone, but it can be hard to find in the UK because the season is so short.
List of Vitamins present in dates and their uses
Dates are rich in B Vitamins and they are high in magnesium. Magnesium helps to relieve headache and inflammation. They help in the production of a person’s hormones, including Adrenalin and progesterone. Dates are a great source of carbohydrates, helping the body to stay hydrated, helping to reduce bloating.
The high fiber content of dates is also a boon to one’s gut health. Fiber helps to maintain the integrity of one’s intestinal lining and keeps one’s bowels healthy. Apart from magnesium and B vitamins, dates also have Vitamins E and K.
Here are some health benefits of eating dates, some of which might surprise you.
1. Good Source of Fiber
Dates are a good source of fiber and have the highest amount of niacin of all the fruits in the B1-B6-B3 family. Calories don’t count when it comes to filling your tummy, so whole fruit is a better choice than dry fruit. When eaten whole, whole dates also provide fiber, which supports the body’s digestion process and helps you feel full.
2. Good Source of B Vitamins
Dates are high in fiber, but they also contain a little bit of vitamin B3, which the body needs to make neurotransmitters. Vitamin B3 is needed for heart health and brain health, too. B6, potassium, and vitamin C are also in dates. Vitamin B6 is important in metabolizing glucose into energy, preventing your body from releasing too much insulin, which promotes weight gain and other conditions associated with diabetes. Vitamin C is needed for strong bones, and vitamin C can also fight heart disease.
3. More Calcium than Milk
Dates are a good source of calcium, which is needed for strong, healthy bones and teeth. A single cup of dates has over 20% of your recommended daily intake of calcium.
4. Decrease in Cholesterol
Dates are a good source of potassium, which can lower your blood cholesterol and improve your heart health. Eating one date per day can lower your cholesterol as much as having one small cup of salmon.
5. Less Sugar than Many Other Dates
Raw and unroasted dates have a small amount of sugar, and roasting them brings out the sweetness.
6. Beneficial for people with diabetes
In addition to the above benefits, dates are also beneficial for people with diabetes. Dates contain a very high percentage of dietary fiber, which is good for maintaining healthy blood glucose control in diabetics. Dates also contain an abundant supply of manganese and magnesium which helps manage blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
7. Treats constipation
Since dates are one of the best types of legumes on earth, consuming dates can help cure constipation and promote regular bowel movements. Since dates are rich in fiber, they’re good for regular bowel movements and loose stools.
Dates are very good for constipation. Make dates to soak in warm water for 30 to 45 minutes and you’ll notice the natural benefits that they provide.
8. It helps lower blood pressure.
Researchers have long known that consuming dates helps lower blood pressure. But now there’s a new study in the journal BMJ Open that suggests the fruit can help reduce blood pressure in hypertensive patients. The paper points out that consumption of dates has been associated with a reduction in “excess heart failure and [lower] mortality, compared with other common diets.” Other research suggests that having a high amount of potassium in the blood can also reduce blood pressure.
9. It can improve muscle strength.
Although this research, published in the journal Muscle & Nerve, is a little over a decade old, it makes an excellent case that eating dates will improve your strength and endurance. The study suggests that just the consumption of one type of date can give you some kind of effect, with the most likely one being a very modest increase in strength.
10. You can stave off dementia.
The research found that dates could slow down the process of dementia. This is a much bigger breakthrough than most people would have imagined. The research suggests that a combination of dates and the Mediterranean diet could help protect against cognitive decline.
11. Clear infections
Dates can help clear infections such as cholera, and they are the only known food that can be eaten after being boiled in water for a long period to increase their longevity and overall health, especially the cardiovascular system.
Dates are known to be a rich source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and flavonoids, that help in keeping your immune system healthy. But, make sure you eat dates in moderation as they are very sweet and can cause a surge in your blood sugar levels.
12. Cheap source of food
In regions of the world that do not have access to a good source of food, dates also contribute to an overall nutritional supply of essential vitamins and minerals and are a cheap source of food for families who cannot afford to buy traditional crops.
13. Stronger Stomach
Dates have a natural soothing effect on the stomach. It also helps reduce bloating and the discomfort caused by excess stomach acids. Eating dates help to boost the production of stomach acid, making it less acidic.
14. Prevents Cancer
Medical research has proved that dates are effective in preventing cancer and some forms of heart disease. Dates, on the other hand, are also known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. They are a great source of manganese, a mineral known to be effective against a wide range of health conditions.
15. Can Help Reduce Stress
As mentioned, dates are known to have a calming effect on the mind and body. And in case of stress starts taking a toll on your mind and body, eating dates is an excellent way to release some stress. Dates, as a fruit, also helps keep the mood positive and improve concentration and mental well-being.
16. Improves Metabolism
Consumption of dates can improve your metabolism. As a fruit, dates have plenty of fiber and fiber-rich carbs in them, which help in boosting metabolism and burning calories more efficiently.
There are certainly many benefits to including dates in your diet. In terms of gut health, dates are a particularly good option.
In terms of energy levels, as noted above, they’re a very nutrient-rich fruit with 13 percent of the daily recommended requirements of vitamins B6, B3, B5, and B12.
They’re also high in potassium, fiber, and folic acid – all of which may help reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.