The date palm, a flowering plant species from the family Arecaceae, has been cultivated for thousands of years due to its sweet fruit. It was first discovered in either Iraq or Egypt. Thanks to modern international trade, dates are now widely available and are consumed around the world.
Dates continue to be a staple food in the Middle East and are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, sugar, energy, and fiber. They also contain iron, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.
Broadly divided into three categories – soft, semi-dry, and dry – 30 different varieties of dates are available for consumption today. Some popular varieties are Sukkari, Zaghloul, and Khadrawy.
The date has become one of the most sought-after fruits because of its innumerable health and nutritional benefits. Be sure to include them in your diet, if you haven’t already. They are also used as an ingredient in many supplements for wellness.
The following are health benefits of eating this fruit:
Provides many nutrients
Dates are a rich source of nutrients such as:
- Vitamins for wellness – They contain vitamins A1, C, B1, B2, B3, and B5. You won’t need any additional supplements if you eat this fruit daily. Besides keeping you healthy, dates act as an energy booster due to their content of natural sugars, such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose.
- Proteins for muscles and body – They’re an abundant source of proteins that make our muscles strong and help us stay fit.
- Minerals – They contain iron, which is necessary for people who suffer from anemia, a condition that causes chest pain, fatigue, and other symptoms. They also act as a natural blood purifier.
In addition to iron, they contain fluorine, which is important for good dental health.
Due to their high fiber content, dates are the simplest solution for people suffering from constipation. Eating soaked dates aids in the process of digesting food, relieves a bloated stomach, and prevents constipation.
Dates are cholesterol-free and contain very little fat. Since they contain potassium, eating them in the right proportion will not only keep your cholesterol in check but help you maintain a healthy weight.
Strengthens the nervous system
Since they’re rich in potassium but low in sodium, dates help keep the nervous system in order. A strong nervous system is very important for the health of your brain and other organs.
Helps get rid of hangovers
The high concentration of fructose in dates catalyzes the metabolism of alcohol, bringing relief of the dizziness that is caused by excessive drinking. Pop a few of them when you feel the extra vodka shots hitting you. In the case of a bad hangover, try snacking on soaked dates instead of taking Advil.
Serves as a healthy natural sweetener
Dates are a rich source of a natural fruit sugar called fructose, which gives them a sweet, caramel taste. Because they contain fiber and antioxidants, they are a healthy alternative to white sugar for flavoring food. A paste form is recommended when using it as a sugar substitute.
Strengthens your bones
The common belief is that only vitamin D and calcium are beneficial for your bones. However, dates can do a lot to strengthen your bones and prevent osteoporosis because they contain a combination of minerals, including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and copper.
Keeps your skin smooth and young-looking
The vitamin C and D in dates works wonders for your skin. Due to their anti-aging properties, dates help maintain the elasticity of your skin and keep it smooth. If you’re suffering from skin problems, eating dates will be beneficial in the long term.
Promotes heart health
Dates are an excellent source of potassium, which keeps your heart healthy. A healthy heart is very important to ensure the proper circulation of blood and to maintain overall health.
Dates are rich in magnesium, a mineral that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps reduce blood pressure and is beneficial for people with Type 2 diabetes.
Assists in gaining weight
The combination of vitamins, sugar, and proteins in dates, as well as their high-calorie count, are helpful if you want to gain weight. Quite ironically, when consumed together with cucumbers, dates can help you maintain a healthy weight. These properties make the date a flexible fruit.
Regulates blood sugar levels
Dates help to regulate blood sugar levels due to their low glycemic index and high content of fiber and antioxidants. Therefore, consuming them in the right quantity may help in managing diabetes.
Promotes healthy hair growth
Dates also contain vitamin B5, which is a vital nutrient for the maintenance and growth of your hair. It is known to reduce hair loss, strengthen brittle hair, and prevent split ends.
Doubles as a cooking ingredient and a snack
The fact that dates are often used as an ingredient in many recipes, as well as eaten alone as a snack, illustrates their versatility. Their sticky texture makes it easy to include them in any recipe, which will benefit from their rich taste.
Even though this delicious fruit comes loaded with health benefits, eating them in excess can give rise to several problems, such as abdominal issues, fructose intolerance, abnormal weight gain, and asthma attacks. Therefore, it is important to consume them in moderation. This lets you enjoy the maximum benefit while successfully dodging the side effects.