Date fruit or Phoenix dactylifera is a product of the date palm which belongs to the family of Arecaceae. It is believed that the tree originates from ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Today date palm is grown under warmer climates across all the continents.
Dates are one of the sweetest fruits around the world and they also come in many different varieties: Khadrawy, Medjool, Amir Hajj, Saidy, are some of the most famous varieties popular for their rich flavor, taste and superior quality.
Date fruit can be eaten either fresh or dried. But no matter how is eaten there are many health benefits of this fruit that need to be consumed.
Nutritional Value of Dates
Although they’re small, dates are rich in many beneficial nutrients. A 100g serving of the fruit contains the following nutrients:
- Potassium – 696 milligrams 20 % RDA
- Manganese – 0.3 milligrams 15 % RDA
- Magnesium – 54 milligrams 14 % RDA
- Copper- 0.4 % milligrams 18 % RDA
- Vitamin B6 – 0.2 milligrams 12 % RDA
- Fiber- 6.7 grams 27 % RDA
These fruits are also good source of calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium and zinc. They also contain vitamins like riboflavin, thiamin, folate, niacin, vitamin K and vitamin A.
Health Benefits of Dates
1.Strength and bone health
Consume dates for healthy bones and strength. They are super food for strengthening your bones and fighting diseases like osteoporosis. This is due to the manganese, copper, selenium and magnesium which are important for healthy bone development and providing strength. They are especially important for the older people whose bones gradually start to weaken.
- Treat constipation
If you suffer from constipation then these fruits are the real solution for your problem. Consume them on a daily basis to notice the positive effects. For even better results soak them in water over night and eat the soaked date fruits in the morning like syrup. Dates are rich in soluble fiber which is important in promoting healthy bowel movement and easy passage of food through the intestinal tract, which can relieve symptoms of constipation.
- Treat anemia
Since date fruits contain high level of iron, they are a perfect dietary supplement for people who suffer from anemia. The high level of iron balances the lack of iron in anemic patients and increases energy and strength while at the same time decreases feelings of fatigue.
- Anti-inflammatory benefits
Due to the high level of magnesium they consist of, dates have strong anti-inflammatory effects. According to a study inflammatory indicator in the body like TNF (tumor necrosis factor alpha), IL6 (interleukin 6) and CRP (C- reactive protein) were all reduced by increasing the intake of magnesium.
Moreover, by increasing magnesium intake you will reduce inflammation in the arterial walls. Based on the findings of the study, magnesium can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, arthritis and other inflammation- related health aliments.
- Reduce blood pressure
Studies have shown that magnesium can help lower blood pressure and as I mentioned earlier dates are rich in it. Furthermore, potassium is another mineral found in these fruits which is also beneficial in helping proper function of the heart and reducing blood pressure.
- Promote healthy pregnancy and delivery
A study performed by researchers at the University of Science and Technology have shown the positive effect that dates have during pregnancy, labour and delivery. The study was performed on 69 women for a year and a month. The researchers found that: “women who increased the intake of dates in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour”.
- Boost digestive health
Dates are rich in soluble fiber and fibers are essential for good digestive health because they draw water into the digestive tract thus relieving constipation. The fruits are also rich in potassium and potassium can also treat upset stomach and diarrhea. They also strengthen good bacteria in the stomach and are a digestive tract balancer.
- Boost energy
Dates are rich in natural sugar such as: fructose, sucrose and glucose. So if you need something to boost your energy then they are the perfect snack for you. The fiber in the dates will keep the power up longer without the crash you would typically experience by eating any other sweet treat.
- Healthy heart
Dates are very helpful in keeping your heart healthy. For even better results soak them up for the night and consume them in the morning. Eating dates is healthy and delicious way to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body, which is the main cause for heart attack and other heart diseases. So, include them in your everyday diet at least twice a week and improve the overall health.
- Improves sex life
Dates are a great natural aphrodisiac. Dates consist of high levels of estradiol and flavonoids which increase sperm count and motility. Soak a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk and let them overnight. In the morning grind them in the same milk and add some cinnamon powder and some honey. This mixture is a very effective tonic for increasing sexual endurance and reducing sterility caused by various sexual disorders.