Updated: Sep 21, 2020
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. According to history, date palm is known to have come from what is now Iraq, however Egyptians were known to have made wine with dates a lot earlier as well.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried. Obviously, growing up in Romania, I did not have much access to them growing up. I am amazed with their aromatic flavor.
Dates might look like humble fruits, but they are packed with nutrients, important vitamins and minerals, and have a lot of health benefits. Additionally, they are high in fibre which is good in clearing the intestinal tract. So, they clearly qualify to be called a superfood.
Depending on the variety, fresh dates are fairly small in size and range in color from bright red to bright yellow. Medjool and Deglet Noor dates are the most commonly consumed varieties.
Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. Most of the calories in dates come from carbs.
Dates are a strong source for proteins that help us in staying fit, and even keep our muscles strong.
High in fiber, high disease-fighting antioxidants, they may promote brain health. The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids (1.Trusted Source).
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content.
The three most potent antioxidants in dates:
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and certain types of cancer (2. Trusted Source , 3. Trusted Source).
Phenolic acid: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease (6. Trusted Source).
Dates contain several minerals, including phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. All of these have been studied for their potential to prevent bone-related conditions like osteoporosis.
Strengthens the nervous system. Dates are loaded with potassium, and yet contain little sodium, and that goes a long way in keeping your nervous system in order. The potassium helps to reduce cholesterol, and keeps the risk of a stroke in check.
Rich in vitamins, dates contain vitamins such as B1, B2, B3 and B5, as well as A1 and C. If you have a few dates every day, you won't have to take vitamin supplements. Improves skin. The vitamins C and D works on your skin's elasticity, and also keeps your skin smooth. Plus, if you suffer from skin problems, incorporating dates into your diet might help you in the long run. Plus dates also come with anti-ageing benefits, and prevent the accumulation of melanin in your body.
Rich in Iron. Apart from the fluorine that keeps your teeth healthy, dates also contain iron, which is highly recommended for those who suffer from iron deficiency. Severe iron-deficiency anemia may cause fatigue or tiredness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. Plus it's great for blood purification as well.
Excellent natural sweetener. Surprisingly, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food. Dates are a great source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit. For this reason, dates are very sweet and also have a subtle caramel-like taste.
2 dates, 1 tsp of turmeric, 1 tsp of ginger, 1 handful of raw cashews and a glass of water. Mixed all in a blender, then poured over 2 cubes of ice. For stress relief, add a tsp/2 caps of Ashwagandha. Tell me how you like it ;-)
They make a great healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to the nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that they provide. They make a great quick snack as well. Handy in the kitchen when raising children.
Be mindful, although dates are high in fiber and nutrients, they are still fairly high in calories and best consumed in moderation.
Dates are definitely worth adding to your diet, as they are both nutritious and delicious.
Give them a try!