Thousands of years ago, when dates were discovered, they were known to have healing powers. It originated in Iraq and later spread throughout other places. The Egyptians used to make wine from dates. They are one of the most important ingredients in Middle Eastern cuisine. Dates have recently gained popularity in the Western World as well for the health benefits it provides. It is grown all over the world, especially in tropical regions. They are mostly sold in the dried form. The color of dates can range from bright red to bright yellow.
There are various types of dates, but Medjool and Deglet Noor are the most common types. Dates are chewy and they have a sweet flavor. They have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that are good for your health. Here are some of the health benefits of eating dates:
1. It is Nutritious
Dates are natural sources of fiber and sugar. They are rich in carbs, vitamin A, potassium and other vitamins and minerals. They are one of the sweetest fruits around, but won’t add more calories to your body.
- Potassium in dates helps to boost the nervous system.
- The vitamins and minerals in dates improve the functionality of the brain and let it respond more quickly. So, you can stay more alert.
- It contains organic sulfur that helps to prevent seasonal allergies.
- It contains fiber that promotes digestive health and prevents constipation.
- It is rich in antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals and helps to prevent a number of diseases. For example, Flavanoids can reduce inflammation, Carotenoids can promote a healthy heart and Phenolic acid lowers the risk of cancer.
- It is a strong source of protein that will help you to stay fit and keep your muscles strong.
- It contains iron that prevents anemia and helps in blood purification as well.
Dates are very nutritious and provide a lot of health benefits. You must include it in your regular diet to maintain a healthy life.
2. Helps to Promote Brain Health
Eating dates regularly can help to improve brain function. Here are some ways it helps in improving brain health:
- It lowers Interleukin 6 in the brain that prevents the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- It reduces the activity of Amyloid beta proteins which may form plaques in the brain and often lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
- It can reduce anxiety and stress.
- It has brain-boosting properties that can reduce inflammation.
- It contains Polyphenolic compounds that slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Dates are packed with vitamins and minerals that help to keep up the brain’s ability. You will get protection from a number of brain-related diseases by eating dates regularly.
3. Good Source of Energy
Dates are rich in sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose that give energy. If you are feeling lethargic or sluggish, eating some dates will recharge you. You often feel exhausted after exercising in a gym or working out at home. Dates may help to regain the energy immediately. You can also consume it before any strenuous activity so that your brain and muscles have enough energy to perform. The Muslims breaks their fast in the month of Ramadan by eating dates along with water. This gives them energy and pacifies the feelings of hunger so that they don’t overeat after the fast is over.
4. Relieves Constipation and Promotes Digestion
Dates are full of fiber and can relieve constipation. It ensures proper bowel movement and ensures a comfortable passage of food along the intestinal tract.
- The insoluble fiber in dates can promote healthy digestion and relieve the symptoms of constipation.
- The amino acids present in dates can help in digestion by ensuring that the food moves through the gastrointestinal tract easily.
- Fiber present in dates can treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hemorrhoids and diverticulitis.
- The date pulp extract helps to stimulate gastrointestinal transit activity that helps in treating constipation by correcting the mineral content deregulation which takes place during constipation.
- Dates are rich in potassium and help to replete the electrolytes lost during chronic diarrhea and aids in digestion.
Eating about 20 to 35 grams of fiber will make the stool soft and prevent constipation. You should soak some dates overnight to get the best benefits from it.
5. Prevents Anemia
Dates contain various nutrients including iron. Deficiency in iron can cause anemia which might lead to dizziness, shortness of breath, and more severe conditions. Dates are rich in fiber, natural sugar, various vitamins and minerals that help to fight anemia. Copper present in dates helps in the production of red blood cells. Therefore, a daily dose of dates can keep your iron reserves up-to-date and prevent anemia.
6. Prevent Heart Diseases
Consuming dates is very effective in reducing Triglyceride levels and oxidative stress, and so helps to reduce the risk of heart disease. It contains lots of Phytochemicals that also protects the heart.
- Dates are rich in potassium that helps to lower blood pressure and decrease the chance of strokes.
- It contains antioxidants that prevent Atherosclerosis, a condition that makes the arteries hard and clogged with plaque.
- It contains Isoflavones that lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It contains fiber that helps to lose weight and lower the risk of heart disease.
- It has magnesium that relaxes the muscles in the heart and blood vessels, thereby, reducing blood pressure.
- It contains a low amount of sodium and so prevents high blood pressure.
- It has a low Glycemic index which helps to lower the risk of heart disease.
Dates can regulate blood volume and blood pressure. As a result, it considerably lowers the risk of heart problems.
7. Treat Sexual Dysfunction
Dates can help to treat male infertility. So, if you are trying to find a way to boost your libido and sexual function, you should eat dates. It has aphrodisiac like properties and contains elements like Sterols, Estrone, and Carotenoids that help to treat sexual dysfunction in male. You should soak the dates in fresh goat’s milk overnight and then grind them. Then mix some cardamom powder and honey with it. Eating this will help to enhance your sexual health.
8. Prevents Night Blindness
Night blindness can occur due to vitamin A deficiency. Dates are rich in vitamin A and other Carotenoids that help to prevent night blindness and promote healthy vision. It can also help to delay macular degeneration of the eye which happens due to aging. If you are struggling with your vision, eating dates regularly can improve your condition.
9. Fights Cancer
Dates can improve bowel health and slow down the development of colorectal cancer cells by increasing the growth of the beneficial bacteria in the gut. The development of colon cancer depends on various factors like inflammation, the health of the intestinal flora, and the frequency of bowel movements. Dates can improve all these factors and reduce the risk of colon cancer. By eating dates regularly, you will be able to reduce the formation of colon polyp which may turn cancerous.
10. Improves Bone Health
Dates contain boron which promotes healthy bones. It also contains potassium, phosphorus, calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, etc. that helps to fight painful diseases like osteoporosis.
- Dates are rich in vitamin K that helps to metabolize the bones.
- It contains magnesium that helps to reinforce the structural integrity of the bone tissue.
- It contains magnesium and copper that helps to strengthen bones.
You can improve your bone health considerably by including dates in your regular diet. Dates can make your bones strong.
Dates can make an excellent snack. You can either eat a handful of dates in the morning or take some as an afternoon snack. You can also soak some dates in milk overnight, blend them in the morning and drink it. Soaking dates overnight before consuming can reduce the chances of strokes and heart-related diseases. It can also reduce alcoholic intoxication and hangovers. Dates are very good for pregnant women as it can promote and ease labor. You should keep fresh dates in airtight containers in the refrigerator and it will stay in good condition for about 6 months or even more. Dates are very healthy and you should consume it regularly to boost energy and get all the various health benefits it provides.