People have known that dates are a complete food source for thousands of years. The evidence of their cultivation dates as far back as 7,000 B.C. Dates even made an appearance in the Holy Bible.
Dates are not only a delicious treat, but they are also a healthy addition to any diet. Although dates contain a large amount of sugar, a study published in the Nutrition Journal showed that dates have a low-glycemic index and they did not significantly raise blood sugar levels after they were consumed.
Whether you are consuming dates to protect the liver and heart from damage, or merely enjoying them as part of a healthy diet, dates will certainly add a sweet indulgence to your daily diet, but make sure not to exaggerate and limit their consumption.
Dates are highly valued for their nutritional value. They contain proteins and carbohydrates, which makes them complete in a nutritional sense. Dates are also packed with essential vitamins, including vitamins B, A, K, and C. Moreover, they are a good source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and other vital essential minerals.
Nutrition Facts :
Although dates were originally eaten as a primary food source in many regions of the world, they were also prized for their medicinal uses. Dates actually can offer a variety of health benefits for all ages. Read below about them:
1. Dates promote digestive health
Dates are a good source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber is vital for supporting the digestive system. The digestive system needs an adequate supply of both types of fiber to ensure that food moves through the GI tract (gastrointestinal tract) at a healthy rate. So, the increase of your fiber can be made very easy with date’s intake.
Your food needs to move at a specific rate to ensure that your GI tract has time to absorb the nutrients, but also to ensure that food does not have time to ferment or cause GI disturbances. You can use dates to help relieve occasional constipation as well. The fiber in dates supports bowel health and function.
2. Dates regulate LDL cholesterol
The dietary fiber found in dates promotes digestion, and at the same time, helps to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol that can be absorbed through the digestive tract. The consumption of fiber is also one of the top 10 ways to naturally lower cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol attaches to the blood vessels, potentially causing the blockages that are responsible for conditions like heart disease. LDL cholesterol may also be responsible for low grade inflammation in the blood vessel system.
3. Dates alleviate the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include: pain and numbness or weakness in the hands, feet, and the limbs. Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication frequently experienced by diabetic patients, and it occurs as a result of nerve damage. The condition is extremely hard to treat and most treatments are symptomatic and therefore aimed only at relieving the symptoms rather than treating the condition.
4. Dates prevent clogging of arteries
Often dubbed the silent killer, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) is the biggest underlying cause of heart attacks and strokes. This deadly condition occurs as a result of the narrowing and hardening of the arteries.
In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up on the artery walls causing blockages. If the plaque breaks loose from the arteries, deadly blockages can occur that can cut off blood flow to various vital organs.
Dates are high in antioxidants and phenolic acids and these ingredients offer anti-atherogenic effects and prevent clogged arteries. The health benefits of dates are increased when they are taken in combination with pomegranate extract.
5. Dates are excellent liver protection
Air pollutant, toxins, and the chemicals in your food can severely affect and even impair the health and function of your liver. Your liver is responsible for producing most of the compounds your body needs for good health. Your liver also filters your blood to remove waste products and toxins. These toxins and waste products can damage liver tissue.
Liver fibrosis is a consequence of wound healing that occurs in the liver as a result of liver damage. When the liver is damaged, connective tissue is formed as part of the healing process and excess collagen and other compounds build up in the liver affecting liver function.
Dates as well as date seed extract help to regulate and reduce the amounts of liver fibrosis that may occur, and it may therefore be helpful in disease like cirrhosis of the liver. You can even increase the positive effect of dates by consuming coffee from time to time. One study showed that liver fibrosis in patients significantly reduced after regular consumption of the date seed extract.
6. Dates beat inflammation
Inflammatory processes rely on chemicals that can damage cells, tissues, and organs in your body.
Chronic or low grade inflammation is the root cause of many of the diseases we face such as: allergies, asthma and arthritis, and it may even play a role in the development and progression of certain types of cancer.
It is essential to include nutrients in your diet to help regulate and control the inflammatory processes of the body. Dates and date seed extract contain compounds that reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines that are responsible for inflammation.
If you deal with inflammation and chronic diseases, you may want to learn about the importance of detoxifying your body. Some people believe detox is the key to fight diseases by removing unwanted toxicity from the body so that you can digest better and therefore decrease inflammation.
7. Dates are antioxidant protection
Antioxidant protection has become a vital part of any health routine. Every time you exercise or go to the gym, your body produces free radicals that can damage tissue. Pollutants are also a source of the free radicals that can damage the body.
Antioxidants have been shown to play a very important role in supporting health. Dates contain a number of different compounds that provide added antioxidant protection for the body. Several studies have reported the antioxidant content of dates and demonstrated the presence of compounds with free radical scavenging activity.
8. Dates support healthy pregnancy and delivery
In a study on pregnant women, date consumption increased cervical dilatation and it promoted spontaneous labor, which meant that fewer women needed to be induced.
9. Dates boost cardiovascular health
Fiber doesn’t only support a healthy digestive system, but also plays a role in supporting cardiovascular health. Healthy amounts of fiber are vital for lowering cholesterol levels, for helping to control blood pressure levels, and for regulating blood glucose levels.
10. Recommended Daily Value (RDV) of dates
Dates are very high in sugar content – it comes in at a whopping 66.5 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving of the fruit! Since it is recommended to lessen sugar consumption as much as possible, even when the sugar is being consumed from fruit, the general recommendation is to consume only 3-4 dates daily.
Make this delicacy regular delicious part of your nutrition and enjoy date’s
American Cancer Society