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Proven health benefits of dates

15 Proven Health Benefits of Dates

Dates are a type of fruit of the date palm tree, which is cultivated in most tropical countries worldwide. Recently, the popularity of dates has been on the rise, which have proven health benefits of dates. Most of the dates sold in the Western world are dried. The skin of the date is either wrinkled or smooth. Fresh dates come in small or large sizes, and are bright red or yellow. The outer skin of the date palm is wrinkled, while the internal fibrous seeds are elongated. A chewy texture, sweet taste, and high fiber content are some of the many health benefits of dates.

Adding dates to your diet can help improve brain health, prevent disease, and provide other nutritional benefits. Natural Macronutrients play an important role in the health of dates.  

This article will discuss 15 proven health benefits of dates and how to incorporate them into your diet.

What are Dates?

Dates are a type of tropical fruit grown on dates palm trees. They are classified as a dry fruit and have been part of the West Asian heritage for over half a million years. They are high in natural sugar and have a higher calorie content than the fresh fruits. The high calorie content of dates has made them popular because they provide energy during the day. The date is a berry that is harvested from the palm tree, commonly known as the date palm.

The palm tree is a tree that grows in hot and arid areas. The color of the date is golden brown to almost black when ripe, and the skin is wrinkled when dried. The size of the date is about 1-3 inches in diameter, and it has one or more seeds or pits.

Proven health benefits of dates
Proven health benefits of dates

15 Proven health benefits of dates:

1. Very nutritious

Dates (also called dates palm tree) is a widely consumed dried fruit in tropical countries. It is more calorie-dense than other dried fruits such as dates, figs, and raisins. The main source of calories in dates is carbohydrates, with a tiny amount of protein making up the remainder. Dates are high in fiber and rich in vitamins and minerals. They also contain various antioxidants such as carotenoids, flavonoids, phenolic acids, etc. Dates are rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc. Eating 2-3 dates daily is safe and healthy for diabetics. It provides low fat energy for weight control and helps in blood sugar control. 

Nutritional Value per 100g of dates:

  • Calories – 270-310
  • Protein – 5.1 g 
  • Total Fat – 0.4 g
  • Sodium – 2 mg 
  • Potassium – 656 mg
  • Carbohydrates (dietary fibers and sugar) – 75 g 
  • Antioxidants – 80400 micromol 

2. High in fiber

Fiber is essential for good health, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it. Eating dates is an excellent way to increase your fibre intake, and it can help prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements. The fibre in dates may also help regulate blood sugar levels, as it delays digestion and may help keep blood sugar levels from rising too high after meals. Dates have a low GI, making them a great choice for those looking to increase their fibre intake.

3. Encourages bone health

Dates are rich in minerals that are essential for bone growth and strength. These minerals increase bone mineral density, reduce risk of fracture and malformation, and protect bone cells from oxidative damage and inflammation. Dates are also rich in selenium and mnene, as well as magnesium, copper, etc. These minerals are essential for bone health. Eating dates can help you to build strong, healthy bone. Therefore, adding dates to your diet is highly recommended.

4. High in disease-fighting antioxidants

Dates are an excellent sweetener because they contain a natural sugar, fructose, which gives them a slightly caramelized flavor. When compared to other fruits, dates seem to have the highest antioxidant content. The three most potent antioxidants are flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid. Flavonoids are known to help lower the risk of a number of ailments, including diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer. Carotenoids are known to improve cardiovascular health and reduce eye related diseases. Phenolic acids are known to reduce cancer risk and heart disease risk.

5. Expands your skin

Dates are an excellent choice for skincare due to their high concentration of vitamins C and D, which help to provide your skin with all the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and glowing. Vitamin C and D work to improve your skin’s elasticity as you age, which can be difficult to maintain. Additionally, the nutrients in dates help to prevent faster ageing and make you look younger for longer. Dates also help to maintain your skin’s melanin balance by reducing the risk of it being stored in different places. 

Dates help to make healthy skin
Dates help to make healthy skin

6. May help brain health

Eating dates may be beneficial for brain health. Studies in laboratory animals have shown that dates can help reduce the activity of inflammatory markers in the brain, such as IL-6 (interleukin 6). High IL-6 levels in the brain are linked to a higher risk of developing neurodegenerative illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s disease. Dates contain a variety of compounds that act as antioxidants in the brain, protecting it from oxidative damage and stimulating new brain cell growth, which could improve cognition.

7. May promote heart health

Dates are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients. Fiber plays an important role in controlling cholesterol levels. According to research, foods rich in fiber reduce bad cholesterol, which protects the heart. Dates also contain magnesium and potassium, which can help lower blood pressure and relax or dilate blood vessels, both of which are important for heart health. There is some evidence that dates may help your heart health by increasing your levels of polyphenols, a micronutrient found naturally in plants. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the polyphenols found in dates can help raise your HDL “good” cholesterol and lower total cholesterol, both of which can reduce the risk of heart disease.

8. May support digestive health

Dating with Medjool dates contains about 13% to 19% of the daily recommended fiber intake. Experts say that women should eat 25% to 38%, while men should eat 38% to 45%. A 2015 study asked men to eat 7 dates daily or a mixture of dates and sugar for 21 days. After that, they were asked to wash their hands for a 14-day period. People who ate dates said they had better bowel movement control. Dating can help improve digestion and reduce constipation. Dates also contain prebiotics, and are great source of food for beneficial gut bacteria.

9. May encourage natural labor

Dating may be beneficial during pregnancy as it binds to receptors of the body’s oxytocin, the hormone that induces the contraction during birth. It contains tannins, which have been shown to help with contraction. It also contains natural sugars and calories, which are essential for maintaining energy during pregnancy. Studies have shown that consuming dates during pregnancy may improve labor and delivery when eaten late in pregnancy.

In a small study, it was found that consuming dates at the end of pregnancy could help reduce the length of labor and the need for oxytocin medication, a medication used to hasten labor. A woman who regularly consumes dates during her pregnancy has a higher chance of having a natural childbirth. Eating dates later in pregnancy can make the labor and delivery much easier. Studies show that dates are an important part of the normal diet of a pregnant woman and can help reduce baby’s pressure during birth. 

10. Upkeep healthy bowel movements

Dates are rich in soluble fibre which helps you to have regular bowel movements. Studies have shown that eating 7 to 10 dates daily for weeks can significantly increase your stool frequency. The insoluble fibre provides bulk to your stools while the soluble fibre softens them by holding water. This helps to improve transit time and relieve constipation. Dates also bind to toxins such as ammonia in your colon, making it easier for you to re-absorb and expel them into your stool. This helps in detoxifying your digestive system. The benefits of dates on your diet are undeniable. They can help you live a healthier life.

11. May lower cancer risk

Dates contain insoluble fibre such as beta D-glucan, which aids in the growth and spread of cancer cells. Dates are also high in antioxidants. Carotenoids, phenolic, and other antioxidants help in reducing inflammation and damage to DNA. Studies have shown that consuming dates reduces cancer rates. It has been found that dates can help in inhibiting the growth of colon, prostate, breast, and lung cancers. By consuming dates daily, you can significantly reduce your risk of cancer and benign tumors. The high amount of beta-glucan in dates aids in the body’s anti-cancer function. It also helps in the reduction of free radicals that can cause cancer. Consuming dates daily significantly reduces your risk of cancer.

12. Help manage diabetes

It has a low glycemic index, which slows glucose absorption and prevents post-meal spikes in blood glucose levels. It also contains fructose, which doesn’t need to be metabolized, and antioxidants that protect against oxidative stress induced by diabetes. It also provides sweetness without adversely affecting blood glucose levels. Diabetes mellitus is a condition that is mostly treated with synthetic drugs, a mix of oral drugs, and insulin supplements. Dates may increase insulin production. They also have properties that slow down the rate at which glucose is absorbed from the intestine. This reduces the risk of diabetes, as the reduction in glucose absorption naturally lowers blood glucose levels.

Dates good for diabetes patients
Dates good for diabetes patients

13. Provide wholesome nutrition during pregnancy 

Dates are a great source of dietary fiber that helps with digestion and prevents constipation, which is a common issue during pregnancy. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals that help with overall nutrition. Dates are packed with iron, potassium and folate, which are beneficial for both the mother’s health and the baby’s development. They also provide a natural sugar boost, making them a great snack for pregnant women who are feeling tired. However, it’s important to remember that dates should be consumed in moderation, and it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional about dietary choices during pregnancy for personalized guidance.

14. Support kidney health

Dates are known to protect the kidneys from the effects of nephrotoxicity, improve function, and are high in antioxidants. Dates have a variety of properties that can help keep your kidneys healthy in challenging conditions. A study on the fruit of Ajwa, a date variety grown mainly in West Asia, showed that the fruit actively reduces the lesions due to nephrological diseases. Additionally, date extracts can help reduce the excess plasma and the creatinine in your kidneys, improving the overall health of your kidneys.

15. Could increase male fertility

Dates are rich in amino acids that boost stamina. They also contain hormones like oestrogen and sterols that support the male reproductive system. Studies have shown that dates, date fruit, and date pollen extracts can increase sperm count, sperm motility, sperm morphology, and sperm fertilization. Antioxidants in dates can help protect your testes from harm. Vitamins and minerals in dates can help increase your sperm count and boost your sexual drive. Fluflonoids and various amino acids in dates make sure that your male’s sexual performance is full of energy. Date palm contains microelements like estrone and sterols and many other ingredients that greatly increase male fertility.

Additional health benefits:

#May help with anemia

Studies have shown that consuming dates on a regular basis can be used to treat anemia in a similar way to taking iron supplements. The results show that dates can actually be used to treat anemia because they increase the amount of iron in hemoglobin.

#Reduce inflammation

Dates are rich in flavonoids, which are antioxidants and play an important role in anti-inflammatory activity. The leaves, seeds, and other components of date palm are also known for their anti-inflammatory properties and are used in the production of medicinal teas, extracts, and other medicinal products.

#Benefit the nervous system

The potassium in dates helps regulate the body’s fluid balance, which makes it easier for nerve signals to be transmitted. Dates are rich in B vitamins, which are essential for nerve function. Dates have anti-inflammatory antioxidants, which help to reduce neuroinflammation, improve memory, and prevent neurodegeneration associated with ageing.

#Prevents microbial infections

Bacterial infections may be life-threatening and costly to treat. Currently, antibiotics are used to treat nearly all microbial infections. Antibiotics are expensive and come with many side effects. Replacing antibiotics with natural alternatives can be both healthy and cost-effective.

#Reduces the rate of hair loss

Dates are a great alternative to many OTC medications that claim to prevent hair loss. The benefits of dates for hair are well known as they are rich in iron which makes them very beneficial for hair. The high iron content in dates helps to maintain blood flow and nourish the scalp. The increased oxygen to the scalp helps to grow new hair and also reduces the rate of hair loss by a large amount.

#Helps deal with hangovers

Millennials today are missing out on a lot of productivity because of alcohol-related hangovers. There are many products out there that can help treat hangovers caused by alcohol. While there is no definitive proof, there have been many cases where soaked dates have been used to reduce hangover symptoms. The best way to do this is to peel the date gently and soak it in water to drink the next morning.

#Dates are rich in vitamins

Dates are a great way to get your daily dose of vitamins. They are a great substitute for Vitamin supplements. You can get your daily dose from dried or fresh dates. Dried dates are a great source of vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, and other essential vitamins. These vitamins are needed to keep your body healthy. You can easily meet your vitamin needs by including dates in your diet.

#Reduces the chance of getting night blindness

Night blindness can be caused by a lack of vitamin A over a long period of time. Dates are a great source of vitamin A and if you consume them regularly, you won’t suffer from night blindness over the long term. There is a long history of using dates to treat night blindness in many countries of West Asia. Date palm is one of the most ancient natural remedies that can be used to treat problems caused by vitamin A deficiency.

Risks of consuming dates:

Studies have shown that people with pollen allergies can be sensitive to dates, which is known as oral allergy syndrome. Oral allergy syndrome occurs when allergen in raw fruits, like dates, causes similar reactions to those of pollen allergens. In rare cases, oral allergy syndrome can lead to anaphylaxis, which is when the person has severe symptoms of an allergic reaction. Oral allergy symptoms can include itchy mouth and scratchy throat, swelling of lips, mouth, tongue, and throat, etc.

If you have these symptoms after eating dates, talk to your healthcare provider who can run tests to see if your symptoms are caused by dates.

Dates are good for overall health
Dates are good for overall health

Tips for Eating Dates:

Dates can be enjoyed on their own or mixed with other ingredients, such as chia pudding, chia seeds, or avocado. They can also be used as a sweetener in baked goods, in energy balls, in oatmeal, in overnight oats, or in smoothies. Purified dates can be used to make homemade vegan ice cream. You can mix them with other ingredients such as chopped dark chocolate, pitted cherries, cinnamon, and even plant milk. Dates can also be used in savory dishes, such as adding natural sweetness and balanced flavors to cooked veggies.

Conclusion:

Dating is one of the best fruits to add to your diet. It is rich in fibre, nutrients, antioxidants and helps in digestion, disease prevention, brain function, heart health and fertility. You can find dates in dried form but they are higher in calories than fresh fruit. There are lots of ways to include dates in your diet. For example, you can use dates as a natural sweetener in many different dishes.

Dates are also an excellent snack. Whether you enjoy dates fresh or dried, you can add them to your breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks and more. However, it is important to be mindful about portion sizes as the sugar content in dates can add up if you eat too much. Overall, dates are an excellent dry fruit that can be a great addition to your diet.

Reference used:

https://www.carehospitals.com/blog-detail/benefits-of-dates/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-dates#TOC_TITLE_HDR_9

https://www.forbes.com/health/nutrition/dates-benefits/

https://www.health.com/nutrition/groceries/health-benefits-dates