Dates are an unassuming and often overlooked fruit. They are usually relegated to dried, sweetened forms as a treat. However, dates are so much more than that. They are a rich source of minerals, vitamins, and beneficial carbohydrates. In addition to their nutritional benefits, dates also have many health benefits. They are often recommended as a remedy for stress or anxiety and can also help with fatigue and insomnia.
In this post, we’ll explore why you should be eating more dates and their potential health benefits.
What are the Dates?
Dates are a fruit, although they look like a small, green, unripe banana. At least in my eyes. These fruits are native to the Middle East and Asia but are now cultivated worldwide.
They are usually dried and sold in their dried form, but they can also be found in their fresh form. The fruit is usually sweet and sour, but the sour variety is most commonly eaten raw. The date is a large fruit with fibrous outer flesh and a soft, creamy interior. They are usually packed with nutrients and can be eaten alone or used in various sweet and savory recipes.
#1 Good Source of Calcium
Being a great source of calcium, dates also contain a good dose of this mineral in a very small amount. Calcium is an essential mineral in our bodies. It’s needed for the healthy growth and development of bones and teeth. It also keeps nerves and muscles healthy.
We also need extra calcium during pregnancy to strengthen the bones and teeth of the growing child. Many people don’t get enough calcium from their diets. Most diet plans do not include enough calcium and magnesium, which are also needed for healthy bones. A diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables can help you meet your calcium needs.
If you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body can’t tell you when it needs it. This can lead to a condition called “low calcium syndrome” or “rickets.” People with low calcium levels are more likely to get osteoporosis, which weakens bones and can lead to fractures.
Therefore, dates are a good source of calcium, which aids in healthy nerve and muscle function and bone development.
#2 Good Source of Fiber
Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system. It helps you to stay regular and prevent constipation. It can also lower blood cholesterol levels and prevent colon cancer.
According to several kinds of research, it’s best to eat a lot of fiber before the age of 30. This is because our bodies can only break down so much fiber after the age of 30. After this age, our bodies aren’t able to handle fiber as efficiently.
Fiber comes in a variety of forms. There is soluble fiber, which is water-soluble and passes through your digestive system. There is also insoluble fiber, which is not water-soluble and is commonly found in whole foods like dates and nuts.
Both soluble and insoluble fiber can help with digestive health. They can prevent constipation and diarrhea. They can also prevent high cholesterol and blood glucose levels, which can lead to diabetes.
#3 Help With Brain Health
A good source of antioxidants and vitamin B6, dates are also known to increase brain health and prevent dementia. Vitamin B6 is required for the conversion of glucose into energy. As we age, our brains become more susceptible to oxidative damage due to a deficiency in certain nutrients, like vitamin B6. This can lead to symptoms like fatigue and low mental clarity.
Studies suggest that vitamin B6 can help prevent these symptoms by inducing a reduction in oxidative stress, and can help to preserve brain health and prevent cognitive decline. Studies have also found that vitamin B6 can help increase blood flow in the brain and prevent age-related cognitive decline.
#4 Help With Digestion
Dates are also known to help with digestion and prevent diarrhea. They contain senna, an anti-diarrheal agent that helps to prevent watery bowel movements.
Senna is a natural laxative that acts as a stimulant, increasing the body’s water. It also contracts the intestines and acts as an emetic to make you feel better.
Studies have found that senna can act as a natural treatment for dysentery, reducing the amount of time it takes to recover from the illness by half. It is also a very effective preventive measure for preventing diarrhea.
#5 Contain Antioxidants
Another benefit of dates is their high antioxidant content. Antioxidants are compounds that protect the body against oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is a condition caused by increased reactive oxygen molecules in the body. These molecules are a by-product of normal metabolism.
Antioxidants neutralize these molecules and can prevent oxidative stress, leading to age-related conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
Many antioxidants are found in dates, including vitamin B6, potassium, manganese, and vitamin C. Vitamin C is also an effective anti-scorable agent, which helps protect the body against cancer.
#6 Strengthen Bones
Vitamin K is a vital nutrient that is required for healthy bone development in children and adults. Vitamin K is produced naturally by the body, but it’s not produced at a high enough level after age 30. Vitamin K is only present in a small amount of green leafy vegetables and fruit.
It can be found in high levels in dates, making them an excellent source. Vitamin K is also required to properly develop bones in children and adults.
Vitamin K can help to prevent bone fractures and promote bone health by building strong and healthy bones.
#7 Protect Vision
High in flavonoids, which are known to protect the eyes from oxidative stress, dates are also good for the eyes. Flavonoids are responsible for the protective effects of fruits and vegetables, reducing oxidative stress and preventing age-related eye degeneration.
Studies have found that flavonoids in dates can protect the eyes from oxidative stress and prevent age-related eye degeneration.
#8 Protect the Nervous System
The high fiber content in dates also makes them a great source of nerve-protecting carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are essential nutrients that provide energy and can be found in sugars, starches, and fiber. They can prevent nervous system disorders such as mood disorders, anxiety, and ADHD.
Fiber can help prevent constipation and irregular bowel movements, which are often linked to neurological disorders like IBS and depression. Fiber can also reduce stress and anxiety, contributing to nervous system disorders such as mood disorders and ADHD.
With so many health benefits, dates are a fruit you should be eating more of. Dried, sweetened dates are great for snacks, but you can also make various recipes with fresh dates. Dried dates can be stored for many years, but if you want to ensure they are as fresh as possible, you should look for a bag that says ‘bloomed’ on the side.