The mention of the word ‘dates’ often reminds us all of the countries of the United Arab Emirates. Thi is mostly due to their high production and consumption of dates every day. They are one of the leading producers of dates in the world and are known for their rich quality of dates that are grown in those countries.
Dates are often considered as dry fruits and fall into the same category as cashews, raisins, almonds, pistachios and the like.
The fruit goes by the scientific name of Phoenix Dactylifera and is one of the most nutritious food items that are available. In most parts of the world, it is consumed after drying it.
It is considered to be a natural remedy for many health issues.
The word for dates comes from the Greek word for finger called Dakutolos obviously being a reference to its finger-like appearance. Dates are oval or cylindrical and can grow up to seven centimetres long. Dates are found in various colours based on their amount of ripeness or based on the particular variety of the fruit.
Sometimes they are bright red, bright yellow or dark brown even. The date fruit has a fleshy, external coating, which when removed displays a single, stone-like, hard seed.
The fruit is dependent on the glucose, fructose and sucrose content that is found in large quantities in it.
As we discussed, many health benefits can be derived from consuming dates. It contains several vitamin, mineral and fibre too.
They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, phosphorous, potassium, copper, manganese and magnesium. Some nutritionists opine that it is necessary to consume at least one date fruit per day.
1. Relieves Constipation
One of the most profound benefits of consuming dates is that it avoids constipation.
Dates, when consumed in a good number act as laxatives, clearing the bowels. For best benefits, you should soak it overnight in a bowl of water and consume it the next day when it would have turned into a syrup of sorts.
This result is achieved as dates have a high fibre content. Soluble fibre help in bowel moment and aid in the proper passage of digested food through the intestinal tracts.
Thus, it relieves the many symptoms associated with constipation.
2. Strengthens your bones
Bone strength and bone health are required for every individual to carry out physical activities every day. The minerals found in dates make it the best food to avoid bone diseases like Osteoporosis.
It contains minerals like selenium, manganese, copper and many more. These minerals contribute to the development of healthy bones.
Bone strength deteriorates as people turn older. Thus, it is very important to keep updated on how to improve your bone strength.
3. Gastrointestinal disorders
Studies have shown that the nicotine content that is present in dates is extremely useful for curing many gastrointestinal disorders.
Prolonged intake of date fruit helps in the killing of bad bacteria that are lodged in the intestines. Not only this, but they are also useful in producing good bacteria.
The presence of fibre in dates is also beneficial for those suffering from digestive disorders. These fibres make the digestion of food easier and more efficient.
It implies that the nutrients will be absorbed properly by the digestive tract. Thus, your body will get more nutrients even when you are consuming the same amount of food.
4. Cures Anaemia
Anemia is characterized by the low level of iron content in the blood, thus leading to precariously low levels of hemoglobin as well. Dates have a high amount of minerals in them.
But the best part about eating dates is that they are extremely high in iron content that is required for the non-development of symptoms like fatigue and weakness that are related to anemia.
The high level of iron balances the lack of iron in people suffering from this disorder. It also provides the person with more energy and keeps them active in their day-to-day life.
5. Saves From Allergies
In this polluted world, most of us suffer from some form of allergy or the other.
The most common one among them being dust allergy. The high amount of sulphur present in dates helps the human body catch too many infections and allergies.
Allergic reactions reduce by half when dates are consumed. Seasonal allergies are those that are caused only during a change of seasons. Consumption of dates is also beneficial for these kinds of allergies.
6. Weight Gain
People who are skinny, underweight and malnourished have a lot to gain by consuming dates every day.
The more, the better! Dates are rich in sugar and protein content and therefore, also rich in calories.
A kilogram of dates contain approximately 3000 calories and these are indeed sufficient to meet the requirements of the human body. If you are trying to put on weight, there can be no other better food.
People who are overweight should also not worry about consuming dates and putting on weight. What is beneficial is to consume it with a paste of cucumber so that it cuts the amount of sugar you consume. They are also useful in developing more muscles.
7. High Energy
Dates provide immense energy to the body as they are high in natural sugars. Those times of the day when you feel low, without energy and you feel like having a snack, the best thing to do is to pop a couple of dates!
It provide you with instant energy in bursts and also provides an adequate amount of calories. Anytime you feel lethargic or inactive, dates are the food to go!
8. Improves your nervous system
A healthy and a responsive nervous system is required for you to perform your daily activities.
It is vitamin-rich and help maintain a healthy nervous system. It decreases the response time from the brain and increases the speed and activity.
The brain becomes alert after the consumption of dates. People who are losing their mental capacities due to disorders or just old age should always include dates in their diet.
It helps in keeping the brain sharp. Students also perform better in school and improve their grades when they include dates in their diet.
9. Heart-healthy food
People who suffer from weakness of the heart must always consume dates. The best way to consume dates for such disorders is to soak it in water overnight and crush it in the morning into a paste.
Not only this, but dates are also shown to have a positive effect in avoiding strokes. Many studies have shown that dates are helpful in fighting LDL or bad cholesterol that is a major cause of heart attacks and other cardiovascular diseases.
It also is shown to improve the levels of HDL or good cholesterol in the human heart. For heart-related disorders, it is advised that people consume dates twice a week for best benefits.
10. Improves sexual performance
Sexual underperformance is a major cause of embarrassment for many people. Most people are reluctant to see even a doctor in this regard. Dates, for centuries, have been used as aphrodisiacs and are used to improve sexual performance.
How to do this? Soak a handful of dates in fresh milk overnight. In the morning, grind the soggy mixture with the same milk. To this mixture, add a spoon of cardamom powder and honey and mix it well.
This mixture is extremely powerful when consumed and is known to increase endurance in bed. It is also helpful in reducing sterility caused by various disorders.
The high level of estradiol and flavonoid contents does the trick of increasing the sperm count and motility. It also increases the size of the testes and its weight.
11. Lowers the risk of night blindness
Night blindness is a condition of the optic nerve that involves the inability to see things in the absence of light. The vision is perfect in daylight.
Many studies have shown that applying a thick paste of date palms around the eyes or even when eaten orally reduces the probability of developing night blindness.
It also relieves the stress in the eyes and is often used as a good alternative stream of medicine in rural areas.
12. Fights Diarrhea
Diarrhea is often caused as a result of stomach infections and is characterized by watery bowel movements at frequent intervals of time.
The agent that is present in dates is Potassium and this is an effective way of controlling the symptoms of diarrhea.
The good amount of fibre contained in dates helps keep a clean digestive system and enhances the natural excretory movements.
See also: Orange and Orange Peel Health Benefits
13. Cures hangover
There are often when you wake up feeling hangover after a long night of drinking. You feel nauseous and intoxicated.
It have potential in them to sober you up and quickly relieve you of the symptoms of intoxication.
Eating a few dates as and when you are downing your drinks is a good way to save yourself from getting too high. You can also have it the next day morning.
For best results, they must be soaked overnight and consumed as a paste.
14. Lowers the risk of abdominal cancer
Research studies in the present day have shown that dates are a sure-shot way of lowering your risk for developing abdominal cancer.
They are beneficial for people of all age groups and sometimes work better than the allopathic medicines.
Since they are natural and organic, they do not have any side effects on the body. They are also easily available.
They have a whole array of nutritional benefits, but one should be cautious when consuming it. The reason is that dates have a sticky outer covering and attracts various other kinds of impurities.
Make sure that you wash it thoroughly before consuming it. When you go to the supermarket to buy dates, ensure that you buy the ones that are processed and packaged.
The processed ones come in an attractive packaging and are cleaned. These can be directly consumed.
Dates are consumed in various ways, according to cultures. Some people consume it directly while some others consume it with milk, curd, bread or butter.
When consumed in the form of a paste, it is also highly helpful in recovering from severe bouts of illness. The other word of caution is to consume it in moderation since it is high in glucose content.