Importance of Including Dates in our Daily Diet

Dr. Purushothaman
August 26, 2018

Dates are included in our daily diet for the purpose of staying healthy and energetic all through the day. Date palms are grown extensively under hot climates in all continents for their nutritious edible fruits. Dates are oval or cylindrical drupes that are golden yellow, amber, bright-red or deep-brown in color. ‘Amir Hajj,’ ‘Saidy,’ 'Khadrawy' and 'Medjool' are some significant dates.

Health benefits of dates

  • Dates enclose phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are important for growth and development. Fresh dates are soft and digestible due to fructose and dextrose. They are instant energy providers that revitalize the body.

  • Dates are rich in datery fibre and helps to reduce cholesterol levels and also reduces diabetes. Dates gives a protection to the mucosa of the intestine and also increases the intestinal motility. Regular use of dates s good in preventing Colon Cancer and also helps proper bowel evacuation.

  • It has got great nutritional value, especially iron content & helps to improve anemia. Other ingredients like flavonoids, Taxins and other antioxidants, which prevent many inflematory diseases and also prevents the incidents of cancer.

  • They have zeaxanthi which is beneficial against age-related macular degeneration.

  • They're rich in iron, which is a component of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to various parts of the human body. They also contain potassium which is a significant part of cell and body fluids that help regulate blood pressure. They therefore prevent stroke and coronary heart diseases.

  • Dates contain a small amount of vitamin A that has antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also good for vision. It also helps to maintain a healthy skin and mucous. Fruits with Vitamin A should be consumed so as to protect ourselves from ovary cavity cancer and lung cancer.

  • Dates contain antioxidant flavanoids like zeaxanthin, B-Carotene and lutein. Such antioxidants help to protect the cells as well as the whole body from any kind of harmful effects caused by oxygen free radicals. Hence consuming dates help to protect colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, endometrial cancer and lung cancer.

  • They're rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Calcium is important for bone, teeth, muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. Manganese is a co-factor for antioxidant enzymes and superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of RBCs. Magnesium is needed for the growth of bone.

They also have moderate levels of B-complex, vitamins and vitamin-K. They contain good amount of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins metabolize carbohydrates, protein and fats. Vitamin-K is important for many coagulant factors in the blood and also during metabolism of bone.

Storing dates have become much easier

Dates are available in grocery stores all the year round. Some fresh, soft and good-quality dates, however, are only found from September to December. In certain African dry regions, dates are collected just before they reach maturity and are allowed to ripen inside jars.

In stores, one may come across soft, semi-dry, and dry types of dates that are ready for sale. At home, one must keep them at room temperature, in an air-seal container where they can stay well for many months.

Some more health benefits

  • Dry and soft dates can be directly eaten.

  • Pitted dates can be stuffed with fillings such as dry fruits, orange, cheese etc.

  • They can be chopped off and added to fruit salad or two dishes.

  • They're used to prepare juices and Jallab (popular syrup).

Few more health tips

Allergy from dates is very rare. They're safe to eat even for infants and pregnant women. In a sensitized individual, exposure of date palm pollen may lead to cross-hypersensitivity reactions. For the same reason, such people should avoid any food preparations that contain dates.

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