The 5 health benefits of dates

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The 5 health benefits of dates

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Dates are high in natural sugar, which is why many people think they are unhealthy. However, these sweet fruits are packed with nutrients, making them a great snack to eat in moderation. Dates grow on date palms in small clusters. The term given comes from the Greek word daktulos, which means fingers.

Farmers harvest them in the fall and early winter. Therefore they generally taste fresher at this time of year. However, many people also eat them dried. They can be stored for a long time in a closed container. In this article, you will learn about their health benefits and how to incorporate them into a balanced diet.

Five benefits of eating dates

In addition to being tasty, dates contain proteins, vitamins and minerals.

1 Dates are rich in polyphenols

Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds that can protect the body from inflammation. Dates contain more polyphenols than most other fruits and vegetables.

2 Dates: an alternative to desserts with empty calories

They can satisfy a person’s craving for sweets while providing essential nutrients, such as vitamin B-6 and iron.

3 They are rich in fiber

Just one cup provides 12% of a person’s daily fiber requirement. Fiber helps a person feel fuller for longer.

4 They are rich in potassium

They are high in potassium, an electrolyte that the body needs for good heart health. Potassium also helps build muscle and protein in the body.

5 They are great as a substitute for sugar

You can substitute sugar, chocolate chips or candy in baking recipes with dates to make sure they eat natural sugars instead of refined sugars.

Nutritional information on dates

Deglet Noor dates are one of the most common types of dates that can be found in the supermarket.

Here is the nutritional information for a medium sized Deglet Noor date:

– calories: 20
– total fat: 0.03 grams (g)
– total carbohydrates: 5.33 g
– dietary fiber: 0.6 g
– sugar: 4.5 g
– proteins: 0.17 g
– vitamin B-6: 0.012 milligrams (mg)
– iron: 0.07 mg
– magnesium: 3 mg
– potassium: 47 mg

A low glycemic index

Dates have a very high sugar content compared to the rest of their nutritional value. People trying to control their blood sugar levels, such as diabetics, should pay attention to their total sugar intake when consuming dates. Moderate consumption is unlikely to excessively raise a person’s blood sugar levels, even if they have diabetes. According to a study, dates are a low-glycemic food that does not cause a significant increase in blood sugar levels in people with or without diabetes. Although the researchers only have a small sample, their findings indicate that eating it in moderation shouldn’t have a big impact on a person’s blood sugar levels.

How to eat dates

They can be eaten fresh or dried, just like raisins. They can also be added to various sweet or savory dishes.

Here are some sample dishes:

– Stuffed dates: dates can be stuffed with almonds, pecans, cream cheese or pistachios for a snack or appetizer.
– Salads: Whole, chopped, sliced ​​or pitted dates are a great complement to salads.
– Smoothies: Blending dates in a banana smoothie adds natural sweetness and extra nutritional value.
– Stews: Dates are delicious in stews or tagines.
– Energy balls: dates can be mixed with walnuts, cranberries, oats, coconut flakes or other ingredients to create “energy balls” without cooking.

Storage of dates

When buying, look for the shiny and undamaged ones. Fresh dates can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many months and even longer in the freezer. When refrigerated, dried dates will keep for about a year in an airtight container and for many years if frozen. Those that smell acrid, are very hard or have granulated sugar on the surface should not be eaten. These signs may indicate that they have gone bad.

Eating this little fruit can be an easy way for a person to incorporate a new fruit into their diet. When consumed in moderation, they can also provide essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese.

Sources

Alkaabi, JM, Al-Dabbagh, B., Ahmad, S., Saadi, HF, Gariballa, S. and Ghazali, MA (May 28, 2011). Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects. Nutritional diary, 10, 59

Base report: 09087, Date, deglet noor. (2018, April)

Basic report: 09421, Date, medjool. (2018, April)

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