The Nutritional Value of Dates


  • Dates are nutrient-dense fruits that are great additions to a balanced diet.
  • They contain many important nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, iron, antioxidants, and fiber.
  • Adding a serving of dates to your daily diet can provide many health benefits.
  • Some benefits include aiding in blood sugar control and reducing one’s risk for certain diseases.

There are many different foods and factors that contribute to a nutritious diet. Fruits have long been identified as an important food group for human health. Fruits contain a variety of macronutrients and micronutrients, including potassium and fiber. Despite this knowledge, most Americans do not consume enough fruit. Dates are an example of fruits that are delicious, portable, and full of important nutrients!

There are many different varieties of dates. Each of them contains macronutrients and micronutrients that benefit human health. These nutrients include fiber, magnesium, and iron. The nutrients found in dates can provide many health benefits, like reducing the risk for diseases. 

Nutrient Profile of Dates

A 100 gram serving of dates provides the following nutrients. RDI stands for recommended dietary intake.

Nutrient

Content

Calories

282 kcal

Carbohydrates

75 grams

Fiber

7 grams

Protein

2.5 grams

Potassium

20% of RDI

Magnesium

14% of RDI

Copper

18% of RDI

Manganese

15% of RDI

Iron

5% of RDI

Vitamin B6

12% of RDI


Health Benefits of Dates

Dates contain important nutrients that provide many health benefits. For example, dates are very high in antioxidants, like phenolic acid. Antioxidants are compounds that help to protect the body against free radical damage. Studies have shown that antioxidants may help to reduce one’s risk for cancer,  heart disease, and other serious health conditions.

Dates are also high in fiber. Fiber can help to improve digestion. Studies have shown that consuming dates may help to prevent constipation. Studies have also shown that fiber found in dates may help to slow down the digestion of food. This may help to prevent spikes in blood sugar, therefore helping to control blood sugar levels. 

 

Different Uses of Dates

There are different types of dates that can be used in different ways. For example, dates can be harvested at different levels of ripeness. They can also be categorized as soft, semi-dry, or dry. Soft dates have higher water content. Therefore, they lend better to being blended in with your shakes or sauces. Dry dates have lower water content. Because of this, they are better chopped and added to different dishes.

Dates are very versatile, as they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. For example, dates can be used in place of refined sugars to naturally sweeten cookies, energy balls, or other baked goods. They can also be added to salads or salad dressings. Other uses of dates include adding to bread, cookies, cereal, candy, or being made into syrup. Try using dates in different ways to see which you like best!

Dates are a type of fruit that is extremely nutrient-dense. Additionally, they are very versatile and can be used in many different dishes and applications. Incorporating dates into one’s diet may provide many benefits, like reducing one’s risk for heart disease or cancer. Try incorporating dates into your breakfast oatmeal, lunch salads, or nighttime snack to reap the benefits!

Summary

Dates are nutrient-dense fruits that contain important nutrients, including iron, potassium, and fiber. Incorporating them into your diet can provide many health benefits, including reducing the risk for certain diseases. Whether it is in savory dishes or as a snack, they can be an important part of a healthy diet.

Scientific Information

  • Free radicals: compounds that cause oxidative stress; the body must sustain a balance of free radicals and antioxidants to function properly
  • Phenolic Acid: an aromatic compound found in plants, especially dried fruits, with high antioxidant activity
Written by:

Leah Goebel, RDN

Registered Dietitian

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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PubMed Central

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