Vitamins in Dates: What You Need to Know


  • Dates are rich in antioxidants, micronutrients, and fiber.
  • Dates can help support your digestion, regulate your blood sugar, and reduce your risk for cancer.
  • Dates can be used in desserts, snacks, and meals to add natural sweetness.

If you are looking to incorporate more nutrient-rich foods into your diets, dates may be the food for you! Dates are rich in vitamins like fiber and potassium. They are naturally sweet fruits grown in warm climates like the Middle East. There are many different kinds of dates. Their flavors can range from caramel-like to nutty that you can enjoy as a tasty and healthy snack!

Dates are Fiber Packed

In addition to being delicious, dates provide many health benefits. It is mainly due to their nutrient density. Just two dates provide around 3 grams of fiber that can help improve digestive health and relieve constipation. The fiber content in dates can also help with blood sugar control because it slows the digestion speed of sugars, making them low glycemic at the same time. Dates provide a slow, gradual release of sugars into the blood that helps avoid blood sugar spikes. 

Dates are Rich in Antioxidants

Dates also are a good source of phenolic acids and other types of antioxidants. Phenolic acids are known to be anti-inflammatory. They may also help to reduce the risk of cancer. In addition to the above, studies have also shown other benefits of dates. They may support brain function, bone health, and heart health. For example, the fiber and phenolic acids found in dates have several advantages. They may help reduce your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels, also known as your “bad” cholesterol.

Dates have Labor Benefits

A unique quality that dates have is they may help to induce labor in pregnant women and reduce labor time. In one study, women were asked to consume 2 servings of dates a day (6 dates), They did this for 4 weeks prior to their due date. Results showed that they were 20% more likely to go into labor for significantly less time. It is thought that chemicals within dates act similarly to oxytocin. This is a hormone that helps induce labor. More research is definitely needed in this area. This will help us better determine the relationship between dates and labor.

How to Eat Dates

Dates can be enjoyed in many ways. For example, they can just be eaten plain as an easy, portable snack. They can also be used for naturally sweetening desserts or smoothies. The best way to use dates in place of processed sugar is to create a paste with water via a 1:1 ratio. Energy balls are a fun way to use dates, along with other nutrient-dense ingredients like oats and nuts. No matter the way you enjoy them, a serving of dates constitutes about 3 to 6 dates a day. Store them in a cool, dry place, like your refrigerator, to safely enjoy them for longer.

You are probably looking for new fruit to add to your diet. If you want one that will provide many health benefits and taste delicious, try dates! Rich in fiber and phenolic acids, they help to support your body, from your brain to your gut. They can help to reduce the risk for heart disease and control blood sugar levels. They may even be helpful in pregnant women for labor. Dates are easy to incorporate into any meal. You can use it as a natural sweetener or enjoy them as a fresh and tasty snack. We recommend aiming for one serving of dates a day equivalent to 2-3 dates to help you reap their benefits!

Summary

Dates are sweet, nutritious fruit that provides many important vitamins and nutrients for our body! They can help to reduce our risk for diseases, like cancer and heart disease, while also benefiting pregnant women close to their due date. Lastly, they provide a tasty treat!

Scientific Information

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol – LDL cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol. This is because it can stick to the walls of blood vessels. This raises your risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Phenolic acids – Phenolic acids are compounds found in a variety of plants, including cereals, legumes, vegetables, and dates. They exhibit tremendous antioxidant activity that can provide an array of health benefits, like reducing oxidative stress and risk for cancer.
Written by:

Leah Goebel, RDN

Registered Dietitian

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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PubMed Central

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