Dates are Superfood

  • Dates are superfoods because they offer maximal nutritional content per calorie.
  • Consumption of dates provides numerous health benefits.
  • Dates may be used as a natural sweetener in sweets, snacks, and meals.

 

INTRODUCTION: 

Dates are sweet edible fruits obtained from the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). For over 6,000 years, dates have been farmed and naturalized in a variety of tropical and subtropical climates across the world. They are in the Middle East, South Asia, and North Africa.

Dates come in a wide range of forms and tastes with over 1,500 varieties to choose from. Some of the most popular varieties of dates include Medjool Dates, Ajwah Dates, Dayri Dates, Kenta Dates, Safawi Dates, Thoory Dates, Halawy Dates, Rabbi Dates, Mabroom Dates, and more.

Dates are regarded as one of the most beneficial fruits. They have a wide range of healthy nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins A, B6, C, calcium, iron, and other minerals. Health benefits range from regulating your blood cholesterol levels to boosting brain health.

 

Regulates Blood Cholesterol Levels

Dates, particularly the Halawy variety, have beneficial effects on blood cholesterol levels. It is seen in the reduction in serum triglycerides. Dates are also rich sources of dietary fiber. They provide positive effects on the regulation of blood cholesterol concentration.

 

Promotes Healthy Pregnancy

Eating date fruit four weeks before labor reduces the requirement for induction and augmentation of labor. This results in a more favorable birth outcome.

Hemorrhoids (piles) are a common problem encountered during pregnancy due to poor dietary fiber intake. The dietary fibers found in dates may also help reduce the risk of hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Pregnant women frequently consume meals rich in calories but low in nutritional content due to their increased calorie requirements. Dates provide a healthy nutritionally-dense source of calories during pregnancy.

 

Improves Men’s Sexual Health

Date pollen has long been used as a natural remedy to increase libido and fertility in males. Dates include estradiol and flavonoids. These increase sperm count and motility.

 

Boosts Brain Health

Dates are a good source of certain polyphenolic compounds and antioxidants. Included here are anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, and caffeic acid. They provide certain neuroprotective effects. They also may help slow the progression of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Long-term consumption of dates may help prevent inflammation and protect against oxidative stress in the brain. They can also improve cognitive function in old age.

 

Rich in Antioxidants

In addition to their vitamin and mineral contents, dates are a great source of health-protective antioxidants. Antioxidants found in dates, notably the Medjool variety, include carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. These antioxidants provide several beneficial health effects.

The antioxidants present in dates help reduce the risk for certain cancers and heart diseases. They also have anti-inflammatory properties and help boost immunity.

 

Spiritual Significance

Dates also hold certain spiritual significance in different religions. It is regarded as a holy food in Islam and is mentioned 23 times in the Quran. Dates are staple foods eaten at Iftar during the holy month of Ramadan. They are also seen as a symbol of wealth and abundance and hold a unique place in Islamic culture and history.

In Christianity, date palm fronds were held by those who welcomed Jesus Christ into Jerusalem.

CONCLUSION

Dates are considered superfoods because of their high nutritional value and health advantages. Dates are best eaten by themselves. They may also be used to augment one’s diet by including them in some cuisines.

 

Summary

Dates come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are easily accessible all year. Dates might be regarded as one of the most beneficial fruits for humans. 

Scientific Information

  • Serum – fluid component of blood that does not play a role in clotting.
  • Polyphenols – naturally occurring micronutrients found in plants.
  • Antioxidants – substances that prevent or slow down certain types of cell damage.
Written by:
Dr. Susan Adeosun, MPH, MD
Public Health Physician
Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian

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