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Dates, The Super Food That Tastes Super Good

January 5, 2022,

Super value.

Super stars.

Super foods.

We love the word super and we can’t help be extremely attracted to the words that follow.

In the world of Super Foods, one that is often overlooked is dates and yet they provide incredible nutritional value.

Dates are a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. They are very sweet, containing about 75 percent of sugar when dried.

Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years.

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Dates are an important traditional crop in Iraq, Iran, Arabia, and North Africa west to Morocco. Dates are also cultivated in America in southern California, Arizona and southern Florida in the United States and in Sonora and Baja California in Mexico.

Similar to the creation of a diamond, date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, and start producing viable yields for commercial harvest between 7 and 10 years.

They are worth the wait.

In terms of their nutritional value, the informative group at healthline.com educate:

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“Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates”:

  • Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer (2Trusted Source, 9Trusted Source).
  • Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration (2Trusted Source, 10Trusted Source).
  • Phenolic acid: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease

In comparison to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content.

Very beneficial to know.

If you haven’t made a habit of having dates in your diet, perhaps you should.

We have a visiting writer with some additional insights of the benefits of enhancing your diet with dates. Though not a medical practitioner, he seems to have engaged in extensive research on the subject.

Please enjoy.

Benefits of the Date Fruit

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By Zmash Ahmed

Date: A Fruit With Great Health Benefits

The date is a one-seeded fruit, or berry, usually oblong but varying much in shape, size, colour, quality, and consistency of flesh, according to the conditions of culture. More than 1, 000 dates may appear on a single bunch weighing 8 kg (18 pounds) or more. The dried fruit is more than 50 percent sugar by weight and contains about 2 percent each of protein, fat and mineral matter.

What makes Dates a rich fruit?

Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients which make it a rich fruit of all. It’s main nutrients are as follows;

  1. Sugar: Fresh dates have soft and easily digestible flesh which contain simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly.
  1. Fiber: Date is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative and helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing its food exposure time.
  1. Vitamins:
  • Vitamin A: Dates are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 International Unit per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required to maintain health of mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • Vitamin B-complex: This fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, Pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are involved in the cellular metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids.
  • Vitamin K: Its benefits are:
  1. It automatically regulates blood clotting by transporting calcium from the body to the area of injury.
  1. It also reduces malabsorption, jaundice and internal bleeding in the liver.
  1. It is required to produce a protein called Osteocalcin which binds calcium to the bones matrix to increase its density and in this way it prevent us from osteoporosis.
  1. A woman experiencing excess menstrual bleeding would be deficient in Vitamin K. Dates can help her in reducing the blood flow out of the body.
  1. Minerals: Dates are also rich in minerals for example:
  • Calcium: It is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction.
  • Manganese: It is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide Dismutase.
  • Copper: It is required for the production of red blood cells.
  • Magnesium: It is essential for bone growth.
  • Potassium: 100 g of dates contains 696 mg or 16% of daily recommended levels of Potassium. It is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They offer protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
  1. Flavonoids: Dates contain antioxidant flavonoids like:
  • Beta- carotene,
  • Tannins
  • Lutein and
  • Zeaxanthin.

These antioxidants protect human cells from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals therefore eating dates found to be useful in protecting against cancer of colon, prostate glands, breast, lung, and pancreas.

  • Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.
  • Zeaxanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal cell line, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration of eyes.
  1. Iron: Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0. 90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of Required Dietary Intake). Iron determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Dates can be used for treatment of different disease & disorders

  1. Iron Deficiency: The dates are the best source of iron and it fulfil our nutritional needs at its best.
  1. Heart disease: Its Potassium helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.
  1. Constipation: Date’s fiber reduces LDL cholesterol absorption in gut and thus protects mucus membrane of colon from cancer and works as a bulk laxative to treat constipation. Vitamin B complex also plays important role in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
  1. Anti-Hemorrhagic: Calcium, Vitamin K & tannins of dates prevent easy bleeding tendencies.
  1. Anti-cancer: Because of multiple flavonoids it protect our body from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, oral and pancreatic cancers.
  1. Eye’s problem: Its Zeaxanthin protects us against age-related macular degeneration of eyes. Vitamin “A” of dates also improves vision.
  1. Bones Repair: Calcium, Vitamin K and Magnesium play important role in bone growth and its repair.

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