Weight 500 grams
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Dates: Are They Really Healthy?
Dates are tropical fruits that are grown on palm plants called date palms. It’s scientifically known as Phoenix Dactylifera and is one of the healthiest fruits in the world. Dates are a type of dry fruit that has long been a part of West Asian culture.
Dates contain a lot of natural sugar in them. The dry fruit version of dates is richer in calories than the fresh fruit. The high-calorie content in dates has led to their popularity as they provide energy throughout the day.
Read the our Full Blog Here which includes bonus recipes: https://www.farmm2home.com/20-health-benefits-of-dates-and-date-recipes/
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You can also watch our health tip video about dates here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuZfsmKwq2c
Types of Dates:
Dates are extremely nutritious and are packed with multiple benefits as you have read in the above sections. Not all dates look and taste the same. There are various varieties of this fruit that can be found across the globe. These varieties are all beneficial and differ mostly due to the country of origin.
The Grand Story of Dates: History
In the Middle East, dates are one of the most popular fruits. Is there a historical importance to dates that has led the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to place them at the centre of their royal emblem? Dates, on the other hand, were crucial in enabling the Arab spring during the Middle Ages. It is true to say that the palm, like the crescent moon and the star, is a valid symbol of Islam. The Arabian Peninsula is unquestionably dry, which means that vegetation is rare. As a result, dates play a significant role in the country’s agricultural output.
Dates have been found in various locations of Egypt and Syria since the neolithic period, according to archaeological data. Dates have clearly been consumed for over 8000 years, as evidenced by this. Dates are mentioned in some of the earliest scriptures dating back to the third millennium BC, making them one of the world’s oldest fruits.
There is evidence, such as antique royal seals, suggesting dates were revered as a sacred tree in Assyria and Greece. There are references to the tree in the Quran, which emphasises its religious significance even further. When Mary gives birth to the prophet Jesus and cries in pain, God tells her to shake the palm tree and it will give her fresh and ripe dates, which will make her eyes gladdened.
In the hadith, there are also references to dates. There is a part that suggests that eating seven Ajwa dates in the morning will protect you from magic and poison for the rest of the day. The significance of the fruit to Muslims in the Arabian Peninsula is so obvious.
Dates were also said to be the first plant to be planted once Noah disembarked from his journey in the holy land, according to tradition. Although it will never be known whether or not this is true, the practise of farming dates has spread throughout Africa and along the Spanish coast. The nomadic tribe considered dates as the most important fruit for existence; its high nutritional value provided them with the energy they needed to survive in the harsh desert climate, and the natural sugars in them made them exceedingly pleasant.
The date seed was given the scientific name Phoenix because of its unusual capacity to lie dormant for decades and still germinate. Many stories about the miraculous benefits of date palms may be found throughout the Mediterranean. There is a place in Arabia called Al-Madinah where the “Date of Light” is claimed to exist, and the trees there are reported to light on themselves due to the quality of the seeds used as rosary beads by a lady.
Benefits of Dates
1. Dates are Highly Nutritious:
The nutrition data of dates are off the charts. The fruits are high in critical vitamins and nutrients that might benefit your overall health. Dates are also high in fibre and carbohydrates, making them one of the healthiest dry fruits.
Nutritional Value per 100g of dates:
Calories – 270-310
Protein – 5.1 g
Total Fat – 0.4 g
Sodium – 2 mg
Potassium – 656 mg
Carbohydrates (dietary fibres and sugar) – 75 g
Antioxidants – 80400 micromol
* These values may differ from variant to variant.
Dates have a high energy content, with 100g having approximately 314 kilocalories, making them an excellent source of energy. While it contains a lot of sweets (like fructose and glucose), it also contains a lot of fibre and has a low glycemic index. This suggests that, even for diabetics, eating 2-3 dates at a time is a safe source of low-fat energy. One of the main benefits of dates is that they help with weight loss and blood sugar regulation diets.
2. Aids Healthy Bowel Movements:
Dates have a high fibre content, which can be quite beneficial to persons who suffer from health problems caused by irregular bowel movements. The results of a study conducted on a group of 21 test subjects revealed that eating dates daily for a week helped with regular bowel movements. The people who didn’t eat dates had problems with their bowel motions. When dates were consumed on a regular basis, the concentration of ammonia in the stool was also dramatically reduced. As a result, it is safe to conclude that dates have an unrivalled impact on your total diet and health. They can help you maintain good digestive health and live a healthy lifestyle.
3. High Concentration of Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are substances that block the oxidation process, thereby removing the harmful free radicals that can cause a lot of damage to your cells. Oxidation is problematic because it compromises the structural and genetic integrity of your cells.
Dates are well-known for their high antioxidant content. Dates have the highest concentration of antioxidants when compared to other dried fruits in the same category. The importance of antioxidants in your everyday diet cannot be overstated.
Dates are rich in antioxidants including:
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids are known for their ability to significantly reduce the chances of macular degeneration which can be highly dangerous to your ocular well- being. Carotenoids are also known for their ability to work wonders for your heart. Cardiac health is one of the most pressing issues in today’s health scenario and the use of dates can help in promoting better heart health.
- Flavonoids: This is an antioxidant that can benefit your body by helping with multiple issues. Flavonoids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their high affinity in helping to reduce the effects of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Flavonoids are also beneficial to your brain and work a lot towards the reduction of the risk for brain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. There are also indications that prove that Flavonoids can also help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer too.
- Phenolic Acid: Phenolic acid is a much-discussed antioxidant mainly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has got a very good history in reducing the risk of developing cardiac issues and also works a lot in reducing the chances of being inflicted by certain types of cancer.
4. Improves Brain Functionality:
Interleukin and other inflammatory cytokines can be exceedingly hazardous to your brain. Increased levels of IL-6 (Interleukin 6) have been linked to the onset of neurological diseases including Alzheimer’s. The presence of inflammatory markers is never a good indicator for your brain’s health, therefore it should be treated with caution.
5. Facilitates Natural Labour:
Pregnant women who consume dates on a regular basis have a better probability of giving birth naturally. Cesarean deliveries have problems that are hazardous to women who are giving delivery. Eating dates in the later weeks of pregnancy can make the entire birth process go more smoothly.
There are results from studies that show that using dates as a part of the regular diet of a pregnant woman can help in reducing the pressure that is applied while trying to deliver the baby.
The specific chemicals present in dates appear to have the ability to minimise the demand for oxytocin during pregnancy, resulting in these effects. By attaching to the receptors, these chemicals successfully replicate the effects of oxytocin, allowing for healthy contractions during labour. Dates also contain a high tannin content, which aids in the facilitation of labour contractions.
6. Reduces Risk of Cancer:
In-depth investigations on dates have showed that the presence of a molecule called beta D-glucan in dates is beneficial in increasing anti-tumor activity in the body. Dates have a high content of antioxidants, which helps to limit the activities of free radicals (elements that might cause cancer) and thus lowers the risk of cancer. Date consumption on a daily basis can considerably lower the risk of cancer as well as the incidence of benign tumours.
7. Prevents Microbial Infections:
Bacterial infections can be life-threatening and expensive to treat. In today’s medical environment, antibiotics are used to treat practically all microbial infections, which is an expensive therapeutic option that also comes with a slew of negative effects. Antibiotics can be replaced with natural products, which can be both physiologically and financially beneficial. Date extracts from the pits and leaves were found to have active resistance against certain dangerous bacteria in a study. Dates have been discovered to be effective against harmful bacteria like E. coli and pneumonia.
8. Helps Fight Diabetes:
Diabetes Mellitus is one of the world’s most common diseases. Synthetic drugs are used to treat diabetes, along with a combination of oral medications and insulin supplementation.
Dates have the ability to stimulate insulin production and contain a number of qualities that can assist limit the pace of glucose absorption from the intestine. This can go a long way toward lowering the risk of diabetes. Reduced glucose absorption will inevitably result in lower blood glucose levels, which is beneficial for diabetics. The exact mechanism through which dates aid to reduce the consequences of diabetes is currently being studied.
9. Works as an Anti-Inflammatory Agent:
Inflammation is a natural response of the human body that aids in the battle against a variety of diseases, injuries, and infections. The management of inflammatory substances is critical in sustaining the patient’s overall health.
Dates include compounds called phenolics and flavonoids that help to reduce inflammation in the body. There is evidence from solid research that date leaf extracts can be utilised as an efficient anti-inflammatory medicine.
10. Can Protect Your Kidneys:
Dates offer a number of qualities that can help your kidneys stay healthy even when things are tough. According to a study conducted on Ajwa, a variety of date native to West Asia, the fruit can actively diminish the lesions caused by nephrological illnesses. Date extracts can also aid in the reduction of excess plasma and creatinine in the kidney, which benefits the kidneys’ general health.
11. Can Improve Fertility Among Males:
The fruit contains a variety of vitamins and minerals that can help a person’s sperm count as well as sexual drive. The presence of flavonoids and different amino acids in dates ensures that the male’s sexual performance is sufficiently energised. The microelements found in date palms, such as estrone and sterols, have been shown to significantly boost male fertility. Male sperm motility and count have also been researched extensively using date pollen preparations.
12. Promotes Bone Health:
Micronutrients like selenium, manganese, magnesium, and copper are abundant in dates. These micronutrients aid in the growth and development of your bones. If you have bone problems, dates can be one of the most crucial vitamins you can add to your diet. Dates’ micronutrients are also beneficial in the treatment of bone diseases including osteoporosis. As a result, include dates in your diet is highly recommended for stronger bones.
13. Adds Strength to Your Nervous System:
The nervous system is the communication network that keeps your body running smoothly. Because neurological issues can affect numerous sections of the body at the same time, they are extremely harmful.
Dates are high in potassium, a nutrient that is essential to your brain health. Potassium-rich foods make it easier for nerve cells to communicate with one another. Dates’ low sodium content lowers your chances of developing hypertension, which protects your nerves from the effects of high blood pressure.
14. Improves Your Skin:
Dates are an excellent substitute for the toxic chemicals found in many skincare products. Dates’ high vitamin C and vitamin D content ensures that your skin gets all of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and bright. Vitamin C and D help to increase the suppleness of your skin, which is difficult to maintain as you get older.
Dates have nutrients that help to slow down the ageing process and keep you looking young for extended periods of time. Dates can also help you maintain a healthy melanin balance in your skin by lowering the amount of melanin that gets deposited in different places.
15. Reduces the Rate of Hair Loss:
Dates are an excellent alternative to several over-the-counter drugs that claim to prevent hair loss. Dates are high in iron, which makes them great for your hair. The increased iron level in dates guarantees that blood flow is maintained and that the scalp is properly nourished. The increased supply of oxygen to your scalp will encourage the growth of new hair while also significantly reducing hair loss.
16. Dates are Rich In Vitamins:
Dates can supply your body with a significant amount of Vitamin C. It’s a fantastic substitute for vitamin supplements. Vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B5 are all abundant in both dried and fresh dates. These are all critical vitamins that your body requires to function at its best. A suitable amount of dates in your regular diet can easily meet your vitamin requirements.
17. Reduces the Chance of Getting Night Blindness:
Long-term vitamin A deficiency is the leading cause of night blindness. Dates are high in vitamin A, so eating them on a daily basis can help you avoid night blindness in the long run. Dates have been used to treat night blindness in West Asian countries for centuries. Date palms are an ancient natural medication that is used to treat disorders caused by vitamin A deficiency.
18. Dates are Excellent Sweeteners:
Dates have a high fructose content, which gives them a caramel-like sweetness. By replacing white sugar with dates that have been ground into a paste, you can make your dinner sweet while also keeping it nutritious. Reduce your use of processed sugar by reducing your use of white sugar and adding date paste to your diet.
19. Dates are Versatile:
In the case of food, versatility simply means that it may be utilised in a wide range of dishes. Despite the fact that dates are primarily consumed in their fresh or dried forms, they have a great ability to mix into a variety of cuisines. Due to their fatty and sticky texture, dates are commonly utilised in baked and sweet items.
Dates’ variety makes them quite easy to consume, even for those who don’t care for the taste. Dates can be used into baked items indefinitely and give the necessary vitamins for a healthy lifestyle. You may get all of the benefits of dates without even realising you’re eating them, which is a blessing for many mothers trying to introduce their children to healthy eating habits.
20. May Help WIth Anaemia:
In some trials, eating dates on a regular basis was found to be more effective than taking iron supplements as a treatment for anaemia. The findings revealed that dates can help to reduce anaemia by boosting the iron content of haemoglobin. This is intriguing because dates have a low iron content (between 0.24mg and 3mg per 100g), but they performed similarly to iron supplementation. This could help alleviate an issue with taking iron supplements for anaemia on a daily basis, which can induce constipation. While this isn’t one of the many health advantages of dates, it does demonstrate how versatile this superfood can be.
1. Banana Date Smoothie:
Making a smoothie for breakfast is one of the easiest things to do. It adds enough nutrition to the body to get through the morning.
- Ripe Bananas – Two
- Pitted Dried Dates – Quarter Cup
- Almond Milk – Two Cups
- Chia Seeds – Two Tea Spoons
- Ground Cardamom – Half Teaspoon
- Juiced Lime – Half Cut
- Ice Cubes – Four
- Ground Cinnamon – A Pinch
- Salt – A Pinch
Method of Preparation:
It’s quite easy to prepare this smoothie, you just need to add all the ingredients into a blender and blend at high speed. Once it’s smooth, take it out and serve in two large glasses and sprinkle with cinnamon on top.
2. Fig & Date Oatmeal Baked with Pecans:
An oatmeal breakfast can keep you up and running for a considerable amount of time. Introduce a little date to it and you have a superfood on your plate.
- Chopped Pecans – Three Tablespoons
- Raw Sugar – Quarter Cup Plus One Tablespoon
- Cornstarch – One Tablespoon
- Butter Unsalted – Three Tablespoons
- Rolled Oats – One and a Half Cup
- Baking Powder – One Teaspoon
- Ground Cinnamon – Half Teaspoon
- Chopped & Pitted Medjool Dates – Six Pieces
- Milk – Three Fourth of a Cup
- Egg – One Large
- Figs Thin Slices – Two Pieces
Method of Preparation:
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 Degree Fahrenheit
- Mix one tablespoon of sugar, cornstarch and finely chopped pecans in a bowl.
- Take out an 8-inch pie baking plate and add butter to it and heat until the butter is melted in the oven.
- Grease the pan with the heated butter and scoop two spoons to add to the pecan mixture to be set aside.
- Take a big bowl and mix chopped dates, a quarter cup of raw sugar, cinnamon, baking powder and oats.
- Add the melted butter into a bowl and mix with egg and milk and stir properly.
- Now pour the mix into the pie plate and add the sliced figs on the top. Garnish the mixture with the pecan mixture.
- Bake for around 30 minutes and notice if the pie is turning brown and the edges are hard. Once done slice and serve.
3. Tahini Date with Salted Caramel:
Caramel candies are always a delight. Mix it with the nutrition and the excellent taste of Tahini dates and you have a healthy candy to munch on.
- Pitted Dates – One Cup
- Tahini – Half Cup
- Coconut Oil – Two Tablespoon
- Cardamom Grounded – Half Teaspoon
- Finishing Salt – One-Eighth of a Teaspoon
Method of Preparation:
- Create a thick, smooth and creamy paste in a blender using ingredients like Tahini, cardamom, dates and coconut oil.
- Pour the paste into a loaf pan and even it out using a spatula.
- Sprinkle the finishing salt.
- Freeze the mixture until it becomes hard. Then take it out of the pan and cut it into small pieces.
- These candies can be stored in the freezer in an airtight container for a month.
4. Creamy Orange Date Smoothie:
Oranges are an excellent source of a bunch of natural vitamins. Combine it with dates and you have a highly nutritious drink that is extremely tasty.
- Medium Orange Peeled and Frozen – One
- Coconut Milk Unsweetened – One Cup
- Sweet Potato Flesh – One Third Cup
- Medjool Dates – Two Pieces
- Tahini – One Tablespoon
- Bee Pollen – One Teaspoon
- Vanilla Extract – Half Teaspoon
- Sea Salt – One Pinch
- Sesame Seeds – For Garnish
Method of Preparation:
- The preparation of this smoothie is fairly easy. You just have to add all the ingredients into a blender and mix at high speed until the blend is creamy and smooth. This usually does not take more than 45 seconds.
5. Date Syrup:
Date syrup is an excellent alternative for artificial sweeteners like white sugar. If you are suffering from health issues like type 2 diabetes and still has a craving for sweet food, replacing sweet with date syrup can be very beneficial. Date syrup when concentrated can be used in any sort of preparation.
- Dried and Pitted Medjool Dates – One Pound
- Water – Four Cups
- Measuring Cup
- Jar with Lids
- Fine Mesh Strainer
Method of Preparation:
- Cut Dates – Use kitchen shears with oiled edges to finely chop the dates.
- Simmer the dates in water with occasional stirring for about 30 minutes.
- Remove the simmered mixture and allow it to cool down for 30 minutes.
- Blend the cooled mixture in a blender until it becomes sweet for about one minute.
- Use the fine mesh strain covered with cheesecloth to strain the mixture to get rid of all small pieces. Take out the cheesecloth and strain it to get the entire solution out.
- You can then taste the syrup and determine if it is sweet enough, if not you can reheat to thicken it to attain the level of sweetness in a saucepan.
Dates are highly beneficial for overall use. If you are seeking to reduce the number of health issues you encounter due to the lack of nutrients present in your diet, dates are the one thing that you cannot choose to ignore from your daily diet. Experiment using the above recipes to create an appetite for dates and improve your overall health.
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