Dates have been a regular part of nutrition for thousands of years and cultivated since approximately 7000 BCE. Dates even made an appearance in the Bible.
Although dates can be eaten fresh, the fruit is very often dried, resembling raisins or plums. But whether fresh or dry, the health benefits of dates are still just as plentiful. Dates are not only a delicious treat, but also a healthy addition to any diet. According to a study published in Nutrition Journal, although dates contain a large amount of sugar they have a low-glycemic index and they did not significantly raise blood sugar levels after they were eaten.
Dates are consumed to protect the liver and heart from damage, or simply as part of a healthy diet. However, make sure not to exaggerate and limit their consumption.
Dates are rich in protein, carbohydrates, proteins, essential vitamins including vitamins B, A, K, and C, and they are a good source of magnesium, potassium, zinc, copper, and other vital essential minerals.
The Health Benefits of Dates
Promote Digestive Health
Dates are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber is essential for proper digestive function. More precisely, the GIT needs a sufficient amount of both types of fiber for normal and healthy digestion.
The food has to move to e specific rate to ensure the GI tract has enough time to absorb all the nutrients, but in the same time to ensure that food does not have time to ferment or cause GI problems.
Regulate LDL Cholesterol
The consumption of fiber is also one of the top 10 ways to reduce cholesterol levels naturally. Fibers contained in dates improve digestion and reduce the amount of LDL (the bad) cholesterol that is absorbed through the digestive tract.
LDL cholesterol is attached to the blood vessels potentially leading to blockage which is associated with coronary disease. LDL cholesterol may also cause low grade inflammation in the CVS.
Common symptoms of peripheral neuropathy are numbness and pain in the hands, feet, and extremities. This condition usually affects diabetic patients and occurs due to nerve damage. Peripheral neuropathy is very complicated condition difficult to treat and most treatments are based on relieving the symptoms rather than treating the condition. The extract from date fruit has the ability to protect the body from the occurrence of peripheral neuropathy and for treating some of the symptoms.
Prevent Clogged Arteries
Atherosclerosis is also known as the silent killer and the major cause of strokes and heart attacks. It is a condition where plaque builds up on the artery walls resulting in narrowing and hardening of the arteries which eventually leads to blockages. If the plaque breaks loose from the arteries it leads to deadly blockages which obstruct the blood flow to several vital organs.
Dates are loaded with antioxidants and phenolic acids which together have anti-atherogenic effect and prevent plaque builds up on the arteries.
The liver plays an important role in many vital bodily functions. It filters and processes blood as it circulates through the body and removes the waste products and toxins. These toxins and waste products, as well as pollutants and chemicals from the food can significantly damage the liver and affect its function.
Liver damage can cause liver fibrosis. When the liver is damaged, connective tissue is formed as part of the healing process and excess collagen and other compounds build up in the liver affecting liver function.
Dates and date seed extract have the ability to regulate and decrease the amounts of liver fibrosis that may develop. Therefore, it may help in disease like cirrhosis of the liver. The positive effect of dates can be increased with consumption of coffee. Alternatively, you can use Moringa seed extract which has healing effect on fiber fibrosis. According to a study, regular consumption of this seed extract can reduce liver fibrosis.
Various chemicals can lead to cell, tissue, and organ damage. Chronic inflammation is the main cause of many diseases such as asthma, allergies and arthritis. Also, it can participate in the development or progression of certain types of cancer.
Proper nutrition is essential in order to control and regulate the inflammation in the body. Dates and date seed extract is rich in compounds which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and which reduce the cytokines, substances which trigger the inflammatory processes in the body.
Body detox is also very important in the fight against inflammation. With the elimination of the toxins and excess waste, you provide your body with better digestion and reduce the chances of inflammation.
Dates are rich in antioxidants which provide additional antioxidant protection for the body. According to studies, the antioxidants found in dates can completely eliminate the free radicals from the body and thus protect you from many serious diseases.
Support healthy pregnancy and delivery
Regular consumption of dates leads to increased cervical dilatation and promoted spontaneous labor.
Boost Cardiovascular Health
The rich content of fibers found in the dates can regulate the cholesterol levels as well as the blood pressure levels. The same goes for blood glucose levels.
Recommended Daily Consumption of Dates
Dates are high in sugar content – coming in at a whopping 66.5 grams per 100 gram serving of the fruit. It is recommended to lessen sugar consumption as much as possible, even when the sugar is being consumed from fruit and as such the general recommendation is to consume 3-4 dates daily.