Benefits of Dates – 8 Incredible Health Benefits of Dates
Naturally sweet and versatile, this fruit is so good for you.
Dates are frequently considered desserts because of their sweetness and opulent flavour. However, this healthy fruit can provide some pretty impressive health advantages. Here are seven ways dates can improve your health and quick and easy recipes that use this power fruit.
Dates Nutrition Benefits
Dates are a delectable snack that is great on their own or with nut butter. They have the following health advantages:
1. Dates Are Nutrient-rich
A serving of three dates contains zero fat, 54 grams of carbohydrates with about five grams of fibre, 200 calories, and one gram of protein.
Additionally, a variety of other nutrients, such as B vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and manganese, are present in smaller amounts in this serving. 1 In other words, dates aren’t just loaded with sugar or calorie-free.
2. Dates Have A Variety Of Antioxidants
Dates contain a high amount of antioxidants in addition to vitamins and minerals. According to a 2019 study, dates are a good source of natural antioxidants that can be used to treat diseases brought on by oxidative stress.
When the body’s capacity to combat the harmful effects of free radicals and the production of cell-damaging radicals are out of balance, oxidative stress results. It’s a sign of ageing and cell damage that can cause illness.
Dates may help prevent infectious diseases because they contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial compounds.
Dates contain various antioxidants, including carotenoids, polyphenols (such as phenolic acids, isoflavones, lignans, and flavonoids), tannins, and sterols, according to additional research that was published in a 2017 study. Additionally, they have anti-fungal qualities.
3. Dates Are Naturally Sweet And Provide No Added Sugar
Dates are frequently mistaken for dried fruit, but since no water is removed, they are actually fresh fruit. Additionally, dates have naturally occurring sugar because they are whole, unprocessed fruits.
In other words, the label of an energy bar can state that it contains no added sugar if dates are used as the sole sweetener. That’s important because added sugar is the kind we should avoid. After all, it raises the risk of obesity and heart disease.
The American Heart Association (AHA) advises women to limit their daily added sugar intake to no more than six teaspoons, or 25 grams or 100 calories. Nine teaspoons of added sugar, or 36 grams or 150 calories, is the recommended maximum for men. Contrary to sweeteners like cane sugar, using dates to sweeten a meal or recipe won’t deplete your daily allowance for added sugar.
4. Dates Support Digestive Health
Three dates provide about 18% of the recommended daily fibre intake, promoting healthy digestive function. In 2015, a study on the effects of date consumption on the gut was published in the British Journal of Nutrition.
For 21 days, healthy men were allowed to eat seven dates daily as a treatment or a control addition of a carbohydrate and sugar mixture. The groups were switched after a 14-day washout period.
Researchers discovered that eating dates improved the frequency of the study participants’ bowel movements and decreased the number of stool chemicals known to harm cells and cause mutations that may result in cancer.
Constipation can have a disastrous impact on your energy level and general comfort, as anyone who has ever had it can attest. Dates can be a quick and easy way to move things along.
5. Dates Protect Heart Health And Blood Sugar Regulation
A 2020 study examined the effects of date consumption on blood lipids and the glycemic index. One hundred type 2 diabetic men and women were randomly assigned to consume either no or three dates every day for 16 weeks.
A statistically significant reduction in “bad” LDL and total cholesterol was seen in the date eaters. Additionally, the HbA1c level in the date eaters remained unchanged over the previous two to three months, a measure of blood sugar control.
The high polyphenolic content of dates, which are micronutrients that naturally occur in plants, is suggested by the study to have the potential to improve lipid profiles, particularly in lowering total cholesterol and raising HDL.
The study also suggests that due to dates’ low glycemic index, low to moderate dates consumption did not affect blood glucose levels.
Because of the close relationship between heart health and blood sugar regulation, the findings are important. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death among people with type 2 diabetes, and those who have it are twice as likely to develop heart disease, including heart attacks.
6. Dates May Offer Brain Protection
Dates’ protective elements may also serve to protect the brain. Dates’ ability to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain, as reported in a 2016 paper, makes them a promising therapeutic candidate for Alzheimer’s disease.
7. Date May Help Ease Natural Labor
Dates may also have an additional benefit, especially relevant to expectant mothers. A 2020 study examined how dates affected labour and delivery.
After reviewing previously published studies, researchers concluded that consuming dates might shorten the time spent in the cervix-dilating active phase of labour.
Additionally, it might raise the bishop score, which rates the cervix’s readiness for labour. The duration of the first, second, and third stages of labour or the frequency of cesarean sections, however, were unaffected by date consumption.
8. How To Enjoy Dates and Add Them to Meals and Snacks
In a wide range of recipes, such as smoothies, energy balls, oatmeal, overnight oats, chia or avocado pudding, and baked goods, dates are my go-to sweetener.
Additionally, I use pureed dates to make homemade vegan “ice cream” that I combine with plant milk, cinnamon, and extras like chopped dark chocolate and pitted cherries.
Dates can be used in savoury dishes as well. To garden salads, cooked vegetables like sautéed kale, roasted cauliflower, and veggie stir fries add natural sweetness and balance.
Stuffed dates are one of my go-to quick snacks throughout the year. I fill them with nut and seed butters, savoury fillings like olive tapenade and dairy-free pesto, and herbed nut-based, plant-based “cheeses”. Of course, they’re also ideal the way they are.