Often termed as the bread of the Sahara, dates are the fruits of the date palm, consumed, primarily, by people of the Middle East to satisfy their sweet tooth and gain the fabulous nourishing benefits that they are loaded with. Native to the desert oases of northern Africa and southwest Asia, they are believed to be one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits, dating back to as early as 6000 BC.
They are cylindrical in shape, yellow to reddish-brown in color, and bear a single seed inside surrounded by fleshy pericarp. Usually consumed as a healthy low-calorie snack, they also form a major ingredient in the preparation of a wide variety of dessert recipes.
Similar to other members of the fruit family, dates, too, are highly nutritious and enriched with vitamins, minerals, and other substances, necessary for the proper functioning of the whole body. With minimal amounts of fat and zero cholesterol, dates are food of high nutritional value. It is due to the uncountable health benefits that they are crowned as an ideal food for both balancing and digesting food.
The following sections list the nutritional content of dates and their diverse nutrition advantages.
Dates Nutritional Facts
Amount of Dates (chopped): 1 cup
Total Weight of Dates: 147 g
|Calories From Carbohydrate||398|
|Calories From Fat||4.8|
|Calories From Protein||12.1|
|Total Carbohydrate||110 g|
|Dietary Fiber||11.8 g|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||0.6 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||0.1 g|
|Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids||4.4 mg|
|Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids||23.5 mg|
|Vitamin A||14.7 IU|
|Vitamin C||0.6 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.1 mg|
|Vitamin K||4 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.9 mg|
Health Benefits of Dates
- Loaded with potassium, fresh and ripe dates are useful for combating and controlling diarrhea. Being easily digestible dates help in overcoming the varied problems of diarrhea. Also, potassium is useful for maintaining a healthy nervous system, managing muscle contractions, balancing the body’s metabolism, and ensuring the smooth functioning of the heart muscles.
- Dates are a heart-healthy food, as they help in maintaining the healthy condition of the heart, particularly in people having weak hearts. When soaked overnight in water and consumed in the morning after crushing, they are known to be beneficial for strengthening and fortifying weak hearts.
- They contain natural chemicals that help in fighting against cancer, especially cancer of the abdomen. Natural and nourishing, dates work equally well as medicines, without any side effects to the body.
- Researches indicate that dates are beneficial during the last months of pregnancy, in particular, as they strengthen the uterine muscles and help dilation during delivery. Plus, dates and reduction of bleeding postpartum have been linked greatly.
- Consuming dates during breastfeeding provides the necessary elements helpful for making the child healthy and resistant to diseases. Furthermore, they are highly valuable for alleviating depression in mothering females.
- Dates form a major part of any healthy diet. The presence of sugar, fats, proteins, and other essential nutrients help in overcoming the problem of excessive weight loss. Besides, they are enriched with the right amount of calories, which are essential for meeting the daily requirements of the body.
- Dates are a perfect energy-boosting snack, as they are power-packed with carbohydrates and naturally occurring sugars, such as fructose, glucose, and sucrose, which help in providing energy within half an hour of their consumption.
- By soaking a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk overnight and grinding them in the same milk with a pinch of cardamom powder and honey, an individual can increase his sexual stamina. Dates serve as a significant tonic for stimulating sex endurance and sterility, caused due to various functional disorders.
- The different B-complex vitamins found in dates play several roles in maintaining a healthy body, such as metabolizing carbohydrates, maintaining blood glucose levels, producing hemoglobin and red and white blood cells.
- The presence of nicotinic content in dates is extremely advantageous for treating all kinds of intestinal disorders. Consuming dates on a regular basis keeps a check on the growth of the pathological organisms and increases the friendly bacteria in the intestines.
- By supplying magnesium to the human body, dates contribute towards the healthy development of bones, metabolism of energy, and supply of nutrients to cells throughout the body.
- Dates are highly beneficial for people suffering from constipation due to their laxative properties. To obtain their laxative benefits, soak dates in water overnight and consume them in the morning, along with the syrup, for best results.
The tremendous nutritional values and benefits of dates have contributed to their popularity across the world. However, care should be taken while selecting and choosing them to extract the best advantages from them.