Dates or Khajoor as it is called in India is the fruit of the date palm tree that has its roots in Iraq and was discovered about a thousand years back. It is a sweet and delicious fruit that had been made into wine by Egyptian centuries back. From Middle-Eastern countries, dates have been traded all over the globe in Southwest Asia, Spain, Northern Africa, Mexico, and California. Dates are available in the market in 3 varieties – fresh, semi-dry and dry and the types of dates are differentiated on their glucose, sucrose and fructose content. This uniquely sweet fruit has numerous health benefits with very high nutritional content. It comprises a number of vitamins and minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. It is also a rich source of dietary fiber.
Here are some Important Health Benefits of Dates:
1. Dates are abundant in fiber
Fiber is important for good health. It promotes your digestive health, eases bowel movement and prevents constipation. Due to its fiber content, dates also control high blood sugar and prevent blood sugar levels from spiking up after meals.
2. Dates have antioxidants
Antioxidants are proven to have a number of health benefits and dates are rich in the three potent antioxidants flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acid. Dates prevent free radicals from entering the body that can lead to infections and diseases. Compared to figs and dried plums, dates have the highest antioxidant content.
3. Dates improve brain health
Dates protect the brain from inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6) that is the cause of neurodegenerative disease like Alzheimer’s. It also prevents the formation of plaques in the brain that might lead to brain cell death.
4. Dates ease natural labor
Dates are said to promote labor in women. A lot of medical research has been done regarding this and it is proved that pregnant women who have dates throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy helps cervical dilation and lowers the need for induced labor. Dates contain compounds called tannins that promote contraction thus reducing labor time.
Eating dates are, therefore, a must for every pregnant woman if you want an easy labor.
5. Dates are a natural sweetener
We all know the potential dangers of refined white sugar to our health. Being a source of fructose, dates act as a natural sweetener. You may buy date sugar from the store or simply make date syrup to be used at home.
Although it is rich in nutrients, dates are high in calories too. Hence it is better had in moderate amounts.
When you feel sudden hunger pangs, eat a couple of dates instead of unhealthy foods. It serves as a perfect snack for instant energy. Dates are very beneficial for your children too as it helps to boost their immune system.