Dates are one of the sweet natural gift. They grow in various tropical countries. Dates are used as fresh or in dried states, and part of many sweet products. In any case, the health benefits of date are great.
The calories content of dates is high and close to dry fruits. A 100 gram serving of dates consists of about 227 calories of energy and the major portion comes from carbs. In addition to these, dates are enriched with fiber, proteins, vitamin B6 and many micro-nutrients such as potassium, manganese, magnesium and iron etc.
Easy to add up in daily diet
Dates make up a delicious sweet snack. These can be used as fresh or died form or may be blended with other bakery goods such as cakes, milkshakes and cookies. These are easily a part of routine meal such as sweet dressing on salad in lunch or in the breakfast with a glass of milk. However, there should be a balance as too much sweeteners increase the risks of diabetes.
A few Health benefits of dates
Here are few other health benefits of this sweet little fruit:
Dates have caramel-like flavor so these are perfect substitute of white sugar. The recipe is equal ratio. Use one cup of date paste in place of one cup of sugar.
High fiber content
A 100 gram serving of dates consists of about 7 grams of fiber. This is the reason that dates benefit the digestive system by preventing constipation. Fiber content helps in bowl movements. Also, dates have less glycemic index which makes them instant source of energy whenever the blood glucose level is low.
Source of antioxidants
Antioxidants are naturally present substances in fruits like dates. They prevent oxidative damage by free radicals. Free radicals are by product of metabolism. The antioxidants in dates are:
- Carotenoids: They promote heart health and prevent muscular degeneration
- Flavinoids: These reduce inflammation as well as risks of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and certain cancers.
- Phenolic acids: These are powerful anti-inflammatory substances which lower the risks of cancer.
Promote the brain health
Antioxidants in dates lower the inflammation in interleukins such as IL-6. These interleukins are associated with neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s. Dates also reduce the amyloid beta activity in brain cells. The amyloid beta makes plaques in neurons leading to low communication in brain cells and cell death. Flavinoids in dates improve the brain health and and boost up memory.
Promote natural labor
In pregnant women, dates promote the ease of natural labor by improving cervical dilation. Dates have components which bind to oxytocin receptors and mimic the action of oxytocin hormone. Oxytocin hormone creates contraction during childbirth. Moreover, dates have tannins content- a compound to help facilitate contractions and maintain energy levels.
Maintain blood sugar levels
A low glycemic index of dates makes them perfect blood sugar maintainer. These contain high sugar content in the form of fructose. So having one or two dates will boost up the glucose level in body.
Promote Bone health
Dates are rich in mineral such as iron and potassium etc. these promote bone health and prevent the risks of bone fractures and other conditions such as osteoporosis.
Dates are no doubt a sweet little package of nature with high contents of minerals, carbs, sugars and antioxidants. The health benefits of dates are numerous of which some are discussed in this article. Its good to add dates in routine meals to maintain a nutrition balance. However, one should consider the amount of dates used on routine basis keeping in view the calories content they provide as per serving.