Dates Nutrition Facts And Health Benefits
I remember during my childhood, I had a bad habit of asking for snacks every few hours. And many times, my mother fed me a small plate of cashews, raisins, and dates. Ironically, my bad habit gave me platefuls of health. But I don’t suggest eating in excess, no matter how healthy the food is.
Eating healthy food in balance can do wonders for you. One such food is dates. Dates word in Hindi is khajoor, and they come from the Arecaceae family. They have been a staple food in the Middle East for thousands of years.
Dates grow in small clusters on date palm trees. Their sweet taste gives them a special place in desserts. Dates are different sizes and colors, from dark brown to bright yellow to bright red.
You can easily differentiate between dried and fresh dates by looking at them. Dried dates are more rigid and wrinkly than fresh ones. Dates are rich in essential nutrients and have many health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Dates
Fiber promotes overall health. It contributes to smooth bowel movements. This is why laxatives contain fiber. With around 7 g of fiber per 100 g serving, dates can contribute well to daily fiber intake.
In a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, 21 people who consumed seven dates a day for 21 days experienced a significant increase in bowel movements and stool frequency. 1https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26428278/ The fiber in dates may also prevent a rise in blood sugar levels after eating. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257631/ Fiber is known for giving a feeling of fullness.
Related Article: What Is Fiber? Health Benefits, Food Sources And Daily Requirements
Antioxidants can deactivate free radicals, unstable molecules the body produces in reaction to environmental and other factors. Free radicals cause cell damage and are linked to several diseases.
Dates include critical antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic acid, and carotenoids, known for activities that prevent disease. These antioxidant groups may reduce the risk of diabetes, inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers. 3https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/, 4https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28641164/, 5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25863633/ They may also promote heart health and reduce the risk of eye-related disorders. 6https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/
May Improve Bone Health
For optimum bone health, the minerals manganese, copper, and magnesium are essential. Also, minerals like these may prevent conditions such as osteoporosis and osteopenia. Dates contain these minerals in rich amounts. 7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5318168/
May Promote Brain Health
Studies suggest that eating dates may protect against inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. These conditions can lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4994443/ Furthermore, in one animal study, experts found that intake of dates may have beneficial effects on cognition and locomotor activities. 9https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484046/
Potassium Benefits of Dates
Dates are high in potassium, one of the most crucial minerals in the body. Potassium helps manage fluid balance, nerve signals, and muscle contractions. 10https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1472029909002215, 11https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4131448/ Moreover, it plays a critical role in lowering blood pressure and preventing stroke and kidney stones. 12https://www.ahajournals.org/content/hypertensionaha/17/1_Suppl/I155.full.pdf, 13https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23558164/, 14https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0085253815503475
Dates Safety Concerns
There is rarely an allergic reaction to dates. However, if symptoms like tingling, itchiness, or swelling around your mouth or tongue happen, stop eating dates immediately.
Remember, the ideas in this article are not a substitution for medical advice. If you have health concerns, it’s best to talk to your doctor before adding any food to your diet.
How Many Dates A Day?
Dates can be included in both weight loss and weight gain diets. Generally, a healthy person can eat 4- 6 dates a day. Of course, you can eat more according to your needs.
What I mean here is if you focus on losing weight, have them in moderation, as dates are a high-calorie food. Try to eat less than your maintenance calories and fit the number of dates you eat into your diet accordingly. You can easily calculate your calorie needs based on your goals. 15https://fabulousbody.com/free-tdee-calculator-%E2%80%8B-how-to-calculate-tdee
And if you want to gain weight, dates can really work for you. Just remember, to gain weight, your daily calorie consumption should be more than your maintenance calories.
Related Article: TDEE Definition: Total Daily Energy Expenditure
How To Eat Dates
Adding dates to your diet is very easy. Here are a few ways to eat them.
-Eat them raw. Dates make an excellent snack.
-Blend dates with nuts, seeds, or oats.
-Remove the seeds and grind them into smoothies for a delightfully sweet taste.
-Dice and mix them in your oatmeal or yogurt.
-Use date syrup in place of refined sugar.
-Chop and add them to a sandwich.
Conclusion And My Recommendation
Are Dates Good For Health?
Of course. High in minerals, vitamins, fiber, and essential antioxidants, dates offer many potential health benefits, such as digestive support, bone health, brain health, and the prevention of several chronic diseases.
To incorporate dates into your diet, remember to calculate your TDEE to ensure you are eating a quantity suitable for your weight goal. Dates are also easy to carry and can be a go-to pocket snack, helping you avoid junk.
As we discussed, dates can be useful for weight gain and weight loss warriors. Nonetheless, in my view, dates give an additional advantage to weight gainers due to their high-calorie content. So, my friends, go nuts with dates!
What do you think of this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
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About Rohit Kumar
Rohit Kumar is an avid writer who puts a lot of his emotions in words through his articles. Today, he is a certified fitness expert with a vast knowledge on nutrition and has contributed to the pages of Fabulous Body with his articles.