The powerful health benefits of dates include works as an energy booster, increasing iron in the body, and aiding digestion. Rich in various nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, dates are popular throughout the world. These dried fruits are beneficial in treating various conditions due to their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-tumor properties.
What are Dates?
Dates are the sweet, chewy fruit of the date palm tree. Dates have been the staple food of the Middle East for thousands of years. Muslims consider date palms and dates sacred, and throughout the religious fasting period of Ramadan, these dried fruits are a common ingredient in the diet. Each date is about 60 to 70 percent sugar and has a high amount of fiber, depending on the variety, which makes it ideal as a healthy energy booster. It is also high in iron and helps fight anemia.
According to USDA, dates are a good source of energy, fiber, sugar, and various vitamins and minerals. Essential minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium, sulfur, and zinc can be found in them. Apart from the above-mentioned nutrients, they also contain important vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
Let us look at some of the key benefits of dates in detail below.
Good Source of Energy
Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. The high energy present in them can be attributed to this high sugar content. Many people around the world eat natural low-fat dates for a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic or sluggish to help bump up energy levels fast.
Often when you exercise in a gym, outside or even on a stretching machine at home, you feel exhausted. A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition suggests that dates rich in essential nutrients may help you regain your energy immediately.
Boost Brain Health
Studies suggest that dates protect against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. According to research, “date palm fruits are a good source of dietary fiber and are rich in total phenolics and natural antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, and caffeic acid”. The presence of these polyphenolic compounds could potentially help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
May Help Relieve Constipation
In traditional Tunisian medicine, dates are used for treating constipation. According to research on the effects of dietary fiber, the foods that are rich in fiber are essential for promoting healthy bowel movements and ensuring the comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract. A 2005 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry also suggests that these dried fruits have high levels of dietary fiber and insoluble fiber, in particular. The insoluble fiber found in dates promotes healthy digestion by bulking up the stool and may also aid in relieving the symptoms of constipation.
Relief from Intestinal Disorders
Research suggests dates contain insoluble and soluble fibers, as well as many beneficial amino acids which can stimulate the digestion of food and ensure quick passage through the gastrointestinal tract. According to a review published in the Journal of Nutrition Reviews, the fiber may also aid in the treatment of conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diverticulitis and hemorrhoids.
Give Relief from Anemia
Dates are a good source of many nutrients, including iron. A deficiency of iron can contribute to anemia, a condition characterized by fatigue, dizziness, brittle nails and shortness of breath. Fortunately, increasing your intake of iron-rich foods such as dates could help provide relief from anemia symptoms. However, there is currently a lack of research evaluating their direct role in the treatment of anemia.