Benefits of Dates
The high nutrient content of the fruit contributes to its highly beneficial properties. The need for a comprehensive fruit diet cannot be fulfilled without the inclusion of dates. In the below section we will be discussing the various benefits that dates can have on your health.
1. Dates are Highly Nutritious:
The nutrition data of dates are really off the charts. The fruits are packed with a lot of essential vitamins and other nutrients that can be extremely helpful to your overall health. Dates are also rich in fibre and carbs which without a doubt makes it one of the healthiest dry fruits.
Nutritional Value per 100g of dates:
Calories – 270-310
Protein – 5.1 g
Total Fat – 0.4 g
Sodium – 2 mg
Potassium – 656 mg
Carbohydrates (dietary fibres and sugar) – 75 g
Antioxidants – 80400 micromol
* These values may differ from variant to variant.
Dates have a high energy content, with 100g of dates containing about 314 kilocalories of energy, making them a great source of energy boost. While much of this energy is in the form of sugars (like fructose and glucose), it has ample amounts of fibre and a low glycemic index. This means that 2-3 dates at a time are a safe source of low-fat energy even for diabetics. This is one of the best benefits of dates, contributing to weight management and blood sugar regulation diets.
2. Aids Healthy Bowel Movements:
The fibre content in dates are extremely high, this can be highly beneficial to people who are suffering from health issues caused due to irregular bowel movements. In a study conducted on a group of 21 tests subject, the results showed that dates helped in regular bowel movements for the group who consumed it daily for a week. The group who did not consume dates faced irregular bowel movements. It was also noticed that the concentration of ammonia in the stool was also significantly reduced when dates were consumed regularly. Therefore, it can be conclusively said that the effect dates have on your overall diet and health is unparalleled. They can aid your digestive health and help you lead a healthy life.
3. High Concentration of Antioxidants:
Antioxidants are basically compounds that inhibit the process of oxidation and thereby eliminates the dangerous free radicals which can cause a lot of harm to your cells. Oxidation can be very dangerous as it can be very harmful to the structural and genetic integrity of your cells.
Dates are known for their high concentration of antioxidants. When compared to other dried fruits in the same category, dates tops the chart with the highest concentration of antioxidants. The need for antioxidants in your daily diet cannot be stressed more. Dates are rich in antioxidants including:
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids are known for their ability to significantly reduce the chances of macular degeneration which can be highly dangerous to your ocular well- being. Carotenoids are also known for their ability to work wonders for your heart. Cardiac health is one of the most pressing issues in today’s health scenario and the use of dates can help in promoting better heart health.
- Flavonoids: This is an antioxidant that can benefit your body by helping with multiple issues. Flavonoids are known for their anti-inflammatory properties and their high affinity in helping to reduce the effects of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Flavonoids are also beneficial to your brain and work a lot towards the reduction of the risk for brain degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. There are also indications that prove that Flavonoids can also help in reducing the risk of certain types of cancer too.
- Phenolic Acid: Phenolic acid is a much-discussed antioxidant mainly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It has got a very good history in reducing the risk of developing cardiac issues and also works a lot in reducing the chances of being inflicted by certain types of cancer.
4. Improves Brain Functionality:
Inflammatory cytokines such as Interleukin can be extremely dangerous to your brain. The increased presence of IL-6 (Interleukin 6) is attributed to the development of neurodegenerative disease such as Alzheimer’s disease. The presence of inflammatory markers is never a good sign for your neural health and therefore it is to be considered with extreme care.
The regular use of dates has been found to be beneficial in reducing the IL-6 levels and thereby helping in reducing the risk of developing brain degenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s. An in-vivo study on mice has also shown that the inclusion of date palm in the feed leads to the reduction of amyloid beta-protein activity which can reduce the production of plaques that can harm the brain. Plaques are highly dangerous and can lead to cell death causing severe conditions such as Alzheimer’s.
The study also showed that consuming dates reduce issues related to anxiety disorder and also helps in boosting memory and learning. The effects regular consumption of dates can have on your neural health is manifold. Besides preventing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s they can also help in the overall improvement of your brain.
5. Facilitates Natural Labour:
Pregnant women who eat dates regularly have a higher chance of delivering by natural labour. The complications that arise out of cesarean deliveries are harmful to women giving birth. Eating dates at the later stages of pregnancy can help in making the entire process of delivery much smoother.
There are results from studies that show that using dates as a part of the regular diet of a pregnant woman can help in reducing the pressure that is applied while trying to deliver the baby.
These effects appear due to the unique compounds present in dates that have the ability to reduce the need for oxytocin during pregnancy. These compounds successfully mimic the effects of oxytocin by binding to the receptors and brings around a chance to have healthy contractions during labour. Dates also have a high concentration of tannins which also helps in facilitating contractions during labour.
6. Reduces Risk of Cancer:
In-depth studies about dates revealed that the presence of a compound called beta D-glucan in dates is very advantageous in promoting an anti-tumour activity within the body. The high concentration of antioxidants in dates also helps in reducing the activities of free radicals (elements that can cause cancer) and thereby reduces the chances of cancer from happening. The daily consumption of dates can significantly reduce the risk of cancer and the occurrence of benign tumours too.
7. Prevents Microbial Infections:
Bacterial infections can sometimes be deadly and can also cost a lot to treat. In the current medical scenario, almost all microbial infections are treated with the help of antibiotics which is an expensive way of treatment and also comes with a baggage of side effects. Substituting antibiotics with natural products can be both a physically and financially sound decision. A study conducted using extracts from the pits and leaves of date, revealed that it had active resistance against certain harmful bacteria. It was found that dates can be beneficial against deadly microbes such as E-coli and pneumonia.
8. Helps Fight Diabetes:
Diabetes Mellitus is one of the most common diseases around the world. Diabetes is treated using synthetic medicines with a combination of several oral medicines and insulin supplementation.
Dates have the ability to increase the production of insulin and also have several properties that can help reduce the rate of absorption of glucose from the intestine. This can help a lot in reducing the risk that is posed by diabetes. The reduction of glucose absorption will inevitably reduce blood glucose levels that are beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. The exact procedure of how dates help in reducing the effects of diabetes is still being researched upon.