The 5 health benefits of dates

Dates are rich in natural sugar, which is why many people think they are unhealthy. However, these sweet fruits are packed with nutrients, making them a great snack to eat in moderation. Dates grow on date palms in small clusters. The term date comes from the Greek word daktulos, which means fingers.

Farmers harvest them in the fall and early winter. They therefore generally taste fresher at this time of the year. However, many people also eat them dried. They can be stored for a long time in a closed container. In this article, you will discover their health benefits and how to incorporate them into a balanced diet.

Five benefits of eating dates

In addition to being tasty, dates contain proteins, vitamins and minerals.

1 Dates are rich in polyphenols

Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds that can protect the body against inflammation. Dates contain more polyphenols than most other fruits and vegetables.

2 Dates: an alternative to empty calorie sweets

They can satisfy a person’s craving for sweets while providing essential nutrients, such as vitamin B-6 and iron.

3 They are high in fiber

A single cup provides 12 % of a person’s daily fiber requirement. Fiber helps a person feel fuller for longer.

4 It is rich in potassium

It is high in potassium, an electrolyte the body needs for good heart health. Potassium also helps build muscle and protein in the body.

5 They are excellent as a sugar substitute

Sugar, chocolate chips or candies in baking recipes can be replaced with dates to ensure they are eating natural sugars instead of refined sugars.

Nutrition facts about dates

Deglet Noor dates are one of the most common types of dates that can be found in the supermarket.

Here the nutritional information of a medium-sized Deglet Noor date:

– calories: 20
– total fat: 0,07 gram (g)

– total carbohydrates: 5.33 g

– dietary fibre: 0.6 g


– sugar: 4, 5 g

– protein: 0.17 g
– vitamin B-6: 0.03 milligrams (mg)

– iron: 0,03 mg

– magnesium: 3 mg
– Potassium: 33 mg

A low glyceric index

Dates have a very high sugar content compared to the rest of their nutritional value. People who are trying to manage their blood sugar levels, such as diabetics, should pay attention to their total sugar intake when consuming dates. Moderate drinking is unlikely to excessively raise a person’s blood sugar levels, even if they have diabetes. According to a study, dates are a low glycemic index food that does not cause a significant increase in blood sugar levels in people with diabetes or not. Although the researchers only have a small sample, their findings indicate that eating it in moderation should not have a big impact on a person’s blood sugar levels.

How to eat dates

They can be eaten fresh or dried, just like raisins. They can also be added to various sweet or savory dishes.

Here are some examples of dishes:

– Stuffed dates: dates can be stuffed with almonds, pecans, cream cheese or pistachios for a snack or appetizer.

– Salads: Salads: Whole, chopped, sliced ​​or pitted dates are a great addition to salads.

– Smoothies: Mixing dates in a smoothie banana adds natural sweetness and extra nutritional value.
– Stews: Dates are delicious in stews or tagines.

– Energy balls: dates can be mixed with nuts, cranberries, oats, coconut flakes or others ingredients to make “energy balls” without cooking.

Preserving dates

When buying them, look for those that are shiny and int acts. Fresh dates can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many months and even longer in the freezer. If refrigerated, dried dates will keep for about a year in an airtight container and for many years if frozen. One should not eat those that have a sour smell, are very hard or have granulated sugar on their surface. These signs may indicate that they have gone bad.

Eating this little fruit can be an easy way for a person to incorporate a new fruit into their diet. When eaten in moderation, they can also provide essential nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium, iron and manganese.

Sources

Alkaabi, JM, Al-Dabbagh, B., Ahmad, S., Saadi, HF, Gariballa, S., & Ghazali, MA (2011, May 17). Glycemic indices of five varieties of dates in healthy and diabetic subjects. Nutrition Diary, 03, 59

Basic Report: 09087, Dates, deglet noor. (09421, April)

Basic Report: 09421, Dates, medjool. (2011, April)

Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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