Dates are tropical fruits, which are the fruits of palm trees. Incorporating dates into your diet, can be beneficial to your overall health and well-being, as dates are rich in antioxidants, nutrition and fibre. Dates are also naturally sweet as they contain fructose, a natural type of sugar.
Here are the benefits of consuming dates:
1. Helps in lowering cholesterol:
Dates are rich in potassium and can help reduce LDL or bad cholesterol. Dates are rich in soluble fibre and can prevent the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. This is beneficial to the arteries because this property helps keep the fatty deposits of cholesterol from building up in the arteries and reducing the risk of heart diseases.
2. High in nutrition and fibre:
Dates are high in calories and rich in carbohydrates. They also contain essential vitamins and minerals like potassium (reducing the risk of stroke), iron (to keep hemoglobin in check), magnesium etc.
Being rich in fibre it can benefit one’s digestive health by preventing constipation, as they are laxative in nature. This is because the fibre in dates helps to improve and form the stool and increase bowel movements.
3. Can improve fertility in males:
A lot of males suffer from infertility. Consumption of dates can help in improving the sperm count in men and boost sexual libido. This benefit is possible because dates have various vitamins and minerals that contribute to this.
4. Rich in antioxidants:
Antioxidants helps protect the body from free radicals (unstable molecules that can harm the healthy cells of the body). Antioxidants can also inhibit the process of oxidation that is dangerous to the body, as it can be harmful to the cells of the body. Among the other dry fruits, dates are the richest in antioxidant properties and can help protect the body and prevent the development of diseases.
5. Can help fight diabetes:
Dates can help fight diabetes as it has the ability to increase the production of the hormone insulin. When the levels of insulin in the body is lesser, people are more prone to developing diabetes. Consuming dates can also help reduce the rate of absorption of glucose from the intestine. When the glucose absorption is lesser, the levels of blood glucose in the body automatically reduces.
6. Beneficial to skin and hair health:
Dates contain high content of vitamin C and vitamin D. These vitamins are beneficial to the skin as they help keep the skin nourished and promote a healthy glow. These vitamins can help maintain skin elasticity and prevent premature aging of skin and prevent premature signs of premature ageing like wrinkles and fine lines. Dates can also help maintain a healthy balance of melanin in the skin, by reducing the chances of melanin being concentrated in certain places causing skin pigmentation.
Dates are rich in iron and can promote hair health and reduce hair fall, because the iron in dates can help ensure proper blood flow to the scalp and provide nourishment to the hair.
7. Can improve bone health:
As we age, the chances of developing osteoporosis is quite common. Osteoporosis occurs over time and is a disease that causes the bones to become weak and brittle. It can also become so fragile that a little additional or irregular movement than usual, can cause it to break and get fractured.
Dates are rich in micronutrients like selenium, manganese, magnesium and copper which can help protect and promote bone health and also are effective in treating conditions like osteoporosis.
8. Helpful for pregnant women to aid natural labour and easy delivery:
Consuming dates can help the pregnant mother have better chances of healthy contractions during labour and ease delivery, as dates contain tannins that help facilitate this process. Dates are also rich in sugar, that can provide the pregnant mother with sufficient energy during labour and delivery.
Uses of Dates:
- Finely chop dates and add it to your oatmeal or cereal bowl.
- Add dates to your milkshake/smoothie (recipe below).
- Finely chop and add directly or add in soaked dates (in water), into your muffins or cakes.
- You can also eat dates as it is.
Dates energy balls ( 2 ingredients )
- dates – 1 cup
- Nuts – 1 cup
Soak 1 cup dates in hot water to soften and plump the dates. During this time, take 1 cup of nuts ( almonds, peanuts or any nuts of your choice ) to a pan and dry roast it. Add the roasted nuts to a blender and deseed the soaked dates to the blender and blender on high until it forms a stick dough, if the dough is too dry then add 1 tbsp of water or coconut oil to make it soft. Roll the mixture into 1 inch balls and enjoy. READ MORE – 10 HEALTHY WATER RECIPES – clear skin, weight loss, hair growth, and more…
Date and Almond smoothie recipe:
- 10 dates
- 10 almonds
- 2 cups of milk
- 1 cup hot water
- Sugar to taste (or optional)
Soak the dates (without the seeds), in ½ cup hot water for half an hour and the almonds in another ½ cup of hot water for half an hour. After half an hour, the dates would have softened. Leave it as it is. Strain the almonds and peel off the skin and set aside.
Then, into a mixer blender, add in the soaked dates (along with the water), almonds with sugar to taste (note that lesser or no sugar is advisable as dates are already sweet in taste) and grind into a fine paste. Then, add in the milk (you can add in chilled milk or regular milk with ice-cubes if you wish to) and blend until properly combined. Pour into a cup and it is ready to consume. You can garnish with almond slices if you wish to.