Dates, or fruit dates are one of the oldest and the most nutritious source of food that mankind has been blessed with. OK, maybe that's a bit of hyperbole, but no mistaken the health benefits of dates are quite extensive. The name ‘date’ is derived from a Greek word which translates into ‘finger’, this can be due to the elongated shape of the fruit. It is the product of the date palm and is known to be one of the sweetest fruits. History suggests that it was first cultivated in 6000 BC and since then has been providing man with its benefits. Just as with any fruit, it's always suggested that you thoroughly wash your dates prior to consumption.
Here are a number of benefits that your body reaps when you take on this decadent treat:
1) Reducing Constipation: Dates come under the banner of laxative food which is why they are often consumed by people who have trouble digesting food and are sufferers from constipation. Fruit dates are known to have extremely high levels of soluble fiber (fiber which can be easily be broken down by our blood) which help in promoting healthy bowel movements and ensures that the food passes through the intestinal tract comfortable and easily. In doing so, individuals are relieved from the painful trauma of constipation. Soaking dates overnight ensures that the laxative properties emerge out even more.
2) Allergies: one of the most interesting properties that dates possess are that they have organic Sulphur in them. Organic Sulphur is a rare property that is found in some foods but it is very beneficial, especially to reduce and fight any allergies that are seasonal. So if you have any seasonal allergies, have loads of dates!
3) High source of energy:Dates are high source of energy because they are abundant in natural sugars like sucrose, fructose and glucose. These help in giving that boost of energy at times when one feels sluggish or weak. Many sportsmen and athletes make use of dates to give them the boost of energy to perform well. Many Muslims that fast break their fast with a date since it gives them instant energy.
4) A Happy & Healthy Heart: Dates are known to be high in potassium which have been proven to reduce risk of heart attacks and strokes. Dates keep your heart beating normally and prevents any unusual activities from keeping low levels of cholesterol to making good blood, dates make sure that your heart strays away from risks of heart attacks, strokes and various dangerous heart diseases.
5) Diarrhea: as mentioned above, dates are a rich source of potassium, which helps in relieving the stomach at the time of diarrhea and controlling it as well. Since they are easy to eat and digest, they prevent diarrhea from spreading and reducing the impulsiveness of diarrhea. Being high in soluble fibers means helping smooth and healthy bowel movements. In short, fruit dates has away of balancing out your fiber to ensure a healthier intestinal track.
These are just five benefits from eating dates. However, one word of caution is the caloric intake of dates can be counter productive to diets if consumed in large amounts. I will elaborate in a future post how to incorporate dates into a diet without over-indulging on the calorie equation. Just as with anything too much of something will hinder to some extent.