The date fruit and the date tree is loved by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). In fact the word “date” is mentioned in the holy Quran more than 20 times. The date tree is mentioned more times than any other fruit trees in the Quran. This shows how important and special the date tree and its fruit the date is. There are many dates health benefits when we consume it regularly.
It could be said that the date is a symbol that we can associate with Muslims and Islam.
Dates are in high demand during the month of Ramadhan as Muslims are encouraged to break fast with dates. The Prophet said: “Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying,” (Ahmad). A type of date known as the Ajwa have also been given a very high status. The Prophet Muhammad SAW said: “Ajwa dates are from Paradise.” (Al-Tirmidhi)
The importance of dates as an important food in the household is highlighted in this Hadith when Prophet SAW said “People in a house without dates are in a state of hunger.” (Muslim)
As such, Muslims all around the world will always try to have dates in their house due to the special position that dates have and the health benefits that it offer.
Dates have been cultivated by human civilisation since 6000 BC and it comes in many varieties and varying levels of sweetness.
It can be eaten fresh but you will find that they are eaten dried too and their nourishment does not disappear even when they are eaten dried. Eaten fresh or dried, dates are nutritious. Lets take a look at the nutritional content of Dates.
THE NUTRITIONAL CONTENT OF DATES
Below we have the key nutrients in dates outlines and the data is based on 100gm of the blessed fruit.
Fiber – 6.7 grams. 27% RDA.
Potassium – 696 milligrams. 20% RDA.
Copper – 0.4 milligrams. 18% RDA.
Manganese – 0.3 milligrams. 15% RDA.
Magnesium – 54 milligrams. 14% RDA.
Vitamin B6 – 0.2 milligrams. 12% RDA.
Dates contain 66.5 grams of sugar per 100 grams of Dates. However, according to dr. Anwar El Multi from Egypt, Dates contain 70% glucose and it is not harmful or dangerous to our health.
Most varieties of dates that are harvested all around the world are said to contain sugar glucose or fructose and these two substances are easily digested by the body.
They are also easily burned by our body to release energy required for us to go about our daily lives.
On top of that it helps our body to absorb and process nutrients.
9 DATES HEALTH BENEFITS
(1) Helps Reduce the Risk of Stroke
Dates contain magnesium and magnesium has been found to reduce stroke risk by 9% for every 100 milligrams of magnesium an individual consumes every day.
This conclusion is derived from 7 7 studies which was published over a period of 14 years.
In total 241,378 participants took part in the various studies and can be found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Dates also have a high potassium content and in every 100 gm of dried dates, there is 666 mg of potassium.
Potassium is able to help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke as potassium is a mineral known to play an important role in creating a regular heartbeat, is essential to the blood vessels, helps to activate muscle contraction and most crucially stabilize blood pressure.
As such, a daily intake of dates can help us to fend off stroke as the beneficial elements like magnesium and potassium is abundant in Dates.
(2) Helps Reduce Blood Pressure
Dates as we have known earlier contains a fair amount of magnesium.
Magnesium is known to help lower blood pressure. Together with potassium, another mineral in Dates, it helps our heart to carry out its functions smoothly as well as help us to lower blood pressure.
Nurfi Afriansyah, a Staff Researcher from IEC Nutrition Nutrition Cairo discovered that calycilate acid can also affect the prostaglanadine, a fatty acid group hydroksida that stimulates smooth muscle contraction and lower blood pressure and dried Dates contain calycilate acid too.
Magnesium have also been known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
Dates as we have known contain magnesium and one study have found that “inflammatory indicators in the body such as CRP (C-reactive protein), TNF (tumor necrosis factor alpha), and IL6 (interleukin 6) were all reduced when magnesium intake was increased.”
As such, when dates are consumed on a regular basis, these inflammatory indicators are kept at bay. Research have also shown that inflammation in the arterial walls was reduced with added magnesium intake.
Inflammation-related health ailments such as cardiovascular disease, arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease can all be contained if one takes a good amount of Dates on a regular basis.
(4) Improves Cardiovascular (Heart) Health
Besides keeping our colon healthy, fiber have also been found to promote a healthy heart.
Dates are rich in fiber and they are also rich in potassium.
The potassium in Dates can help regulate our heart rate and also our blood pressure. This provides us with protection from stroke and coronary heart diseases.
Potassium have also been found to regulate the electrical impulses that maintain a steady heartbeat besides counterbalancing the effects of sodium in our diet hence helping us to lower blood pressure.
Besides potassium that is crucial for heart health, Dates also contain magnesium and vitamin B-6. Magnesium is able to relax the muscles in our heart as well as the blood vessels relax in our heart.
This in turn helps us to lower our blood pressure.
Magnesium also play another important role of lowering triglycerides levels.
Vitamin B-6 can also be found in Dates and it also helps to remove the amino acid homocysteine from our blood. Concentrated levels of homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Dates contain all the above three nutrients and you just need an ounce of dates to supply 3 to 5 percent of all three of the above nutrients.
(5) Promoting Digestive Health, Relieving Constipation
Eating healthy and exercising more can help us to fight against heart diseases.
Nevertheless, more help can be acquired if we supplement our diet with Dates.
Dates contain fiber and fiber is known for helping to maintain colon health and allow for regular bowel movements.
There are two types of fiber found in dates and they are the insoluble fiber and the soluble fiber. Both can help play an important role in our bodies.
They help to clean the gastrointestinal system which then allows the colon to work at higher levels of efficiency.
Fiber also helps to reduce the risks of getting colitis, colon cancer, and hemorrhoids. Besides that fiber also helps to soften stool and this contributes to a healthier colon and digestive tract.
(6) Improves Sexual Health
Dates have also been found to help increase sexual stamina and this have been concluded from several studies carried out on Dates.
A study on Dates conducted in 2006 by Bahmanpour saw that Date palm and their oils contain high levels of estradiol and flavonoid. These two elements in Dates is responsible for increase sperm count and motility.
They are also responsible for increasing testes size and weight. Based on that account we can conclude that Dates are a great natural aphrodisiac.
Here is a method on how you can harness the benefits of Dates as a natural aphrodisiac.
First, soak a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk over night.
The next day, grind the overnight mixture with cardamom powder and honey.
Sexual endurance will increase when you consume this mixture and it has been found to also reducing sterility caused by various sexual disorders.
This formulation is a traditional practice but it has gotten the attention of formal scientific research to back up the claims.
(7) Strengthens Bone and Improves Bone Health
One of dates health benefits is it strengthens bone and improves bone health.
Dates contain significant amounts of minerals and as such makes it a super healthy food that one can store at home for daily consumption.
The minerals in Dates have been found to be able to fight diseases like osteoporosis which can be debilitating and painful to its sufferers.
The minerals found in Dates such as selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium play a very important role in ensuring healthy bone development and this supplementation of nutrients to the body becomes more importance as people age and their bones start to weaken.
After knowing this, it would work in your favour to consume Dates and to provide it to your ageing parents.
Minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium can also be found in Dates. As we all know, calcium is an important mineral to the human body as it is also the constituent of bone and teeth.
Calcium is also needed in several other areas to help perform important body processes like muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction.
Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Copper on the hand is required for the production of red blood cells while magnesium is essential for bone to grow in our body.
(8) Offers some Protection Against Cancer
Dates also contain antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin.
Studies have shown that these antioxidants have been found to be able to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals.
The consumption of Dates on a regular basis provides us with several Dates health benefits. It can help us from the dangers of colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.
Dates bring rich in dietary fiber also prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut and at the same time functions as a bulk laxative.
In doing so it helps us protect the colon mucous membrane from cancer-causing chemicals. Such is the power of Dates and again another Dates health benefits that we should take advantage of.
(9) Helps Women During Pregnancy and Labor
A recent study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2011 and titled, “The effect of late pregnancy consumption of date fruit on labour and delivery” saw researchers set out to investigate the effect of date fruit consumption on labor parameters and birth outcomes.
They found that women who consumed date fruit had significantly higher mean cervical dilatation upon admission compared with the non-date fruit consumers.
They also found that more natural spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of the women who consumed dates, compared with 79% women in the non-date fruit consumers.
The research came to a conclusion that the consumption of date fruit in the last 4 weeks before labour significantly reduced the need for induction and augmentation of labour, and produced a more favourable, but non-significant, delivery outcome. This finding adds to the many Dates health benefits that have already been uncovered.
The scientific research confirms traditional beliefs of the benefits of Dates and this is indeed a welcome development as the profane and sacred intertwines with science.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES IN A NUTSHELL
It can be concluded then that Dates offer such a myriad of health benefits that it should be in every single home that cares for the health of its inhabitants.
Being a fruit that is relatively inexpensive considering the benefits and advantages that it provides to our health, Dates should be promoted as a daily health supplement.
Most importantly it should be given to expecting mothers for a smoother and natural delivery.
Disclaimer: The information contained on this site which includes articles, excerpts, studies, etc is intended for educational purposes only. The information should not be used as a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is also not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You are advised to seek prompt medical care for any health issues that arise. You are also advised to consult your doctor before you attempt to use alternative medicine or making a change to your health and medical regimen.