As it is said, the presence of dates in a healthy and balanced diet is inevitable. Date fruits contain a variety of sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose), water, antioxidants, minerals (iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, etc.), vitamins (A, B1 or thiamine, B2 or riboflavin, B3 or niacin, B6, C, E, etc.), cellulose, pectin, fiber, etc.
Thiamine (vit. B1)
Riboflavin (vit. B2)
Niacin (vit. B3)
Pantothenic acid (B5)
Folate (vit. B9)
Lutein and zeaxanthin
Indeed, it should be noted that these quantities are not the same in different varieties; however, what is certain is that dates have a special nutritional value.
Dates should be incorporated in the food pyramid of fruits. In view of the small size of each date, each unit of this fruit contains two to three pieces of date that based on each person’s daily need, two to three units could be eaten and this number could be consumed as an alternative to one of the fruit units. It should be noted that people with diabetes and those with a history of diabetes in their families should maintain a balance of consuming dates.
Dates have many benefits including the restoration of energy and lost youth. The properties of this healing fruit are also particularly referred in The Holy Quran and other holy books. An Arabic proverb says that the benefits of the palm tree are as many as the number days in a year. Numerous medicinal properties of dates have been discovered and expressed some of which will be mention in the following.
Dates are useful in the treating constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, impotence, and diarrhea and are considered as a laxative food. Palm flowers with a bitter taste are also used as a laxative medicine. For this reason, it has been declared useful for people suffering from constipation. In order to make the most of this property of dates, it is recommended to soak the dates in water over an entire night. The next morning, eat soaked dates like syrup. The date compounds are useful for treating any intestinal disorder, and its continuous consumption increases the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestine.
The amount of energy resulting from eating dates is very lower than eating simple sugar, and much less than sugar cause people’s obesity and overweight. For example, in 100 grams of granulated (regular) sugar, 99.9% of the its net amount generates energy while 100 grams of date contains about 30% sugar and the rest contains other substances including protein. 100 grams of date, depending on the type, contains about 1.5% of high-quality plant protein. Dates also contain dietary fiber which is very beneficial for the digestive system and nutrition. In addition, dates contain carotenoids (pigments) that function as a precursor for vitamin A and antioxidants and prevent cell damage from being cancerous.
It is proved that dates that are soaked in water at night and consumed in the morning are beneficial for weak hearts. Doing this twice a week will help strengthen the heart.
Dates are part of a healthy diet because they contain sugar, fat, protein and a variety of essential vitamins. Consequently, this nutrient will be influential against weight loss.
Dates supply the body a significant amount of folate or folic acid which is essential for blood supply to the body, and women are obliged to take folate pills in addition to food during pregnancy. Folate is found in dates as a hematopoietic; although the amount of iron in dates is not substantial, the body needs three nutrients of folate, iron and vitamin B12 which are found in animal foods. Accordingly, a variety of foods should be used towards this end.
Vitamin C is another nutrient found in dates that is necessary to prevent dangerous bleeding diseases or scurvy, and each person should receive 60 mg of vitamin C during the day; given dates, each 100 grams of this fruit contains about 14 mg of vitamin C.
Warm and Dry Nature of the Dates
To quell violence and soften the throat and chest, one could boil 50 grams of dates in water then strain it and drink two to three cups a day; this is very beneficial for people with cold nature. The above-mentioned syrup could also be used to strengthen the kidneys. Besides, those who suffer from back or joint pain could use date syrup. Moreover, if dates are eaten with fenugreek, it is useful for bladder stones. Further, to increase the physical strength, dates could be soaked in fresh milk with the addition of enough cinnamon, and could be eaten in the morning as breakfast, and then drink a little milk with it which is indeed not good for those with warm nature. Those who want their bladder stones to be crushed should use its decoction. Those who have constipation try to use simple and laxative foods when using the decoction of dates. Additionally, dates contain vitamin B which is beneficial for nerve balance and also promotes growth. The amount of phosphorus available in dates helps keep nerve cells alive.
Nerves and Muscles
Potassium, which is found in significant amounts in ripe dates, is essential for preventing high blood pressure and for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, and its deficiency in the body is very dangerous. In addition, dates contain significant amounts of magnesium which is essential for nerves and muscles.
Potassium is also useful for controlling diarrhea. Moreover, this product is easily digested and therefore helps to obviate problems caused by diarrhea.
Although dates contain important and valuable nutrients, and in our country high quality dates are harvested and marketed, care must be taken in choosing them because it has a sticky surface and absorbs various impurities. Therefore, dates should be washed before consumption. Nevertheless, it is recommended to wash the dates only as much as they are supposed to be eaten before consumption. Also, buy dates from a place you trust, and also make sure of the health of the packaged dates when you buy them.