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The Benefits of Dates

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The health effects of dates on health have been investigated in several studies.

On the grounds that dates are classified as fruits, they have the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. In addition, due to containing low fat amount, they are considered as a low-fat food. Owing to the small amount of sodium, patients suffering from high blood pressure could consume them without having problems, unless as mentioned, unbalanced consumption leads to their overweight. The most important value of the dates is due to the plant fiber that they provide. According to Egyptian scientists, consuming 80 grams of dates provides 10% of the body’s daily need for niacin. Niacin obviates digestive, mental, and skin problems. This amount of date also supplies 5% of the daily need for vitamins which are involved in the health of the nerves and digestive system.

The Kind Palm

The date fruit is not the only part of this plant that is consumed. In the areas where date palms are cultivated, almost all parts of the palm tree are used. Palm trunks are used to make boats, to cover the roofs of rural houses, and are used in paper, chipboard, and fiber industries. In food industry, its fruit is used to produce vinegar, industrial alcohol, jam, date syrup and nectar, date sugar, wafer, biscuit, chocolate, etc.; besides, it is used as a sweetener in producing of sweet products. In some countries, date kernels are roasted and made into a decoction that is consumed like coffee. They even soak the kernels in water for a few days and give them to their camels as a nutritious food, believing that this food is more nutritious than wheat and barley.

Another miraculous effect of the palm kernel is to eliminate the swelling of the eyelids. To this end, an ointment is made from date kernels and placed on the eyes. This ointment is also the best remedy for eyelash growth. Date kernels are used as a kind of cattle feed after soaking which is called oil cake.

According to observations in areas where the consumption of dates is high, this fruit could be effective in preventing cancer. People use dates in different ways such as mixing date syrup with milk, eating it with bread and butter, dates with yogurt, dates with sesame and tahini (sesame seed paste), preparing food and various delicious and nutritious confection like Ranginak (Persian date cake), etc. Many also grind date kernels and bake bread from them.

Date in the Food Pyramid

As stated by studies, the chemical compositions which determine the nutritional value of dates are contingent on various elements such as the type of date cultivar (genetics), climatic conditions (region), planting area, the age of the tree and the growth and development stages of date fruit. The nutritional value of dates is comparable to that of nuts, meat and poultry, fish, potatoes, bread, and eggs. Dates contain higher amount of iron in comparison to many other foods. As a matter of fact, the high nutritional value of dates along with their reasonable price is very remarkable and significant when compared with other foods.