Dates - Health Benefits
Dates are fruits that have a sweet taste and a chewy texture. They come from date palm trees, which are native to some parts of the world, such as the Middle East and North Africa. Dates have been eaten for a long time and are considered a staple food in many cultures. Dates are not only tasty, but also healthy and good for your body. Here are some of the top health benefits of dates:
Improve gut health: Dates have a lot of fiber, which helps you have regular and easy bowel movements. Fiber also helps the good bacteria in your gut, which can improve your digestion and immunity. One study found that eating seven dates every day for three weeks made people have more and better bowel movements.
Help prevent chronic diseases: Dates have a lot of antioxidants, which are substances that protect your cells from harm caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause swelling and stress in your body, which are linked to many chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Dates have several types of antioxidants, such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, and carotenoids, which can help prevent or lower the risk of these diseases.
Boost brain health: Several studies have shown that dates can improve brain function and protect against brain diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Dates have natural chemicals that can change brain activity and improve memory, learning, and thinking. Dates also have anti-inflammatory and anti-amyloid properties, which can prevent the buildup of harmful substances in the brain, which are associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Support bone health: Dates are a good source of minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, which are important for keeping strong and healthy bones. These minerals help prevent bone loss and weak bones, especially in older adults. Dates also have boron, which is a trace element that can improve bone density and prevent breaks.
Promote natural labor: Eating dates during the last few weeks of pregnancy may help make labor and delivery easier. Dates have compounds that can act like the hormone oxytocin, which is responsible for starting contractions and opening the cervix. A review of several studies found that eating dates may make labor shorter, increase the readiness of the cervix, and decrease the need for oxytocin or other drugs that start labor.
Provide natural energy: Dates are high in natural sugars, such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose, which can give you a quick and lasting source of energy. Dates also have a low glycemic index (GI), which means they do not raise your blood sugar levels too much. This makes them a good snack for people with diabetes or those who want to control their blood sugar levels. Dates also have other nutrients, such as protein, iron, and B vitamins, which can boost your metabolism and energy levels.
How to eat dates
Dates are versatile fruits that can be eaten fresh or dried. Fresh dates have a smooth skin and a soft texture, while dried dates have a wrinkled skin and a chewy texture. You can enjoy dates as they are or add them to your salads, smoothies, oatmeal, yogurt, or baked goods. You can also make date paste by blending pitted dates with water and use it as a natural sweetener or spread.
However you choose to eat dates, make sure to take out the pits first, as they can be hard and not edible. Also, wash the dates well before eating them to remove any dirt or dust. You can store fresh dates in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to six months. You can store dried dates in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one year.
Dates are delicious fruits that offer many health benefits. They can improve your gut health, prevent chronic diseases, boost your brain health, support your bone health, promote natural labor, and provide natural energy. Try adding some dates to your diet today and enjoy their sweet taste and health benefits.
Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)
Internal Medicine Specialist
Phone : 85000 23456