A date fruit is the product of a date palm, a tree native to Northern Africa and the Middle East, although it is also cultivated in other parts of the world. In addition to being eaten fresh, the date fruit is dried and eaten whole as a snack or included in an assortment of desserts. Many regional Middle Eastern cuisines incorporate dates, as do Mediterranean cuisines like those of Italy and Greece. Dried dates are usually readily available in most markets, and fresh dates can be found in specialty markets in season.
Health Benefits of Date
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. It is easily digested; they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence. The nicotinic content in dates is an excellent remedy for intestinal disturbances. Liberal use of dates keeps in check the growth of pathological organisms and helps to establish a colony of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels. They should be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect.
Dates are also an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. In such cases, drinking water in which fresh dates have been rubbed or soaked will bring quick relief. Besides, dates are an effective remedy for weak heart. Dates soaked overnight in water and crushed in the same water in the morning after removing the seeds should be taken at least twice a week in this condition. It will strengthen the heart.
Sexual weakness can also benefits from dates. A handful of dates soaked in fresh goat’s milk overnight should be ground in the same milk in the morning. A pinch of cardamom powder and honey should be mixed in this preparation. This becomes a very useful tonic for improving sex stamina and sterility due to functional disorders.
Experiments have also shown that dates contain some stimulants that strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last months of pregnancy. This helps the dilation of the uterus at the time of delivery on one hand and reduces the bleeding after delivery on the other. Dieticians consider dates as the best food for women in confinement and those who are breast-feeding. This is because dates contain elements that assist in alleviating depression in mothers and enriching the breast-milk with all the elements needed to make the child healthy and resistant to disease.
Dates aren’t exactly a nutritional powerhouse when compared to some other foods like kiwi or sesame seeds, but the fruit does still offer numerous health benefits along with great taste. Here are some health benefits of dates.
- 1. Promoting Digestive Health, Relieving Constipation – Fiber is essential for promoting colon health and making for regular bowel movements. The insoluble and soluble fiber found in dates help to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency. Some other benefits relating to fiber and colon health are reduced risks of colitis, colon cancer, and hemorrhoids. (Dates could even be coupled with other home remedies for hemorrhoids.)
- 2. Boosting Heart Health – In addition to promoting colon health, fiber is also known to boost heart health.
- 3. Anti-Inflammatory – Dates are rich in magnesium – a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. One study 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.” Further, inflammation in the arterial walls was also reduced with magnesium intake. Based on magnesium’s anti-inflammatory properties and the findings of this study, magnesium can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammation-related health ailments.
- 4. Reduced Blood Pressure – Magnesium has been shown to help lower blood pressure – and again, dates are full of the mineral. Additionally, potassium is another mineral in dates that has several functions within the body, aiding with the proper workings of the heart and helping to reduce blood pressure.
- 5. Reduced Stroke Risk – After evaluating 7 studies published over a 14 year time period, researchers found stroke risk was reduced by 9% for every every 100 milligrams of magnesium a person consumes per day. The research can be found in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
- 6. A Healthy Pregnancy and Delivery – Further adding to the health benefits of dates, one study performed by researchers at the University of Science and Technology set out to discover how the date fruit impacted labor parameters and delivery outcomes. After studying 69 women for a year and 1 month, the researchers found 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. The results warrant a randomised controlled trial.”
- 7. Boosting Brain Health – Some studies, such as one found in JAMA Internal Medicine, found that sufficient vitamin B6 levels are associated with improved brain performance and better test scores.