Benefits Of Dates For Health: Dates are high in fiber and antioxidants. Their nutritional benefits may support brain health and prevent disease.
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, You can tell whether or not dates are dried based on their appearance. Wrinkled skin indicates they are dried, whereas smooth skin indicates freshness.
Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, This article will discuss 5 health benefits of eating dates and how to incorporate them into your diet.
1. Very nutritious
Dates have an excellent nutrition profile.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Since they’re dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs.
Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of Medjool dates provides the following nutrients:
Carbs: 75 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Potassium: 15% DV
Magnesium: 13% DV
Copper: 40% DV
Manganese: 13% DV
Iron: 5% DV
Vitamin B6: 15% DV
Dates are also high in antioxidants, which may contribute to many of their health benefits:
2. High in fiber
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health.
With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool.
In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating.
For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food.
3. High in disease-fighting antioxidants
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Dates provide various antioxidants that have a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases.
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content.
Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates:
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer.
Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Phenolic acid: Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acids may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
4. May promote brain health
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Eating dates may help improve brain function.
Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Additionally, other studies including animal studies have shown dates to be helpful for reducing the activity of amyloid beta proteins, which can form plaques in the brain.
When plaques accumulate in the brain, they may disturb communication between brain cells, which can ultimately lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s disease.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, One animal study found that mice fed food mixed with dates had significantly better memory and learning ability, as well as less anxiety-related behaviors, compared to those that did not eat them.
The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, However, more human studies are needed to confirm the role of dates in brain health.
5. May promote natural labor
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Dates have been studied for their potential to promote and ease late-term labor in pregnant people.
Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labor. They may also be helpful in reducing labor time.
An older meta-analysis from 2011 looking at studies where pregnant people took dates prior to their due date found those who ate dates were in labor for less time than those who did not eat them, but also notes that the link between eating dates and a faster delivery needs to be researched further.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, A 2017 study of 154 pregnant people found that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not.
A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant people who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily starting the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labor for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Although eating dates appears to help promote labor and reduce labor duration, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labor contractions during childbirth.
Benefits Of Dates For Health, Additionally, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor.