People have known about the health benefits of dates and that they are a complete food source for thousands of years. The evidence of their cultivation dates as far back as 7,000 B.C. Dates even made an appearance in the Holy Bible.
Dates enhance the positive effect in every diet. Despite the high sugar level, Nutrition Journal published one study which revealed the low-glycemic index of dates and that they did not significantly raise blood sugar levels after they were consumed.
If you are eating dates because you want to protect the heart and liver from damage, or you are simply enjoying them because are included in your healthy diet, dates will certainly sweeten your daily diet. However you should limit the consumption not to exaggerate.
Dates are highly valued for their nutritional value. They contain proteins and carbohydrates, which makes them complete in a nutritional sense. Dates are also packed with essential vitamins, including vitamins B, A, K, and C. Moreover, they are a good source of potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, and other vital essential minerals.
Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits of Dates
Although dates were originally eaten as a primary food source in many regions of the world, they were also prized for their medicinal uses. Dates actually can be used for health benefits for all ages. Read below about them:
- Dates promote digestive health
Dates are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Fiber is vital for supporting the digestive system. The supply of fiber is needed by the digestive system to ensure the food transport through the GI tract (gastrointestinal tract). So, the increase of your fiber can be made very easy with date’s intake.
The food is being transported at a particular rate so that there is enough time for nutrients absorption by the GI tract, before the food starts to ferment and becomes a source of GI disturbances. You can use dates to help relieve occasional constipation as well. The fiber in dates supports bowel health and function.
- Dates regulate LDL cholesterol
The digestion is promoted by dates’ fiber, which also reduces the LDL cholesterol level that can be absorbed through the digestive tract. The consumption of fiber is also one of the top 10 ways to naturally lower cholesterol.
LDL cholesterol is often called the “bad” cholesterol. LDL cholesterol adhered to the blood vessels, and causes the blockages that lead to conditions related to heart diseases. LDL cholesterol may also be responsible for low grade inflammation in the blood vessel system.
- Dates alleviate the symptoms of peripheral neuropathy
The symptoms of peripheral neuropathy include: pain and numbness or weakness in the hands, feet, and the limbs. Peripheral neuropathy is a common complication frequently experienced by diabetic patients, and it occurs as a result of nerve damage. The condition is extremely hard to treat and most treatments are symptomatic and therefore aimed only at relieving the symptoms rather than treating the condition.
Date fruit extract shows promising for better protection of the body from peripheral neuropathy and for better treatment of some of its symptoms.
- Dates prevent clogging of arteries
Atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), the so called silent killer, is the biggest cause of strokes and heart attacks. This deadly condition occurs as a result of the narrowing and hardening of the arteries.
In atherosclerosis, plaque builds up on the artery walls causing blockages. Deadly blockages can appear if the plaque depart from the arteries that can block the blood flow to separate vital organs.
Dates are high in antioxidants and phenolic acids and these ingredients offer anti-atherogenic effects and prevent clogged arteries. The health benefits of dates are increased when they are taken in combination with pomegranate extract.
- Dates are excellent liver protection
Air pollutant, toxins, and the chemicals in your food can severely affect and even impair the health and function of your liver. Your liver is responsible for producing most of the compounds your body needs for good health. Your liver also filters your blood to remove waste products and toxins. These toxins and waste products can damage liver tissue.
Liver fibrosis is a consequence of wound healing that occurs in the liver as a result of liver damage. When the liver is damaged, connective tissue is formed as part of the healing process and excess collagen and other compounds build up in the liver affecting liver function.
Dates as well as date seed extract help to regulate and reduce the amounts of liver fibrosis that may occur, and it may therefore be helpful in disease like cirrhosis of the liver. You can even increase the positive effect of dates by consuming coffee from time to time. One study showed that liver fibrosis in patients significantly reduced after regular consumption of the date seed extract.
- Dates beat inflammation
Inflammatory processes rely on chemicals that can damage cells, tissues, and organs in your body.
Chronic or low grade inflammation is the root cause of many of the diseases we face such as: allergies, asthma and arthritis, and it may even play a role in the development and progression of certain types of cancer.
It is essential to include nutrients in your diet to help regulate and control the inflammatory processes of the body. Dates and date seed extract contain compounds that reduce the production of inflammatory cytokines that are responsible for inflammation.
If you have troubles with chronic diseases and inflammation, you would want to know about the significance of detoxifying your body. Many believe that the most important thing in the fight against a disease is detoxification because the unwanted toxicity is removed from the body and therefore the digestion is improved and the inflammation decreased.
- Dates improve the antioxidant protection
Antioxidant protection has become a vital part of any health routine. Every time you exercise or go to the gym, your body produces free radicals that can damage tissue. Pollutants are also a source of the free radicals that can damage the body.
Antioxidants have been shown to play a significant role in supporting the health. Dates contain a number of different compounds that provide added antioxidant protection for the body. Several studies have reported the antioxidant content of dates and demonstrated the presence of compounds with free radical scavenging activity.
- Dates support healthy pregnancy and delivery
In a study on pregnant women, date consumption increased cervical dilatation and it promoted spontaneous labor, which meant that fewer women needed to be induced.
- Dates boost cardiovascular health
Fiber not only supports the health of the digestive system, but also has a role in supporting cardiovascular health. Healthy amounts of fiber are vital for lowering cholesterol levels, for helping to control blood pressure levels, and for regulating blood glucose levels.
- Recommended Daily Value (RDV) of dates
Dates are very high in sugar content –66.5 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving of the fruit! Since it is recommended to lessen sugar consumption as much as possible, although it is fruit’s sugar, it is recommended is to eat only 3-4 dates daily.
Make this delicacy regular delicious part of your nutrition and enjoy in the health benefits of dates.
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