Many people have heard of dates but are not familiar with the magical capabilities that dates have to positively influence human health. They have an excellent nutrition profile offering most of their calories from carbohydrates and a small amount of protein. Here’s a list of 10 great and wonderful benefits of dates.
What Are Dates Good For?
The best way to begin to combat constipation is by making a change in diet. Eating foods that contain fiber is one of the best ways to get things moving. Dates contain large amounts of fiber and eating them will help the bowels move with ease. Eating dates on a regular basis as well as drinking enough water can make your stools more normal and regular. (1)
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. Heart disease is exacerbated by a poor diet and little to no exercise. A diet low in GI (glycemic index) can decrease the risk of heart disease. Dates have a low GI despite their deliciously sweet taste! Eating dates is a great way to lower the chances of heart disease. (2)
3. Help Cholesterol
Too much cholesterol can affect our health in an adverse manner. Luckily, if your body has too much cholesterol, there is a way to lower it naturally, often without medication. Eating dates daily has been proven to lower cholesterol in the human body. (3) They also contain very low amounts of saturated and trans fat, making them a great alternative to unhealthy sweet treats.
4. Bone Health
Vitamin K can reduce bone turnover and improve bone strength. (4) It is recommended to consume 90 micrograms of vitamin K per day and dates contain 30 of those micrograms. So eating just 3 dates a day could go a long way in keeping your bones healthy and strong.
5. Blood Pressure
Just like dates help improve cardiac health, they can work in the same manner to regulate blood pressure. They are low in sodium, saturated and trans fats, and sugar. They can be a great addition to a regimen to lower high blood pressure. (5)
It can be a frustrating experience to deal with infertility. Many people who struggle with this can spend countless dollars on medication and procedures to try and reverse this condition. Oftentimes these measures are not effective and can cause more frustration than benefit. Before jumping to these measures, try eating more dates! Dates contain microelements such as estrone, sterols, and carotenoids that can actually influence male fertility. (6)
7. Brain Function
There are certain foods can actually prolong the natural loss of brain function that occurs with age. Foods that contain Omega-3s, B vitamins, vitamin E, vitamin C, choline, calcium, and iron do wonders for preserving the capabilities of the brain. (7) Dates are packed full of all of these vitamins and minerals. Eating dates is a great way to keep up the abilities of the brain.
8. Weight Gain
A good way to put on weight in a healthy way is to snack between mealtimes. Snacking is okay as long as what you’re munching on is good for you. (8) Fruit, such as dates, are an excellent option because they are nutritious and delicious.
9. Skin and Hair
A bad diet can result in poor skin and brittle hair. Dates are a great superfood that promotes healthy skin and strong hair. This is because they are rich in B vitamins and niacin. (9)
10. Great for Pregnant Women
Not only can dates provide essential nutrients for the fetus during pregnancy, but they can help relieve constipation and hemorrhoids during the 3rd trimester. (1) Dates are also known to have contractile properties, which help labor to move quickly and efficiently. Also, studies have shown that dates have a significant effect on cervical dilation. (10)
So, next time you’re at the grocery store, try picking up a pack of dates and see firsthand how they can help you.
Here are a few easy ways to incorporate dates into your diet.
- Blend pitted dates into a smoothie recipe. They will act as a natural sweetener.
- Bake dates into this fudge recipe.
- Mix diced dates into your morning oatmeal or cereal.
- Make a homemade trail mix with chopped dates, nuts and seeds, dark chocolate, etc.