Dates are nutritional powerhouse rich in fiber, various nutrients, and antioxidants. They can be consumed as dried fruits or fresh fruits and helps treat various conditions due to their anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Most people consider dates as snacks or a sweet treat without understanding their significance to the body. Dates are believed to have originated in the Middle Eastern area of Iraq. Regardless of their origin, dates offer support to the human body in various ways. Here are the amazing health benefits of dates.
Promote Brain Health
Dates can improve brain function. According to laboratory studies, dates help lower inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are linked to a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Other studies have also found that dates can reduce the activity of amyloid beta proteins which tend to form plaques in the brain. Accumulation of plaque in the brain result in communication disturbance between brain cells which lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s diseases. The high levels of antioxidants in dates are responsible for reducing inflammation in the brain.
Controls Blood Pressure
One outstanding property of dates is that their sodium level is so low it can be considered negligible while they have more than enough potassium. Since dates are high in potassium, they promote excretion of sodium and excess water regulating blood volume and blood pressure.
Preserve Healthy Intestinal Microbiome
The intestine is naturally inhabited by diverse microorganisms, some of which are essential for human survival and health, and for breakdown and assimilation of nutrients. At times these micro-organisms become suppressed due to disease or medication. Eating dates ensures that these bacteria get sufficient nutrition. Dates have soluble fiber which is converted into pre-biotic nutrition for these bacteria to ensure proper replication and colonization of the intestine.
Support a Healthy Pregnancy
Dates form an excellent part of the pregnant woman’s meal. They help pregnant women through their calories. When pregnant, you require about 300 calories more than your non-pregnant peer. Choosing high calories foods that are low in nutrients is the worst mistake you can make. That’s why you need dates. They are high in calories and are nutrient-dense too. Additionally, studies show that consuming dates in the last four weeks before labor can result in more favorable outcomes. Plus, dates strengthen the muscles of the uterus in the last months of pregnancy.
Promote Healthy Weight Gain
Dried fruits tend to be high in sugar, protein and many essential vitamins and minerals. In fact, they have high fiber content which is important in weight management. Natural dates can be easily acquired from the stores and make for a healthy and delicious snack. An animal study found that dates may aid in weight gain. Since this study is limited, more human studies are required to confirm how dates help in weight gain.
Source of Energy
Dates are an excellent source of natural sugars like glucose, sucrose, and fructose. Consuming them increases your energy level which can be attributed to this high sugar content. People eat natural low-fat dates as a quick afternoon snack when they are feeling lethargic to help bump up energy levels fast. A study published in the International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition stated that dates rich in essential nutrients may help regain your energy immediately. Even the Islam group break their fasting by eating dates along with water to boost the energy.
Treat Sexual Dysfunction
Dates palm pollen and its oil have been found to have some effects on sexual functioning. It was reported that high levels of estradiol and flavonoid in dates help increase sperm count and motility. An Indian study stated that date palm pollens have been used to treat male infertility in traditional medicine. Therefore, in case you want to boost libido and sexual function, you may consider consuming organic dates due to their aphrodisiac like properties.
Dates can be consumed in several ways which include: You can eat them like a stuffed snack or include them in nuts such as walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pecans. You can mix diced dates with breakfast cereals. You can also add dates to tuna or chicken salad and other vegetables. Finally, you can serve diced dates with frozen vanilla yogurt. But the simplest is to enjoy them as they are. Remember there is no nutritional difference between dried or fresh dates. The only difference is that dried dates have double amount of carbohydrates than fresh dates. Dates are very healthy fruits and a good addition to your diet.
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