Sweet and packed with nutrition, it’s no surprise why dates were the staple food for thousands of years for the people living in the Middle East and the Indus Valley. In fact, ancient Egyptians had used dates to make date wine. The benefits of dates are indeed far-reaching, they are rich in antioxidants that prevent both cell damage and oxidative stress. Along with that, dates lower inflammation and are believed to kill intestinal worms when eaten on an empty stomach. Additionally, these fruits promote stronger bones, teeth and improved the immune system. At the same time, consuming dates aids in weight loss and is even said to cure dysentery. Let’s take a deeper look at the benefits of dates for the health.
Benefits of Dates
As we have briefly discussed, dates have many benefits for the body. It relieves constipation, helps with heart problems, treats intestinal disorders, regulates cholesterol levels, neutralises anaemia and sexual dysfunctions.
Studies have shown that date pulp extract promotes the gastrointestinal activity in the body. This, in turn, helps to maintain and improve the health of the intestinal tract. Additionally, consuming date pulp extract helps to treat constipation as well. Besides stimulating the bowel movement, the pulp of the fruit restores the mineral content deregulation that occurs during constipation. Moreover, the fibres in dates are also believed to prevent and lower the risk of cancers that might occur in the digestive system. Research has shown that an inadequate intake of fibre can actually cause constipation, this is one of the reasons why dates, being the rich source of fibre that they are, can prevent and treat constipation. It is advised that a person should be eating a minimum of 20 to 35 grams of fibre every day to ensure that their stools are bulky, soft and easily passed through the intestinal tract. Apart from eating dates, you should also limit the consumption of certain non-fibrous foods, as this will exacerbate your constipation, even if you are consuming dates on a regular basis.
Boost Cardiac Health
You don’t need to consume a bucket load of dates to maintain or improve your health. In fact, these fruits are packed with so many nutrients that just eating a handful of dates a day is said to greatly improve the health of your heart. This could be credited to the potent antioxidants that in dates that work to prevent atherosclerosis, which is a condition that causes arteries to get hard and clogged with plaque. This inadvertently restricts blood flow to vital organs and increases the risk of certain diseases including heart disease, heart attack and stroke. What’s more, dates also contain a high amount of heart-healthy isoflavones. These isoflavones work to prevent and lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Apart from this, the high fibre content in dates has been strongly associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease. If you are looking to lose weight, it would be helpful to note that the fibre in dates can help with managing your weight.
Regulates Blood Pressure
In addition to being high in fibre, dates are also extremely rich in potassium, a mineral and electrolyte that is needed to regulate heartbeat, breathing and maintain the upkeep of the muscles. Additionally, potassium helps to reduce blood pressure levels. In fact, it has been found that one date (the Medjool variety), contains about 167mg of potassium, which is significantly higher than the potassium found in most fruits. It’s important to note that a deficiency in potassium can actually lead to kidney stones. Besides the potassium that helps to regulate blood pressure, the high fibre content in dates also helps to stabilise the blood sugar levels in the body. This, in turn, helps to neutralise most of the effects of sodium in the diet and works to lower the blood pressure. In addition to maintaining blood pressure, the magnesium in dates relax the muscles in the heart and blood vessels, both of which help to stabilise the blood pressure.
Keeps Skin Youthful
In addition to being high in fibre and potassium, dates are also rich in vitamin C and D. These work to improve the skin’s elasticity, keep the skin taut and maintain the youthful appearance of the skin. What’s more, the palm kernel extract found in dates can help to stall age-related skin issues such as wrinkles, fine lines or saggy skin. In fact, the phytohormones in palm kernel extract are said to exhibit higher anti-ageing effects compared to any other foods out there, it is even said that the extracts found in dates can combat wrinkles.
The Bottom Line
It’s clear that dates have numerous benefits for our skin and the overall health of the body. However, consuming dates to reap their benefits is just the first step. Maintaining a healthy diet and an active lifestyle also work hand-in-hand to keep you healthy.