The fact of the matter is there are many foods out there that give us plenty of benefits if eaten on a regular basis and date fruits are just one of these foods. We often hear how good dates are for us…but has anyone actually told you why? With Ramadan around the corner and my newly published Date Bread recipe, I thought it was fitting to discuss the many benefits of dates. Here I present to you 6 good reasons why you should eat even more dates this Ramadan! Or just in general!
- Promote Digestive Health– Staying regular is important! With 8g (per 100g of dates) of mostly insoluble fiber, you definitely can’t go wrong! It is recommended we take 24 g of fiber on a daily basis, starting with a serving of dates can give you upwards of 30% of your intake for the day. This amount of fiber can help relieve constipation, promote digestive and colon health and can help reduce risks of colon cancer and hemorrhoids.
- Promote Heart Health – We all know that fiber is amazing for gut health, but did you know that fiber can help promote heart health by lowering LDL cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure? Aside from the fiber, dates have 3 times more potassium than Banana’s (gram for gram), another reason why they promote heart health. Getting enough potassium in your diet is essential to maintaining regular heart beat rhythms.
- Reduce Blood Pressure – The key to maintaining healthy blood pressure is having a healthy balance of sodium and potassium in our diets, among other things of course. These days, our diets are much too high in sodium, and much too low in potassium. Dates can balance that scale by delivering 3 times more potassium than Bananas and virtually no sodium content. Dates are also a notable source of magnesium, a mineral known to help lower blood pressure!
- An Energy Powerhouse- Dates are packed with around ~300 calories (per 100g) and ~30g (EACH!) of ooey gooey goodness mainly consisting of glucose and fructose making them a powerhouse of energy. Foods like this are great at promoting healthy weight. How can something so high in sugar be good for weight you ask? Dates are the perfect little pick me up snack that you can eat in between meals and before workouts to keep the body fueled and energized. This can help prevent other unhealthy snacks from making their way into your diet. Aside from the energy they provide, dates also deliver B-vitamins; essential vitamins needed to regulate and fuel your metabolism!
- A Good Source of Minerals – Dates are known for being a good source of Potassium (20%DV/100g) and Magnesium (15%DV/100g), as I have mentioned before, but they also contain notable amounts of Iron and copper. On its own magnesium is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and an ability to lower blood pressure while Iron is an essential part of our diets and helps those with conditions such as Iron-deficiency Anemia.
- Strengthen your Immune System – One of the major vitamins found in dates is Vitamin C, something we all know to play a crucial role in our immune system! To give dates another edge (as if they aren’t fabulous enough already?!), they are also a good source of antioxidants; Disease fighting compounds that help prevent or slow cell damage caused by free radicals within our bodies. (Free radicals are formed due to exposure to oxygen while we breath!).
So there you have it! If you eat dates already, keep doing what you’re doing, your body commends you. If not, add a few walnuts to your date bowl and then hop on the bandwagon!
Photo Credit: http://www.patrongroups.com/dates