Dates – A Divine Fruit
Dates are a proof that nature always wanted you to relish sweet things, but in a healthy manner. Dates although feared by many in the fitness space have multi-fold benefits for the human body. It’s a wholesome food which can be a part of most of our diets. Dates are considered as a superfood and are consumed in many cultures and regions.
Dates arrived in India because of the ancient trade relations between Oman and India. According to the 10th century Arab traveller – Abu Al Masudi, the sailors from Oman had a good knowledge of the sea-travel and they were experts in finding the paths through astronomy. Because of this quality, they were hired by merchants who wanted to travel to China and other Asian countries. The sea voyage from Oman to the Southern coast of India used to be of around 35 days. And during their visit, they used to barter high quality dates for spices and silk from India.
Today dates are feared as a fattening food, not suitable for diabetics etc. However its necessary to understand that dates cannot be blamed for what a wrong lifestyle has caused. If you have put on weight, then it’s not because of dates, it’s because of a faulty lifestyle. Dates can in fact very much be a part of your healthy diet with an active lifestyle and you can still continue to lose weight. Let’s rise above our fear and understand the health benefits dates offer :
Let’s understand how these amazing dry fruit is adding a powerhouse of nutrition and health benefits :
Here’s how it could benefit our health
- Strengthens the bones
Rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, dates help preserve bone density which in turn keeps us from developing painful ailments like osteoporosis. It’s helpful in maintaining bone mineralization and calcium balance. It also reduces the risks of fractures.
Magnesium governs over 300 functions in the human body, which is abundantly found in dates.
2. Rich in iron :
Dates are one of the richest sources of iron that can help boost haemoglobin levels. Iron deficiency is common today among rural as well as urban women and this deficiency could lead to multiple health problems like lack of energy, hormonal issues, low immunity, hair fall, pale skin, risk of abortion during pregnancy. Iron rich dates keep up the haemoglobin levels and boost Red blood cell production. Dates are eaten by most pregnant mothers for the maintenance of iron levels as well as support the growth and development of the growing foetus. Dates also contain copper, a trace mineral that helps boost iron absorption.
3.Rich in fibre :
Dates are perfectly designed by nature. It is rich in natural sugars, but also rich in dietary insoluble fibre. The fibre in dates helps slow down the rate at which sugar can get absorbed into the bloodstream. The fibre also helps in alleviating constipation and supports bowel movement.
Diabetes should not fear dates. They rather eat them in moderation , 1-2 a day, coupled with nuts/seeds for fat and fibre to lower the overall glycemic load. Infact dates are a rich source of vitamin B1 aka Thiamine, which is a superfood for a diabetic suffering from neuropathy and tingling sensations in their limbs. Dates thus improves neurological function, nerve damage, clotting of blood and usage of protein in the human body.
4.Boost energy levels
Dates are a clean source of sugar and good calories. This makes dates, a preferred source of instant energy that’s often used as a preworkout, for weak and sick individuals. Dates are often suggested as the first food to eat when one is breaking his/her fast as it helps in quick replenishment of energy and glycogen stores that tends to deplete towards the last leg of fasting. When we are about to break our fast, our cells start acting like sponges, ready to receive nutrition and thus dates serve as the best food for our body that time.
5.Preserves healthy functioning of the heart
The antioxidants present in dates reduce the bad cholesterol LDL and increase the good cholesterol level HDL, thereby unclogging the arteries and increasing chances of preventing heart attacks and strokes. It is also beneficial for high blood pressure as its rich in mineral potassium
Potassium present in dates allows a good amount of oxygen to reach the brain thereby enhancing neural activity. Also, regular consumption of Dates has shown a slowdown in the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
7.Improves skin and hair
Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, dates keep the skin moisturized and improves its elasticity.
Note : Since dates are rich in potassium, one must consume with caution incase of a kidney disease and/or high potassium levels.
So enjoy your dates in moderation, eat it at the right times, choose good quality and reap the health benefits it packed with. A lot of dates in the market come glazed with sugar to make it look shiny and stick, so we must be aware of the source and quality.
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