We are cautioned against eating sweets, especially while trying to lose weight or to get healthier in general. But if anyone is on a health kick and still has a craving for something sweet, there stands one delicious treat, that’s ‘dates’. The dates have a wide range of health benefits.
Dates are chewy and sweet fruit packed with lots of minerals, vitamins and fibre. They grow on date palm trees, also known as Phoenix Dactylifera, widely cultivated across northern and southern Africa and the Middle East. They need tropical climates to grow.
The dates are often used as substitutes to sugar in baking and other recipes. But the best part about them is not their sweet taste, but their nutritive value, and if it is continuously eaten every day, it may improve overall health.
According to research done by the Oxford University, dates have the following health benefits:
Helpful in lowering blood pressure
Dates are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral that plays a significant role in maintaining normal blood pressure. It also relieves muscular pain and fatigue. Potassium is present in much healthy food such as banana peas, salmon and broccoli as well. One Majhoul Date can contain close to 160 milligrams of potassium. The fact is that dates are generally high in fibre which decreases blood pressure. The efficacy in the treatment of high blood pressure with natural foods is so high that Harvard University published a series of recommendations to treat the phenomenon drug-free which includes dates for blood pressure.
Good for anaemia
If someone has anaemia, dates with their high iron content can help overcome it. Usually fruits and vegetables, which are rich in iron, don’t taste good. But dates are good in flavour too. Dates may be sweet but they can provide as much iron as required for the body. Date syrup is given to kids who are anaemic.
Beneficial for pregnant women
A common belief among pregnant women is that dates can induce labour naturally and prevent delivery complications. Prospective study found that pregnant women who ate dates daily prior to their due date are more likely to go into labour without artificial inducement than women who don’t eat dates. The first stage of labour was shorter in those who ate dates in the week leading up to labor compared with those who did not eat them.
Help grow healthy hair
Hair follicles require adequate nutrition for proper growth and maintenance. Regularly eating dates can help in this regard as the dates contain vitamins in abundance, particularly vitamin B5, which is vital for the maintenance of healthy hair. Deficiency of this vitamin can cause problems like hair loss, brittle hair and split ends.
Eating dates regularly can help minimise these problems.
Help relieve constipation
Dates have fibre, which is good for the body. They provide 6.7 gram of fibre per hundred grams and a 100 gram serving of dates provides a whopping 8 gram of roughage. Most of the fibre present in dates is insoluble which is helpful in relieving constipation. Dates are a natural remedy for constipation. It is also supported by an animal that linked dates consumption to reduce gastric transit time. However, it is important to keep in mind that chronic constipation can sometimes be a sign of a more serious digestive disease.