Food and Health: Great Reasons You Should Start Eating Dates

Often associated with desserts, dates are a nutritious fruit proven to provide tons of amazing health benefits. It comes from the date palm tree that is grown in plenty of tropical regions around the globe. Typically sold dried, dates are widely used as a natural sweetener for healthy desserts and meals. You can combine it with seeds and nuts to make healthy energy balls and snack bars, blend them into oatmeal and smoothies, or use them to sweeten up sauces like marinades and salad dressings.

But just like any other food, dates should be consumed in moderation because of their sweet taste and high-calorie count. To find out more about this versatile fruit and the amazing health benefits it offers, read the next sections.

Boost energy

Since dates are rich in natural sugars, eating them can give you a quick energy boost for the day. This is a great alternative for drinking cups of coffee. You can conveniently buy dried dates and have them as snacks. But if you don’t like eating them plain, you can also opt to include them in your oatmeal bars or energy balls to get that mid-day energy you need.

Promote brain health

Improving brain function is another great health benefit of eating dates. Several laboratories suggest that dates provide possible protection against inflammatory markers in the brain such as interleukin 6 (IL 6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). High levels of these inflammatory markers can potentially lead to neurodegenerative illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD). While this hasn’t been confirmed by more studies, dates show the ability to fight oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain.

Improve skin

Dates are known for their high levels of vitamin A and antioxidants like tannins, helpful for making the skin glow in a healthy and natural way, and preventing oxidation and cell damage. It is also rich in vitamin C, which can help improve skin elasticity. Want to keep those fine lines and wrinkles at bay? Including dates in your diet can help you with that since they also come with anti-aging properties. With their nutrients, dates are a perfect option for people who want to have smoother and softer skin.

Strengthen bones

Dates are known for being rich in magnesium, copper, and selenium, which are crucial nutrients to prevent bone-related disorders and promote overall bone health. The fruit also contains vitamin K that can help metabolize the bones and regular blood coagulation. With the combination of such minerals in dates, you won’t have to worry about not getting enough vitamin D from food or sunlight for bone health. Including dates in your diet also helps in preventing or fighting off existing osteoporosis.

Prevent certain illnesses

If you want to keep your heart healthy, dates are also a great addition to your diet. This fruit is high in potassium and antioxidant properties that play a significant role in preventing the development of cardiac diseases and atherosclerosis. Basically, antioxidants protect our cells from free radicals, which can cause bad reactions to the body or even cause a disease. Some of the most potent antioxidants in dates are phenolic acid (to prevent risks of certain types of cancer and cardiac issues), carotenoids (to reduce risks of macular degeneration), and flavonoids (to minimize the impact of arthritis and diabetes.

Dates are also among the few healthy fruits that can help prevent acid reflux, which is a common ENT symptom. Controlling your level of acidity is essential for also preventing heartburn, so only consume safe fruits such as dates. Nevertheless, if you experience such symptoms, make sure to consult an ENT doctor or specialist or your trusted physician.

Help ease natural labor

Apart from preventing risks of certain diseases, dates are also said to help ease late-term labor for pregnant women. Eating dates in the last few weeks of pregnancy can potentially reduce the need for induced labor or labor time. One study found out that women who eat dates less likely needed medical intervention to induce compared to ones who didn’t. Furthermore, it is also found out that 90% of women who consume dates also had spontaneous labor compared to non-date eaters.

Dates are indeed a great source of various antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients, making them an undeniably healthy addition to your diet. And luckily for you, there are tons of recipes out there that shows how you can use dates in several dishes and desserts. Just make sure to eat them in moderation, or consult your physician if you can add them to your particular diet.

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