Traditionally, date fruits have been referred in the Bible, Quran and other religious texts as miracle fruits due to their health benefits.
It is said that breaking fast with them is beneficial, and Muslims break Ramadan fast by consuming them.
Over the years, scientists have probed the numerous pharmacological effects of dates, and uncovered the many ways it can benefit people’s health.
Key Nutrient Facts
These miracle fruits are an ideal superfood that contains most essential nutrients.
According to the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, dates contain the following nutrients based on a 100-gram serving.
- Calories 282
- Fat 4 g
- Cholesterol 0
- Sodium 2 mg
- Potassium 656 mg
- Protein 5 g
- Carbs 75 g
- Dietary fiber 8 g
- Sugar 63 g
- Calcium 3%
- Iron 5%
- Vitamin B6 10%
- Magnesium 10%
The seeds of dates are said to contain 14 different types of fatty acids.
Each date is also packed with 22 types of amino acids including some not present in popular fruits like oranges, apple, and bananas .
It’s also rich in 15 minerals, including selenium, which is believed to prevent cancer. They also contain pectin, which helps regulate cholesterol .
To the skeptics who still doubt dates’ nutritional value, it’s a must to know that the health benefits of these fruits have now been scientifically confirmed.
Below, you will find some of their proven health benefits.
1. Dates can Help Reduce the Risk of Cancer
With modern advancements in medical technology, it’s puzzling why cancer rates have not gone down.
How come more and more people are still being diagnosed with different forms of cancer each year?
Here’s a natural remedy that can help reduce the risk of this serious and potentially fatal disease:
Include dates in your daily diet.
Researchers have established the link between this compound and a lower risk of cancer .
In a study by University of California Riverside biochemists, apigenin activated protein p53, which is a confirmed tumor suppressor that kills cancer cells .
Apigenin was also found to be effective in treating leukemia as scientists discovered that it induced natural cell death (apoptosis) in U937 leukemia cells .
- Cancer can help protect against cancer.
- It contains an active compound called apigenin, which causes death in cancer cells.
- It also works in reducing cancer risk with its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic activities.
2. Dates can Relieve Constipation with its High Fiber Content
Do you have trouble passing bowels?
It’s possible that you’re constipated.
According to WebMD, constipation is a condition that causes few bowel movements, straining, hard stools, swollen abdomen, abdominal cramping and vomiting.
It can be caused by excessive consumption of dairy products, taking of antacids, stress, changes in diet or routine, eating disorders, insufficient intake of water, and certain conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome or multiple sclerosis.
Lack of fiber in one’s diet is another possible cause of constipation.
This is how dates can help.
Dates are found to have laxative properties due to their fiber content.
The American Dietetic Association recommends at least 30 to 38 grams of fiber intake for men and 21 to 25 grams for women per day .
Dates contain soluble as well as insoluble fiber which helps improve digestion and stimulate bowel movements .
However, there is conflicting research regarding the usefulness of fiber for relieving constipation.
For some individuals, a low-fiber diet improved constipation .
You may wish to experiment with different levels of fiber consumption to see what feels best for you.
- Dates can decrease constipation due to their fiber content.
- However, due to conflicting evidence, it is best for each individual to decide on the best type and volume of fiber to consume.
3. Dates can Alleviate Inflammation-Related Ailments
When invaders try to infect the body’s systems, it puts on a defense mechanism otherwise known as inflammation.
This is the body’s way of getting rid of foreign contaminants such as viruses, bacteria and fungi.
Although it helps in speeding up healing of infections, it can cause pain and distress.
If you’d like to alleviate inflammation-related ailments, it would help to consume more dates.
Dates contain magnesium, which has been established in scientific literature to have anti-inflammatory properties .
Magnesium consumption reduces inflammation markers in the body such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) and C-Reactive Protein .
It also decreases inflammation in the arterial walls .
In addition, the magnesium in these fruits makes bones stronger and improves metabolism .
In seven studies conducted over a 14-year period, consumption of 100 mg/per day of magnesium reduced the probability of stroke by over 9 percent .
- Dates are an excellent source of magnesium, which has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
- These anti-inflammatory properties help in reducing the risk of inflammation-related ailments such as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and arthritis, among others.
4. Dates are Beneficial for Pregnant Women
Pregnancy brings many unpleasant symptoms such as back pain, vomiting, nausea, and unusual food cravings or aversions.
Before it is over, a woman gets to experience distressing pain during labor and delivery.
It’s good to know that natural remedies like dates can help.
In a study that can be found in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, it was reported that pregnant women who consume dates have shorter and more natural labor .
Results also reveal that 96 percent of the women who consumed dates had spontaneous labour .
Interestingly, dates have also reduced the usage of pain-relieving drugs by 28 percent .
In another study, it was found that women who ate dates regularly had less damage to membranes and improved cervical dilation .
Dates are believed to strengthen uterine walls, improve lactation in new mothers and help women get through postpartum depression more easily .
- Consumption of dates during pregnancy shortens labor and leads to natural labor.
- Women who consume dates are less likely to use pain relieving drugs during labor and delivery, and experienced better cervical dilation.
- Dates are also said to help women in coping with postpartum depression.
5. Dates can Boost Skin Health
It’s true what they say that the condition of your skin indicates the condition of your overall health.
If your skin is dry and rough, it’s possible that you’re deficient in certain nutrients that the body needs to stay in top shape.
Dates are rich in vitamins A, C, E, K, B2, and B6, and as you know, vitamins C and E are particularly good for the skin .
Dry dates, meanwhile, are a rich source of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), which rejuvenates the skin cells by repairing damage due to free radicals.
- Rich in essential nutrients that are good for the skin, dates can help in skin regeneration, resulting in better skin and overall health.
6. Dates are a Good Remedy for Anemia
Anemia, which is the most prevalent blood disease in the United States, affects more than 3 million people, reports WebMD.
This condition occurs when there’s insufficient level of hemoglobin in the blood.
Hemoglobin is a component of the red blood cells that’s responsible for binding oxygen.
This is why, people who have anemia get exhausted easily.
Their organs are not getting enough blood flow to function normally.
One way to resolve this condition is with iron supplementation.
A serving of 100 grams of dates supplies up to 11 percent of your recommended daily allowance for iron.
Iron, which helps facilitate transferring of oxygen in the blood, prevents and treats anemia.
Due to their rich iron content, dates also improve blood flow to the scalp, stimulating healthy hair growth.
- Drinking date syrup can reduce anemia and increase levels of red blood cells.
7. Dates can Help Improve Vision
Any condition that affects your vision is a cause for concern.
Some of the most common vision problems include nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and retinal detachment.
The first three conditions cause blurry vision while retinal detachment brings on a sensation of darkness or black floating spots.
If you’d like to make sure none of these conditions affect your eyesight, make it a habit to snack on dates.
Dates have been found to contain lutein and zeaxantine.
These two are considered essential eye vitamins due to their beneficial effects on the eye retina and macula.
These vitamins prevent damage to the macula, which deteriorates with age.
Thus, eating this fruit can improve your eyesight and reduce the damage to macula.
It’s also important to note that the nerve cells in your eyes require vitamin C to function properly .
Dates contain vitamin C, which means that regular consumption of dates could lead to better vision .
- Dates can improve your vision and prevent damage to the retina and macula.
8. Dates can Help Boost Sexual Health and Performance
Not feeling enough energy in the bedroom?
Lack of sexual drive can have adverse effects on one’s relationship.
Fortunately, this can be resolve with the help of dates, which according to experts, are “high-energy foods”.
Dates are packed with natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose.
When soaked in fresh goat milk and taken the next day with honey and cardamom, dates can serve as a good tonic for sexual endurance.
This was proven in a study in 2006, which revealed how the high levels of flavonoid and estradiol in date palms and their oil increase motility and sperm count .
Dates also increase the testes size and weight .
- Boost your sexual health and performance with dates, which have been confirmed to be an effective way to increase motility and sperm count.
9. Dates Enhance Brain Health
Various conditions can affect one’s brain.
Some of these include brain malformations, brain tumors, degenerative nerve diseases and so on.
One of the most common brain disorders that affect more than 5 million Americans is Alzheimer’s disease.
The Alzheimer’s Association defines this condition as a form of dementia that deteriorates the brain, causing problems with thinking, reasoning, memory and behavior.
It generally occurs in middle and old age.
Like other types of brain disorders, Alzheimer’s is so serious that it can interfere with a person’s daily life.
It’s a good thing this condition is preventable with foods that are rich in vitamin B6.
Research has shown that healthy B6 levels improve brain health .
Loaded with vitamin B6, dates are said to be an excellent source of this “brain vitamin”.
Potassium and other vitamins in dates also promote a healthy nervous system.
Finally, your brain functions on sugar, and dates are rich in natural sugar.
Regular consumption of this superfood can improve your alertness and reduce the effect of aging on neurological performance.
- Dates contain nutrients that help improve brain health and performance.
- These foods can ward off degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and many others.
10. Dates are Considered an Antidote for Allergies
Suffering from seasonal allergies?
Here’s a good remedy to put an end to your sneezing or skin allergies:
Dates contain organic sulfur, a rare element in foods that helps reduce allergic reactions.
Researchers confirmed that organic sulfur compounds have positive effects on people suffering from Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis (SAR), which affects around 23 million people in the United States .
- Dates can be effective remedy for seasonal allergies.
There’s no denying that dates have tremendous benefits for the health that people should know more about.
Use these fruits to keep ailments at bay, and keep yourself in top condition.