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Dates are one of the best sweet and versatile foods that can regulate the digestive process. They can significantly boost energy levels within half an hour of consumption in individuals. More commonly, individuals who follow Islam and observe fasting, break their fast by eating dates along with water.
The American Cancer Society recommends in take of 20 to 35 grams of dietary fibre per day and this can be sufficiently supplied by dates. It is also said that taking one date per day will help you maintain your eye health. Dates are commonly known to be effective in guarding against night blindness.
Other benefits of dates include relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, heart problems, anaemia, sexual dysfunction, diarrhoea, abdominal cancer and a lot more other conditions. They are also useful for a healthy weight gain.
Dates are rich in several vitamins, minerals and fibre. These delicious fruits contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper and magnesium, which are all helpful to health. Some health specialist have said that eating one date per day is necessary for a balanced healthy diet.
TYPES OF DATES
There are several varieties of dates depending upon the cultivation. Some of the popular varieties of dates include the following :
- Medjool : This type has its origin in Morocco. They are large and extremely delicious with a rich toffee-like flavor.
- Barhi : This variety is native to Bagra in Iraq. They are round and mild amber or dark brown in colour. They have a thicker flesh and luxurious taste.
- Halaway : They are also native to Iraq and are incredibly sweet with sizes ranging from small to moderate.
- Dayri : Also known as the monastery date. These type are lengthy, slim and black in colour.
- Diglet Noor : This is one of the best varieties of dates available in Algeria and Tunisia. They are semi dry and not so sweet. These type are mostly used in cooking.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF DATES
Dates are a powerhouse of nutrients comprising of vitamins, minerals and fibre but no sodium.
Dates are high in calories with 100g of date flesh providing about 314 calories. They are low in proteins and fats but high in sugar, mainly fructose and sucrose. Date seeds have a higher content of fat (9g/100g) and protein (5.1g/100g) compares to the flesh.
Dates are moderate sources of vitamin A, with 100g providing about 149 IU. They contain adequate levels of vitamin B complex including pyridoxine, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin as well as vitamin K. They are a rich source of minerals like selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron. A 100g of dates contain abundant potassium (696mg or 16% if the daily recommended level), and Iron (0.9mg or 11% of daily recommended intake).
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES
Anaemia is characterised by unusually low quantity of red blood cells in the human body as a result of iron deficiency. Dates contain an impressive amount of iron which makes them a perfect home remedy for correcting iron deficiency anaemia. Consumption of dates on a regular basis greatly boost the amount of iron in the blood and will in addition to correcting anaemia, provide strength and vitality.
Treatment of Constipation
Dates can serve as a wonderful laxative for those suffering from constipation. They are rich in soluble fibre which plays an important role in promoting healthy bowel movements and comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract. All you need to do is soak the date in water overnight and eat the next morning like syrup to get the best results.
Prevents Abdominal Cancer
Abdominal cancers include stomach cancer, renal cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, pancreatic cancer, liver cancer and bowel or colorectal cancer. Research have shown that dates work to reduce the risk of and impact of abdominal cancers.
Prevention of Night Blindness
Daily consumption of dates helps in keeping the eyes healthy and also prevents against eye diseases like night blindness. A paste of date leaves can be ingested by mouth to reduce night blindness.
Treatment of Sexual Weakness
Dates are a natural aphrodisiac. Studies have shown that dates are helpful in increasing sexual stamina in couples suffering from sexual dysfunction. A handful of dates can be soaked in goat milk overnight and then ground along with cardamon powder and honey to serve as an effective natural tonic for increasing sexual endurance and reducing sterility in couples. In addition, dates contain estradiol and flavonoid which helps to increase sperm count and motility.