Why did the tomato go out with the prune? … Because he couldn’t find a date!
Brown, sticky and covered in wrinkles, dates might not look like the most appetizing fruits, but they pack a nutritional punch. Dates are commonly picked between February and March in Arizona and California. They can be eaten fresh or dried, and worked easily into desserts and meals. Believe it or not, dates actually grow from palm trees and they can come in a few different varieties.
As mentioned dates are nutritional powerhouses. Dates can provide you with essential vitamins such as A, C, K, E, B2 and B6. They contain potassium and fiber, both essential for good health, which can aid in health issues such as blood pressure.
One pitted date contains no fat, no cholesterol, and no sodium. Likewise one pitted date only provides 20 calories, making it a great snack for someone looking to lose or maintain weight.
One thing to look out for is their sugar content. Although natural, one pitted date has 4.5 grams of sugar, which is definitely something to be mindful of when considering your diet as a whole.
|Dates Nutrition Facts||Nutrient Value for per 100 g|
Total Fat0.15 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 6.7 g
|Vitamins||VitaminA 149 IU
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin K 2.7 µg
Riboflavin 0.060 mg
Pyridoxine 0.249 mg
|Minerals||Calcium 64 mg
Iron 0.90 mg
Magnesium 54 mg
Phosphorus 62 mg
|Electrolytes||Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 696 mg
Based on their nutritional content alone you can see how dates can benefit your health. But let’s further explore the health benefits of dates:
Constipation: We know that if we’re backed up fiber is essential. Dates can relieve constipation due to their fiber content. Dates are so effective that they are often referred to as a laxative food – so you may want to limit your intake. For dates to be most effective in relieving constipation, leave dates soaking overnight in water. A syrup will develop that you can drink the next day.
Anemia: Anemia is a condition resulting from a lack of iron. Dates provide adequate amounts of iron to ensure your levels stay healthy. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue and weakness.
Weight management: As mentioned, one pitted date has no fat or cholesterol. They are a healthy snack you can enjoy to maintain a healthy weight.
Energy: With their natural sugar content – as well as iron – dates can provide energy. If you encounter the 3 p.m. crash, reach for some dates to keep you going.
Bone health: Dates contain the essential minerals needed for proper bone health as well as strength. Enjoying dates regularly can help strengthen bones and ward off bone-related illnesses.
Heart health: With no added cholesterol, dates are safe for your heart. They have no sodium so they won’t increase blood pressure. And the potassium in dates is also effective in combating blood pressure issues.
Diarrhea: Dates can help relieve diarrhea, too. This is because of their potassium content. Dates are easy to digest, so they won’t cause further digestive distress.
Cholesterol: With no added cholesterol dates are a great snack option. Their fiber content promotes healthy cholesterol.
Eye health: Dates contain the necessary nutrients for your eyes. In particular, dates may help improve night vision.
The above nine benefits are enough to make you want to eat them all the time! Dates are a great way to get your essential vitamins and minerals.
Because of their sweet flavor, dates can be a great healthy addition to baked goods as well as bread. Try substituting common baking ingredients with dates for an added health kick.
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