Dates refer to the fruits of the date palm tree. These are probably one of the oldest cultivated fruits and have been a part of the staple diet in the Middle Eastern countries. They are believed to have originated somewhere around the Persian Gulf. A typical date fruit is a drupe where the outer fleshy part surrounds a shell of hardened endocarp consisting of a seed inside. These fruits are oval to cylindrical in shape and about 3 to 7 cm long. Unripe fruits are bright yellow or red in color. On ripening, they become brown and shriveled, resembling a prune. There are several varieties of dates which can be categorized into three groups on the basis of their sugar content- soft, semi-dry and dried dates. All varieties of dates are same in all respects except slight differences in taste and size.
Dates can be consumed in both fresh and dried forms. They are sweet with a rich deep flavor and a slightly chewy texture. Though most of the varieties have seeds, pitted dates (dates with seeds removed) are also available. They can be chopped, candied, stuffed and added to various recipes. They are used in several recipes in the Middle East such as stuffed dates, date nut bread, ma’amoul etc. Besides their rich taste, they are a powerhouse of nutrition that can greatly boost your energy. Muslims break their fast with dates in the holy month of Ramadan. They make a great combination of taste and health.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATE FRUIT
The rich nutritional content of dates makes them beneficial for your health in several ways. The various health benefits of date fruits are as follows:
- Treatment of Constipation
- Treatment of Diarrhoea
- Treatment of Intestinal Disorder
- Treatment of Night Blindness
- Treatment of Intoxication
- Maintain Healthy Nervous System
- Good for Heart
- Promote Weight Gain
- Dental health
- Beneficial for Pregnant Women
SKIN BENEFITS OF DATES FRUIT
The rich nutritional value of dates makes them beneficial for your skin too. Some of the amazing skin care benefits of date palm fruits are given below.
- Maintenance of Healthy Skin
- Anti-ageing Benefits
HAIR BENEFITS OF DATES
Hair follicles also require adequate nutrition for their proper growth and maintenance. Regular consumption of dates can be beneficial for your hair.
- Healthy Hair
NUTRITIONAL VALUE OF DATES
Dates are a powerhouse of nutrition comprising of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre but no sodium at all. The chart given below shows that dates are nutrient dense as well.
- Calories: Dates are high in calories with 100 grams of date flesh providing up to 314 calories.
- Proteins and Fat: Dates are low in proteins and fat but high in sugars, which mainly comprise of fructose and glucose. Date seeds have a higher content of fat (9 grams/100 grams) and protein (5.1 grams/ 100 grams) in comparison to the flesh.
- Vitamins: Dates are moderate sources of vitamin A with 100 grams serving providing 149 International Units (IU) of this vitamin. They also contain adequate levels of B complex vitamins such as pyridoxine (vitamin B6), niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin as well as vitamin K.
- Minerals: Dates are a rich source of minerals like selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium and iron. They contain abundant amounts of potassium with 100 grams serving providing 696 mg or 16% of the daily recommended levels of this electrolyte. They are also an excellent source of iron, providing 0.90 mg in 100 grams serving which is 11% of the recommended daily intake.
Don’t just go by the size of the fruit. Dates are tiny powerhouses when it comes to health benefits. Make this delicious fruit a part of your daily diet and nourish your health and beauty!