Dates or khajoor is an important palm crop of ancient origin which grew in the middle east, especially in the dessert. The fruit is an oblong berry, reddish or yellowish brown when ripe. It contains a seed which is cylindrical, hard with a longitudinal furrow.
Health Benefits of Dates
• Dates are a good source of energy, vitamins, and important elements such as phosphorus, iron, potassium, and a significant amount of calcium. Besides nutritional value, date fruits are rich in phenolic compounds possessing free radical scavenging and antioxidant activity.
• Dates are high in fiber, which may be beneficial for preventing constipation and controlling blood sugar control.
• Dates contain several types of antioxidants that may help prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
• Dates may be helpful for lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which is important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
• Dates are a healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to their sweet taste, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.
• Dates contain several minerals, including phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. All of these have been studied for their potential to prevent bone-related conditions like osteoporosis.
• Dates are comprised of a large proportion of simple sugars, being mainly in the form of glucose and fructose, which are used heavily for energy by the body. Due to simple sugar, it is avoided by diabetic patients, as it will increase glucose level fast.
• Dates can also play an important role in delaying macular degeneration of the eye as a result of ageing, helping preserve vision for a longer time.
• A variety of Dates named Hallawi variety also possesses a greater proportion of catechins, compounds related to those in tea that has a cholesterol-lowering effect. They simultaneously reduce levels of the bad cholesterol LDL, and raise the concentration of good HDL, even though they have a relatively high sugar level. In addition, dates also prevent oxidation of cholesterol, which in turn reduces the likelihood of atherosclerotic deposits getting larger in blood vessels. This 1-2 punch can reduce the incidence of heart disease significantly.
• Since dates are rich in potassium but not sodium, it creates a scenario that promotes the excretion of sodium and excess water, regulating blood volume and blood pressure.