Benefits of Dates
1. High in fibre, which can benefit your digestive health and controlling your blood sugar levels. The high fibre in dates may even be used to ease constipation, and help you feel fuller for longer.
2. High in potassium, which is one of the seven sessional macro minerals that the human body requires. Potassium reduces the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, and supports bone strength and muscle strength.
3. High in vitamins such as calcium, magnesium, manganese, and iron.
4. Rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols which can help reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and protect your cells from free radicals.
5. Great source of energy because of their natural sugars, yet they have a low glycemic index which means they do not cause a significant spike in blood sugar, and therefore are safe even for individuals with diabetes.
6. Can help promote natural labour. Dates have been used for generations near the end of pregnancy to promote and ease late-term labour.
7. The low water and high sugar content of dates give them a long shelf life. Dates can be stored for many months in the pantry or fridge, and even longer if frozen.
History of Dates:
The date palm (pheonix dactylifera) is the oldest known cultivated tree, and is believed to have originated in the Middle East as far back as 7000 years ago. It is estimated that there are over 3000 varieties of dates, including the most popular varieties: Mejdool, Deglet Noor, Honey, and Barhi dates. Over 6 million tons of dates are produced in the Middle East and North Africa alone each year. Dates require hot and arid environments to grow, and are an important traditional crop in Iraq, Iran, Morocco, and Arabia. They have also recently been cultivated in a few North American regions, such as southern California, Arizona, Florida, and some regions of Mexico. The name ‘date’ comes from the Greek word daktulos, which means ‘finger’, because of the elongated shape of the fruit. Dates are a large part of Middle Eastern and Islamic culture, and are mentioned in both the Bible and the Qur’an multiple times. Dates are also traditionally the first food consumed by Muslims after breaking fast during Ramadan, and are used in many popular desserts and dishes.