Dates are an ancient fruit, believed to have first been cultivated in what is now Iraq. While they are still important in Middle Eastern cuisine, they are now available throughout the world. They are popular because of their sweet taste, but they also offer a surprising number of health benefits.
Here are some of the ways dates support health:
Constipation: Dates have a laxative property, and help relieve constipation. For best results, soak them in water overnight.
Bone Health and Strength: Dates are high in minerals that strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Intestinal Disorders: Dates are high in nicotine, which is thought to cure many types of intestinal disorders. Eating dates inhibits growth of unhealthy organisms and supports friendly bacteria in the gut.
Anemia: Along with other minerals, dates are high in iron, which makes them a good dietary supplement for people suffering from anemia.
Allergies: Dates contain organic sulfur, which reduces allergic reactions and seasonal allergies.
Weight Gain: Dates have sugar, proteins and many essential nutrients. One kilogram of dates contains 3,000 calories, making dates a great food to eat if you want to gain weight.
Energy Booster: Dates are high in the natural sugars glucose, fructose and sucrose, and provide a quick burst of energy. People all over the world traditionally eat dates in the afternoon, when energy may lag.
Nervous System Health: The vitamins in dates boost nervous system health. Dates are rich in potassium, which supports a healthy and responsible nervous system, making dates a great food source for people as they age.
Healthy Heart: Dates contribute to heart health. Studies show potassium reduces the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. They reduce levels of LDL cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol).
Sexual Weakness: Studies show that dates increase sexual stamina. Some cultures soak a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk over night, then grind them in the same milk with a mixture of cardomen and honey, making a tonic. They have been found to increase sperm count and motility.
Night Blindness: Dates have been shown to reduce the frequency of night blindness, as well as other conditions that affect the ear, nose and throat.
Intoxication: Dates are frequently used as a remedy for alcoholic intoxication. They provide quick relief and a sobering effect, and they also prevent hangovers.
Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium, which is known as an effective treatment for controlling diarrhea. They are easy to digest, which helps control chronic diarrhea.
Abdominal Cancer: Research has indicated dates may reduce the risk and impact of abdominal cancer.
Although dates offer tremendous nutritional value, select them with care. Their sticky surface often attracts impurities. Buy dates that have been processed and packaged properly. Wash them thoroughly before you eat them.