Dates nutrition and its health benefits
Dates nutrition facts-Dates also known as Khajoor) are known for their immense health benefits. Many scientific studies have supported the health benefits of dates. These are mostly grown in tropical areas. The term date derives from the Greek word daktulos, which means fingers.
History says that Date fruits- a candy-flavoured delicious dark fruits- found its origins in Iraq, but it is also said that Egyptians used to make wine with dates a lot earlier. However, today it is found in almost all countries, including Spain, Northern Africa, Mexico, California, and Southwest Asia because of trade. India is the largest importer of date fruits in the world. Dates are cultivated in the Kachchh district of Gujarat. Currently, the largest producers of date fruits in the world are Iran. You can get freshest dates in the early winter and the fall as usually, farmers harvest them during this season.
You can eat Dates dried or fresh. These are much like raisins. You can also add them to a variety of sweet and savoury dishes.
So, let’s read in detail about the nutritional content of dates, its health benefits and downsides.
Nutritional Content in Dates
Dates are the most sought-after foods in the world due to their umpteen health benefits. They are an exceptional source of vitamins, minerals, sugar, energy, and fibre. They also have iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.
Deglet Noor dates are the most common dates that have high nutritional value and people can get these easily in the market. Other nutritious dates are Medjool dates and they look a bit larger than Deglet Noor dates.
Health Benefits of Dates
Filled with a myriad of nutrients, dates improve brain functionality, reduce the risk of cancer, aid healthy bowel movements, avoid microbial infections, help to combat diabetes and promote heart health.
Rich in Potassium
Although dates have plenty of nutrients, they are especially rich in potassium and dietary fibre. 100 grams of dates contain 656 mg of potassium which is 15 percent of the daily requirement. Potassium is an electrolyte that the body requires for optimal heart health. They also help in the making of muscles and proteins in the body.
High in Fiber
As per USDA data, 100 grams of dates comprise 6.7 gram of dietary fibre which is 24% of daily recommended intake. A good amount of dietary fibre makes a person feel fuller for longer. In this way, it helps in losing excess weight by targetting binge-eating.
High in Phosphorus
They also contain a good amount of phosphorus that is 62 mg in 100 grams serving, which is 9 percent of ROI. Phosphorus is required for the formation of teeth and bones.
High in Polyphenols
Polyphenols are micronutrients that are filled with antioxidants. Polyphenols help treat digestion issues, diabetes, weight management, heart problem, and neurodegenerative disease. According to a study, dates contain a significant amount of polyphenols.
A great alternative to unhealthy sweet things- Dates contain natural sugars, which make it a perfect sweet snack for people who love eating sweet while also providing essential nutrients. People can replace the chocolate chips, sugar or candies with dates to ensure that they are getting natural sugars instead of refined ones.
Risks and considerations
High Sugar Content
As dates are high in sugar, people who are trying to regulate blood sugar or those who have diabetes should avoid consuming them or can have them in moderation. There was a study that mentioned that dates should not radically impact a person’s blood sugar as they are a low glycemic index food. It means they will not increase the blood glucose level in people with or without diabetes.
So, although they are high in sugar, these sweet fruits are packed with several essential nutrients, making them a perfect snack if consumed in moderation.
One should avoid eating dates with a sour smell. While shopping for dates, always look for those that have a lustre and are unbroken. You can store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for many months and even longer.
Dates Nutrition Data
Scientific Name: Phoenix dactylifera
Amount Per 100 grams (Data Sourced from USDA– The United States Department of Agriculture)
|Nutrients||Quantity||% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat||0.4g||0 %|
|Phosphorus||62.00 mg||9 %|
|Dietary Fibre||6.7g||24 %|
|Total Carbohydrate||75g||27 %|
|Vitamin B6||0.249 mg||19 %|
|Vitamin K||2.7 mcg||2 %|
|Magnesium||54 mg||14 %|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.