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FHM Pakistan
Health & Fitness

Amazing Health Benefits of “DATES”

Dates are sweet fruits of date palm tree scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera. They are one of the best versatile foods that can regulate the digestive process and have gained popularity in recent times. Date palm trees are cultivated all over the world especially across tropical regions. You can also use date molasses, a natural sweetener made from date syrup, in your smoothies or desserts in place of sugar.

Health Benefits

Let us look at some of the key benefits of dates in detail below.

Good Source of Energy

Dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose. Often when you exercise in a gym, outside or even on a stretching machine at home, you feel exhausted. A study published in the International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, suggests that dates rich in essential nutrients may help you regain your energy immediately.

People who follow Islam and observe fastings, break their fast by eating them along with water. This also helps avoid overeating of food once the fast is over. When the body begins to absorb their high nutritional content, feelings of hunger are pacified.

May Boost Brain Health

According to research, “date palm fruits are a good source of dietary fiber and are rich in total phenolics and natural antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, and caffeic acid”. The presence of these polyphenolic compounds could potentially help slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Dates Rich in Fiber May Help Relieve Constipation

According to research on the effects of dietary fiber, the foods that are rich in fiber are essential for promoting healthy bowel movements and ensuring the comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract. A 2005 study also suggests that these dried fruits have high levels of dietary fiber and insoluble fiber, in particular. The insoluble fiber found in dates promotes healthy digestion by bulking up the stool and may also aid in relieving the symptoms of constipation.

How to use: Start by soaking dates in water overnight to help them soften up. Next, add soaked dates and a bit of soaking liquid to a food processor and blend to make a thick, fiber-rich date paste.

Relief from Intestinal Disorders

Research suggests dates contain insoluble and soluble fibers, as well as many beneficial amino acids which can stimulate the digestion of food and ensure quick passage through the gastrointestinal tract. According to a review published in the Journal of Nutrition Reviews, the fiber may also aid in the treatment of conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), diverticulitis and hemorrhoids. 

Give Relief from Anemia

Dates are a good source of many nutrients, including iron. A deficiency of iron can contribute to anemia, a condition characterized by fatigue, dizziness, brittle nails and shortness of breath. Fortunately, increasing your intake of iron-rich foods such as dates could help provide relief from anemia symptoms. However, there is currently a lack of research evaluating their direct role in the treatment of anemia. 

Prevent Heart Diseases

These dried fruits are rich in antioxidants, which may help prevent atherogenesis and aid in reducing risk of stroke. They are also high in various phytochemicals which may also help protect against heart disease. 

Furthermore, they are a rich source of potassium, which studies have shown to lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke as well as other heart-related diseases.

Prevent Night Blindness

Vitamin A deficiency is often linked to night blindness, along with other symptoms like dry eyes and an increased risk of infection. According to an article by H.A. Hajar Al Binali, M.D., dates are rich in carotenoids, which may help prevent night blindness and preserve healthy vision. 

Help Treat Chronic Diarrhea

According to an article published by Columbia University Medical Center, foods rich in potassium such as dates can help replace and replete electrolytes that you may have lost due to chronic diarrhea. Thanks to their high fiber content, they can also aid in digestion and may alleviate the unpredictable nature of chronic diarrhea.

May Have Cancer-Fighting Properties

Research conducted by  Prof. Dr. Jeremy PE Spencer et al suggests that eating dates may help improving bowel health and slow down the development and spread of colorectal cancer cells. Studies also indicate that these dried fruits exhibit anti-tumor activity, although the exact mechanism remains unknown and requires more research.

Dates May Promote Healthy Weight Gain

According to USDA, these dried fruits are rich in sugar along with proteins, and many other essential vitamins and minerals. They are also high in fiber, which can aid in weight management. Medjool dates are easily available in grocery markets and make for a healthy and delicious snack!

An animal study conducted in 2014 suggested that intake of dates may aid in weight gain. However, another animal study done in 2016 indicated no such increase in weight. In view of the conflicting reports, more research is needed to support this benefit.

If you want to know more interesting health benefits please let us know in the comment section.

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