Are you in search of a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth? Are you bored of your go-to pick me ups when you need an extra push to make it through the rest of the day? Look no further! Pitted dates are the answer to your need for a delicious and nutritious snack.
Pitted dates have been called nature’s super fruit. With a chewy texture and taste that has delicate notes of caramel, cinnamon, or honey, this yummy delight will naturally boost your energy levels and even improve vital organs’ health, like your brain and heart. And in case that isn’t enough, their amazing flavor will curb your craving for something sweet!
But wait, there’s more! Dates don’t just make your taste buds happy. They’re also chock-full of vitamins and nutrients, and offer several health benefits to make your body happy, too. And with the COVID-19 virus on the rise and becoming more serious every day, pitted date are a durable, fresh fruit to keep in your pantry or refrigerator to enjoy for a long period of time.
These dark and juicy fruits date back thousands of years and are said to have been discovered in what is now Iraq. Egyptians were known to use them to make wine. They even were thought of as having magical healing powers! Science today has helped us understand their benefits, and they are pretty magical.
Pitted date come in many varieties. There are the super popular Delget Noor date that are small and nutty-like in flavor. Another crowd-favorite is the juicy, delicate Medjool date. All types of pitted date are healthy and yummy fruit to make a part of your daily diet.
Let’s explore all of the reasons why dates need to be in your life!
1. Dates Have A Long Shelf Life
With the recent health scare of the coronavirus going on, people are being advised to stay home as much as possible and be prepared for anything. Supermarket shelves are empty from everyone stocking up on the things they need, like hand soap, toilet paper, and plenty of food.
When you think about nonperishable foods that are good for storing, you might picture boring canned vegetables, rice, or pasta. This doesn’t have to be the case. You can enjoy many different kinds of yummy foods, including durable and delicious superfruit: Medjool date.
Most fresh dates have a shelf life of only 45 days. However, refrigerate them, and you can keep them for up to 6 months. Dried date can be refrigerates for up to a year! Pop your dates into the freezer, and they can last for several years. They’re so delicious, though; it would be a surprise if they lasts that long!
Order a large box of high-quality Medjool dates, and you’ll be set with a wonderful snack that will last you a while.
2. Dates Are High In Antioxidants To Fight Illness And Disease
In addition to lasting for months for optimal storage, dates have important nutrients our bodies need to protect us from illness.
Our everyday diets can consist of foods that are heavy in free radicals. An excessive amount of these chemicals can cause oxidative stress and cellular damage.
Antioxidants fight against free radicals and protect our bodies from the harm they can cause, and dates have an abundant amount of antioxidants. There are three main antioxidants in dates that are extremely beneficial to our health:
- Flavonoids – Their inflammation-reducing abilities lower your risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain cancers.
- Carotenoids – Their ability to turn into vitamin A helps boost our immunity to protect us from sickness and life-threatening diseases. They can also improve eye health.
- Phenolic Acid – Absorbed through the walls of your intestines, they help fight free radicals and prevent cancer and other diseases.
3. Dates Can Improve Your Heart Health
Next, let’s consider the health benefits of Medjool date for one of your most vital organs: your heart!
Medjool dates have a high fiber content. Fiber can help reduce your LDL cholesterol levels (or the bad kind of cholesterol), which, in turn, can improve your heart health. A healthy cholesterol level keeps your arteries clean to prevent atherosclerosis and, therefore, lowers your risk of heart attacks, strokes, and other heart-related diseases.
4. Dates Are A Natural Energy Booster
Medjool dates are made up of healthy carbohydrates and proteins. They also have high natural sugar content. Add those elements together, and you have a great natural energy boost!
Contrary to popular belief, the best time to eat after a workout is within the first 30 minutes to an hour. Your body needs carbohydrates to feel energized and allow your muscles to heal themselves. A handful of dates is a great choice to feed your aching muscles and provide them with the nutrients they need to recover.
Some days, we need a little boost in the afternoon to keep us going! Instead of reaching for a second cup of coffee or a sugary energy drink, try snacking on some dates as a natural energy booster.
5. Dates Are Okay For Diabetics To Enjoy, Too (In Moderation)
Despite their high sugar content, dates have a low glycemic index. This makes them okay for people with diabetes to enjoy in moderation. They are also a great source of many nutrients that should be include in every diabetic’s daily intake, such as vitamin B1, vitamin B5, vitamin B6, fiber, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Vitamins B1, B5, and B6 protect diabetics from nerve damage and prevent neurological problems. Copper helps reduce the risk of biochemical issues. Diabetics lack magnesium and manganese in their systems, so dates can help replace those vital nutrients.
Additionally, pitted dates can also help with blood sugar regulation. This is helpful for diabetics, but also for people who don’t have diabetes. It can reduce the risk of potentially developing the disease.
If you are diabetic and are craving for something sweet, two to three dates won’t do any harm. As long as you’re getting at least 30 minutes of exercise per day and maintain a healthy diet regularly, you can attribute up to 10% of your calorie intake to safe sugars.
6. Dates Promote Natural And Shorter Duration Of Labor!
Another interesting health benefit of dates is their ability to promote natural labor for pregnant women. Studies have shown that consuming five to six dates on a daily basis towards the end of pregnancy can cause a woman to go into labor more naturally and even shorten the duration.
The reason for this is that dates produce compounds in our systems that have a similar effect as a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone causes the uterus to contract.
There is still more research to be done to back this information, but if you’re at the end of your pregnancy and are looking for labor-inducing methods, try snacking on some delicious dates!
On the hunt for a useful gift for a baby shower? Hook your preggy friend or family member up with a jumbo box of dates! She’ll be thanking you later.
7. Dates Can Promote Healthy Digestion And Relieve Constipation!
Another awesome health benefit related to the high fiber content in dates is the effect they have on digestion. Dietary fiber should be a part of everyone’s diet as it helps our bodies break down food and easily digest it. Fiber can help ease constipation and promote regular bowel movements.
8. Dates Can Help Strengthen Your Bones!
Magnesium and copper play a huge part in supporting your bone health. They help fight against osteoporosis and other bone-diminishing diseases. Dates are loaded with both of these beneficial nutrients.
Other minerals in dates that contribute to bone health are phosphorus and calcium. Phosphorus works in our bodies to promote healthy teeth, filter waste out of our kidneys, and maintain the health of our cells. Calcium not only helps our bone stay strong, but we need it to keep our heart, muscles, and nerves functioning properly as well!
9. Dates Can Help Reduce Blood Pressure And Reverse Anemia!
Another benefit of the high magnesium levels in dates is its ability to lower your blood pressure. Magnesium combined with potassium—an additional nutrient that dates contain—work to boost the function of your heart and reduce blood pressure levels.
Reduced levels of blood pressure can protect you from the risk of having a stroke. It can also prevent other heart-related diseases.
In addition to lowering blood pressure, dates are also rich in iron. This can help anyone who suffers from severe iron deficiencies, such as anemia, which can cause feelings of fatigue, shortness of breath, and chest pains. Dates will boost your iron levels and help reverse the effects of anemia.
10. Dates Can Boost Brain Function
Consuming dates can have multiple benefits for your brain health. First, antioxidants like flavonoids work to reduce inflammation. This can prevent neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.
Additionally, the nutritional contents of dates can reduce the plaque-building activity of amyloid-beta proteins in the brain. An abundance of plaque in our brains can lead to a disturbance between our brain cells, which can then go on to cause common brain-related diseases.
To go even further, studies on mice have shown that eating dates regularly releases hormones in the brain that can reduce anxiety. It can also lead to better memory and learning ability.
How To Enjoy Dates
If you weren’t already aware of how beneficial dates can be to our health, now you know! But how can you incorporate dates into your daily meals? Dates are incredibly delicious straight off the palm tree or out of the package. However, there are several recipes you can choose from to enjoy them in different ways.
Dates are native to the Middle East, but are now grown all over the world, including Northern African countries, India, and even California! People across the globe get creative with dates to add some sweet flavors to their dishes.
- Add them into your smoothie! Remove the pits and toss them in your blender with other fruits or veggies. What do you get? A nutritious and energy-boosting smoothie to start your day. One delicious combination is Medjool dates, banana, cinnamon, and coconut milk. Yum!
- Put them in your salad! Trying to eat lean? Adding dates into your healthy salad is a great way to sneak some extra vitamins and minerals into your diet. A wonderful option is Medjool dates, greens, blue cheese crumble, walnuts, and slices of pear.
- Enjoy them stuffed! A great option for appetizers at your holiday party or work event, dates can be stuffed with goat or cream cheese and sprinkled with garlic, herbs, and honey to have a savory but sweet bite. Stuff them with almond or peanut butter and sprinkle with cinnamon or honey to make a healthier dessert option.
- Bake them into your cookies! Dates can add a nutritious twist to your cookie recipe. Mix with chocolate chips or nuts and enjoy.
- Use them as a healthy alternative sweetener! Pitted date have natural fructose, glucose, and sucrose, which are natural sugars found in most fruits. Make a date paste to use instead of refined white sugar in your recipes for cookies, cakes, or other desserts. You can also mix date paste into your tea or coffee to sweeten them up a bit.
- That’s a wrap! Another awesome appetizer to bring to your next event are wrapped dates. Cover your dates with bacon or prosciutto and stick them on a toothpick. Your guests will be drooling over these bite-sized parties in their mouths.
Dates are an incredible source of nutrients and vitamins to boost your health and prevent disease. No wonder they call them nature’s super fruit! Add these chewy delights to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner recipes or enjoy them just the way they are. You’ll be so happy you did!