The date is the Omani tree of life. If you eat 15 dates a day, you will provide the body with a sufficient amount of essential vitamins, minerals and other elements needed by an adult. Dates stored in clay pots can be stored for up to several years. This is why in the past they were an important part of the diet of Omani who traveled to unknown lands, through deserts or sailing the oceans. Sailors from Oman were protected from scurvy (thanks to dates and dried lemons), from which sailors from the west often died. Many Omani people today, in accordance with the old tradition, plant a date palm to celebrate the birth of their son. In this way the date grows together with the child. It provides the child with many necessities of life. The lifespan of a date palm is reminiscent of human lifespan. Having a personal palm means you will not be hungry. It is a kind of life insurance.
Dates have a wide range of health benefits which is why they are the healthiest fruits on earth. They are especially important for vegetarians because they contain substances essential for the normal functioning of the organism (which cannot be easily found in foods of plant origin). They are mostly available dried and hard. Fresh and soft Iranian dates “melt in your mouth”.
This fruit is used in different parts of the world. They are an important part of the diet in Arab countries. Dates are produced in 35 different states on about 2.9 million hectares. The main countries that grow and sell dates are: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, U.A.E., Algeria, Libya, Tunisia, USA and in smaller quantities: Spain, Mexico, Yemen and Palestine.
The date is thought to have originated in North Africa. Today, for example, it is widespread in all subtropical regions, primarily for commercial reasons. Although grown in the tropics – the fruits there do not ripen well due to high humidity. Date fruits are extremely important in the diet of the local population.
The fleshy part of the fruit contains 44 – 88% of all sugars (glucose and fructose), water, proteins, vitamins, minerals and a high proportion of fiber. The energy value of dates in the amount of 100 grams is 250 kcal.
The fatty acid content is low while the seeds contain about 50% oleic acid. The mineral richness of dates is based on potassium (it has a maximum of about 0.9%), calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, sodium and zinc.
Dates contain fluoride, which is extremely important for protecting teeth from caries, and selenium, which is important for the normal functioning of the immune system. Dates are believed to have an effective effect in the treatment of cancer (due to selenium).
A scientific study published in 2010 in the well-known Journal of Applied Sciences Research brings about the protein content of dates, which reaches up to 23 types of amino acids, some of which are not present in even the most popular fruits (eg oranges, apples and bananas). Thanks to a certain level of pectin, dates definitely have a number of health benefits. Furthermore, vitamins are present in dates in small amounts. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin so-called eye vitamins. Lutein and zeaxanthin belong to the group of carotenoids.
They act as antioxidants that protect the retina (retina) from possible damage caused by light. A study published in 2007 indicates that the macula of the eye is less likely to degenerate as people age if they consume foods rich in these substances.
The well-known nutrition journal International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition brings a scientific study that dealt with the study of certain ingredients of dates. In addition to containing a high percentage of carbohydrates that provide our body with the energy it needs, dates have an enviable range of dietary fiber, minerals, protein and vitamins.
The study also confirms that dates have a significant source of oleic acid in seeds. They contain elemental fluoride which is useful for protecting teeth from decay. These types of scientific studies on dates will improve our knowledge and appreciation for the use of dates in our daily diet, but also raise awareness of the importance of the health role of dates.
Nutritional value of dried dates: a total of 282 kcal. Fresh dates contain 307 kcal.
- Dates are food for the brain – because they contain phosphorus. They are recommended for people who are engaged in intellectual work. They quickly give the necessary energy to the brain and muscles because they contain natural sugars (glucose, sucrose and fructose). They contain elemental chlorine, which is used to protect teeth from decay, and vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and niacin. An excellent source of sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron.
- Dates contain iron – daily consumption is an excellent prevention against anemia, and therapy for people who lack iron stores. 100 grams of dates contain about 10% of the recommended daily value of iron.
- Dates are healthy sweets- natural sugar in dates is a perfect alternative to regular sugar. They are easily digested and reduce the feeling of hunger.
Just 2 or 3 dates a day is enough to lose the craving for sweets and chocolate. Dates can be made into a healthy spread (“hurmela”) and can serve as a natural sweetener in drinks and raw treats.
- Dates are a great source of protein – they help keep people fit and keep muscles strong. Because athletes are exposed to daily exertion, protein is a very important factor that is responsible for normal muscle function.
- Dates improve bone health – because they are rich in selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium (minerals for maintaining bone health and strengthening bone structure). They prevent osteoporosis.
- Dates stimulate digestion – they have a beneficial effect on the digestive system. They contain a high percentage of fiber. They reduce the risk of colon cancer and are suitable for problems like hemorrhoids.
- Dates are excellent in pregnancy — research has shown that they have a positive effect on pregnancy and childbirth. Women who ate dates during the last four weeks of pregnancy had a much easier birth. In addition, dates help in losing the pounds that have accumulated during pregnancy.
- Dates and treatment of high blood pressure – can help reduce high blood pressure due to the relatively high percentage of magnesium. Regular users of dates point out that in addition to dates, they have completely got rid of medications to regulate blood pressure.
They have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke. Studies have shown that magnesium reduces the risk of stroke. Intake of 100 mg per day, the risk of stroke will be reduced by 10%.
- Dates are a natural remedy for reducing pain — because they are rich in magnesium, dates have an anti-inflammatory effect, relieve pain, and reduce swelling. Studies have shown that the presence of magnesium reduces the risk of heart disease and reduces arterial inflammation. Magnesium also acts on other inflammatory processes (arthritis). Some people claim that dates are a great choice against hangovers.
- Dates improve the appearance of the skin – vitamins C and D increase skin elasticity and keep the skin soft and smooth. Dates should be consumed by people who have advanced skin problems and people who have problems with dry skin due to daily exposure to extreme weather conditions.
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