The prevalent reasons for deaths due to stroke and heart attack are abnormal values of LDL “bad” cholesterol and hypertension. In medical science, there are medicines to counter the impact of increasing bad cholesterol and High BP. But if there was an alternative given by nature which could fight heart attack, hypertension, cholesterol, and stroke better than any medication then who needs medicines and their side effects. Nature blesses us in abundance with an affordable, wonder fruit which grows on palm trees and is known by name “dates”.
World’s No. 1 food which helps the body in fighting diseases heart attack, hypertension, cholesterol, and stroke also provides remedies which have proven to be effective over centuries.
Nutrition Profile of Dates
Though high on calories, dates are loaded with much-needed minerals like potassium and magnesium, dietary fiber and fatty acids with minimal sugar, highest antioxidants in comparison to dried fruits! 100 grams serving of dried fruit dates provides the following nutrients
- Calories: 277
- Carbs: 75 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Potassium: 20% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
- Manganese: 15% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
- Antioxidants: Flavonoids, Carotenoids, and Phenolic acid
Health benefits of dates: A few reasons why you must eat Dates on a regular basis
- Health of Heart – Due to potassium content, Dates help in improving the health of the heart & nervous system and prevents the onset of stroke. Antioxidant in Dates, Phenolic acid and Carotenoids, known for its anti-inflammatory properties also help in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Ideal recommendations for potassium intake is 400mg per day (20 dates/day approximately) for best results. Dates being rich in potassium mineral can be consumed dry or in the form of juice. It can be soaked overnight and its juice next morning can be included as a laxative improving overall health condition.
- Hypertension & High Blood Pressure – To improve the flow of blood magnesium is primarily needed. Dates are rich in potassium and magnesium contents which help in blood circulation and thereby blood pressure. At least 5-6 dates per day (80 mg of magnesium approx) can suffice the body requirement of magnesium. It can be safely eaten as it does not contain sodium and the magnesium mineral is useful in decreasing the blood pressure
- Cholesterol – Dates are free from cholesterol, ie minimal fat. Due to high on iron content, it has the ability to cleanse blood vessels and regulates cholesterol levels. Dates should be included in the daily diet as they also help in balancing the body’s fluids, necessary to keep the body in good health.
- Weight Watchers – High on dietary fiber and fatty acids, Dates can definitely be part of morning workout diet. Dates being anti-inflammatory, they help in flushing out toxins, regulating blood glucose levels and satisfying sweet tooth cravings but only if taken in moderation. If you are working hard on shedding off the excess flab, Dates can be consumed on an empty stomach since they have no cholesterol and carbs good for the body.
- Constipation and Diarrhea – It works well in both the cases of constipation and diarrhea. When suffering from diarrhea, potassium in dates helps in relieving intestines by stimulating the production of good bacteria. If you are suffering from constipation, the high fiber content of dates and laxative nature, increase good digestion, encourage regular bowel movement. Dates work best when soaked overnight work and consumed the next day in the morning.
- Iron deficiency – The iron component in Dates helps in the formation of red blood cells and hemoglobin majorly needed for carrying oxygen through the blood. The recommended dose is 100 grams of dates per day containing 0.9 mg of iron is beneficial for pregnant women and children.
- Skin Health – Dates come naturally with anti-aging benefits, keeps the skin elastic and smooth, prevents accumulation of melanin and helps in fighting skin related issues.
- Usefulness of Dates under research for diseases like osteoporosis, allergies, natural labour, diabetes, and Alzheimer – Dates is rich in phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium which prevent bone-related conditions. Dates contain tannins, compounds that may promote natural labor and help facilitate contractions. Powerful antioxidants like Flavonoids, Carotenoids and Phenolic acid have strong anti-inflammatory properties which can have the potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer
Cooking With Dates
The sweet Dates can be eaten as dried fruit or soaked overnight and consumed as juice. Dates serve as snacks in breakfast in cereals, can be enjoyed with fruit salad, addition to milk, dry fruit mix, in yogurt. Instead of refined sugar, a healthy way is to opt for date syrup. Dried dates have found their way in cakes, bread, and other dishes. You can always keep a box of seedless dates ready to satiate hunger pangs, preventing in mindless snacking.
Do always keep in mind that do not go overboard with eating dates. Restrict yourself to 6-8 pieces per day else chances are that you might increase your blood sugar levels.