Dates are high in fiber and antioxidants. Their nutritional benefits may support brain health and prevent disease.
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried.
You can tell whether or not dates are dried based on their appearance. Wrinkled skin indicates they are dried, whereas smooth skin indicates freshness.
Depending on the variety, fresh dates are fairly small in size and range in color from bright red to bright yellow. Commonly consumed varieties include Medjool and Deglet Noor dates.
Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses.
This article will discuss 8 health benefits of eating dates and how to incorporate them into your diet.
1. Very nutritious Rawpixel/Getty Images Dates have an excellent nutrition profile.
Since they’re dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 3Trusted Source).
Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of Medjool dates provides the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):
Calories: 277 Carbs: 75 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 2 grams Potassium: 15% DV Magnesium: 13% DV Copper: 40% DV Manganese: 13% DV Iron: 5% DV Vitamin B6: 15% DV Dates are also high in antioxidants, which may contribute to many of their health benefits (4Trusted Source).
SUMMARY Dates contain several vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. However, they are high in calories since they are dried fruit.
2. High in fiber Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health.
With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake (1Trusted Source).
Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool (5Trusted Source).
In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates (6Trusted Source).
Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating (7Trusted Source).
For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food (8Trusted Source).
SUMMARY Dates are high in fiber, which may be beneficial for preventing constipation and controlling blood sugar.
3. High in disease-fighting antioxidants Dates provide various antioxidants that have a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases.
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease (9Trusted Source).
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content (10Trusted Source).
Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates:
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer (11Trusted Source, 12Trusted Source, 13Trusted Source). Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration (14Trusted Source). Phenolic acid: Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acids may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease (4Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source). SUMMARY Dates contain several types of antioxidants that may help prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.
4. May promote brain health Eating dates may help improve brain function.
Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source).
Additionally, other studies including animal studies have shown dates to be helpful for reducing the activity of amyloid beta proteins, which can form plaques in the brain (17Trusted Source).
When plaques accumulate in the brain, they may disturb communication between brain cells, which can ultimately lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s disease (18Trusted Source).
One animal study found that mice fed food mixed with dates had significantly better memory and learning ability, as well as less anxiety-related behaviors, compared to those that did not eat them (19Trusted Source).
The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids (17Trusted Source).
However, more human studies are needed to confirm the role of dates in brain health.
SUMMARY Dates may be helpful for lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which may be important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dried Dates ~ Premium Quality
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