Dates have been long known to have wonderful benefits for health across a wide range of diseases and disorders. This comes as no surprise since dates are rich in several vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, folate, and many more. They also contain essential minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, iron, calcium, selenium, copper, phosphorus, and zinc along with being great sources of energy, fiber, and sugar.
Despite being delicious, they provide relief from intestinal disorders, constipation, abdominal cancer, heart problems, sexual dysfunction, anemia, diarrhea, and several other conditions and disorders. Dates are said to be extremely beneficial in building muscle, losing weight, improving blood circulation, increasing the hemoglobin levels in the blood, and strengthening bones.
They are a great source of instant energy, and given the high levels of fiber in them, they can be used to satiate hunger pangs as well.
Below is a detailed list of health benefits provided by dates:
1. They Improve Gastric Health:
Dates are well-known laxatives and thousands of people swear by their laxative effects. Dates are soaked in water overnight and, to get optimum results, are eaten when they become soft and slightly syrupy. The high amount of soluble fiber present in dates is the reason for their laxative effect.
They also promote easy passage of food through the intestine. In doing so, they also clear the intestine of old organic matter and improve the absorption capacity of the intestine resulting in better overall health. This also results in expulsion of harmful bacteria and helps to re-establish healthy bacteria in the gut, which is essential for good gastric health.
2. They Aid In Weight Loss:
Dates are a great way to lose weight without suffering from the effects of malnourishment. This is mostly useful for those who tend to overeat. Taken a few minutes before meals, dates tend to satiate hunger and ensure that people do not overeat. They also contain 23 types of amino acids which help in muscle building—which is another way to increase metabolism and lose weight.
Dates have a large amount of fiber which makes the stomach feel heavy. Also, the combination of simple and complex sugars present in dates and its high nutritional content ensures that instant energy is provided to the body, which further helps to satiate hunger pangs, thus, preventing people from overeating.
This automatically helps in weight reduction without depriving the body of essential nutrients.
3. They Strengthen The Skeletal System:
Dates are a storehouse of essential minerals and calcium, which are the building blocks for bones and connective tissue. They contain manganese, selenium, copper, magnesium, and calcium, which are all essential for the growth, development, and maintenance of skeletal organs.
Bones, joints, and connective tissue face a lot of stress and damage, especially as people get older. Constant replenishment of these minerals is required, which can be provided for by dates.
4. They Help Regulate Blood Pressure:
Dates are a rich source of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral for general well being of the body. Deficiency of potassium can result in a wide range of disorders and diseases. One such major disorder which can be caused by lack of potassium in the body is high blood pressure. Potassium plays a major role in maintaining blood pressure by the process of vasodilation. Vasodilation is the phenomenon of reducing the tension/stress in blood vessels by slightly widening them to increase blood circulation to various parts of the body. When the blood vessels are in a relaxed state, the blood pressure reduces and prevents the occurrence of heart attacks, strokes, and atherosclerosis.
5. They Improve Oxygen Carrying Capacity Of Blood:
Oxygen is essential for the normal functioning of cells in the body. When the availability of free oxygen in the body reduces, it becomes difficult to carry out bodily processes effectively.
Blood is the medium for transport of oxygen to various parts of the body. Oxygen delivery via blood is made possible by iron, which then binds with hemoglobin—the oxygen carrying compound in the body.
The amount of hemoglobin in the body essentially affects the amount of oxygen available to the body for various processes. Hemoglobin deficiency causes anemia. Dates are a rich source of iron and help in increasing hemoglobin levels in the blood, which effectively means that more oxygen is available to the body.
6. They Cure Sexual Disorders:
Several studies have exhibited that dates are beneficial for improving sexual performance and stamina. Dates contain high levels of flavonoids and estradiol. These components have been proven to improve sperm count and motility. They also caused a marked increase in testes size and weight.
Not just that, there is conclusive evidence that proves that dates are great aphrodisiacs as well.
7. They Prevent Certain Types Of Cancer:
Dates have been shown to be a legitimate way to mitigate the risks of abdominal cancer and also its impact. They contain high quantities of antioxidants. Antioxidants bind to oxidants and neutralize them. Oxidants are a known cause of cancer.
Plenty of vitamins present in dates also help cells recover from degenerative stress and prevent them from becoming carcinogenic.
They also contain selenium, which is a known factor in preventing cancer and improving immune function. Improved immune function helps in killing unhealthy cells which may convert to cancer cells.
8. They Improve Skin:
Dates are a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin K which are essential for treating skin problems, keeping it look young, and retaining its elasticity. The presence of antioxidants imparts certain anti-ageing benefits which keep the skin radiant and youthful while preventing the accumulation of melanin.
Vitamin C plays a major role in the prevention of acne, pimples, and other skin conditions as well.
While dates do not spoil easily, care should be taken to store them in a refrigerator or deep freeze in airtight containers for longer shelf life.
Care should be taken to ensure that there are no foreign particles sticking to the syrupy surface of the dates.
Dates might also be difficult for young children to digest. Hence, they should not be allowed to eat too many at once, or it might result in stomach ache and diarrhea.