The date comes from the Date Palm tree. Dates will grow in bunches on trees, resembling grapes or bunches of grapes. Dates are one of those snacks that can be eaten at any time.
However, dates do have a high sugar content. The lowly date can be eaten plain, it can be added to foods, baked into goodies. If this does not explain enough about a date, think of it as a cousin to the raisin. Only better!
Health food stores are a prime customer of Date Sugar. The sugar from a date is a healthier version. Date sugar is the actual date ground up into the sugar. Date sugar is lower in calorie count than granulated white sugar. Date sugar will also boast in regards to vitamins, nutrients and minerals, but the amounts are not significant to count.
We can start with a very important point. Dates, as sweet as they are, will not create a blood sugar spike for diabetics. When dates are eaten as a dried fruit, they do have a healthy profile. The nutrients list out nicely, it is the amount you have to eat that may make others hesitate. In a 3 and ½ ounce serving, this is what you can expect:
7 g fiber
2 g protein
75 g carbohydrates
Dates also contain potassium, copper, manganese, Iron, magnesium and Vitamin B6. Dates are also high in antioxidants.
Antioxidants are those that reduce the risks of many different diseases. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals. Free radicals are unstable and can cause harmful reactions within your body that can lead to diseases.
Dates are loaded with Iron, which can help fight off anemia. Deficiencies in iron can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, brittle nails and even dizziness.
Lower The Risk of Heart Disease
Eating dates has been shown to help in the fight of reducing the risk of heart disease. The dates help to reduce the triglyceride levels and also reduce the levels of oxidative stress. It has also been shown that dates can help reduce the build up of the fatty plaque in arteries.
A serving of dates provides 12% of the daily recommended amount of fiber for a day. Fiber not only helps keep you feeling full longer, it also helps keep your digestive tract moving and emptying the way it should.
Vitamin D is known for assisting in bone health. However, amounts of copper and magnesium combined will help with bone strength. This combination of nutrients makes dates a superfood when it comes to strengthening foods. You can make up a pan of healthy date bars to snack on during the week and help to prevent osteoporosis.
Dates have a good amount of Potassium in them. Potassium is an electrolyte that the body needs for a healthy heart. Potassium also helps to build protein and increase muscle strength.
Dates contain Carotenoids, these are known to help reduce the risk of night blindness and promote healthy eyesight.
Dates are a superfood in that they are able to satisfy a person’s sweet tooth, keep them full longer and they provide a multitude of nutrients. Foods such as dates are not considered to be empty calorie foods. The calories found within dates are healthier and filling.
Polyphenols are antioxidants that help your body to fight off inflammation. There are more of these compounds in dates than there are in many other fruits or foods.
Dates are so much more than just a fruit that grows on a tree. Dates help promote healthy functions within your body, they can keep you full longer, Dates will provide nutrients and vitamins, along with minerals. These all combine to assist the different functions of the body.
Dates can also be used as a substitution. Personally, I have used dates as a replacement for chocolate chips, sugar and also as an addition to give another level of flavor to foods that I make. One of my family favorites is to roast chicken and add squash and dates with the chicken to roast together.
Although dates are considered higher in sugar content than other fruits, when eaten in moderation, they should not cause any spike in glucose levels. Even if you have diabetes, eating dates by the serving, and not in excess, can actually be very beneficial.
Dates, which are rich in potassium, can aid in those who are subjected to chronic diarrhea. The high fiber content aids in digestion which in turn helps to alleviate the chronic bouts of diarrhea.
With so much focus based on healthy weight loss, not too many people consider healthy weight gain. Dates have been undergoing research, but as of yet, there is no definitive proof of a healthy weight gain.
Seasonal allergies have also been shown to be assisted by the consumption of dates. Eating dates has been shown to help reduce the inflammation markers when it comes to Seasonal Allergies.
Pregnant women who wish to avoid the idea of being induced at the end of pregnancy, can benefit from dates. Eating dates can significantly reduce the need for oxytocin and prostaglandin.
As a special treat, I have found a classic recipe for date bars, however, I am making this just a touch healthier by using coconut sugar instead of granulated, I have also mixed the flour I used. Rather than the full amount of white flour, I incorporated half the amount as wheat flour.
Healthier Date Bars
6 cups dates, finely chopped
1 cup coconut sugar
¾ cup water
2 sticks butter, unsalted, room temperature
2 ½ cups oatmeal, quick cooking
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350*
Butter a 15 x 11 rimmed baking sheet
Combine the coconut sugar, water and dates in a saucepan
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and then simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, until you have a soft paste
Set to the side to allow to cool completely
Combine oatmeal, butter, wheat flour, white flour, brown sugar and baking soda in a large bowl
Mix together with your hands until it forms a crumbly mixture
Press half the crust into the bottom of the sheet pan
Spread the date mixture on top of the crust
Sprinkle the remaining crust crumbs over the top of that filling
Carefully press lightly to heave the crust mix and stick to the filling.
These bars are a healthier version, and they can be made even healthier if you choose to substitute the whole wheat flour for white in its entirety. You could also use coconut sugar for the topping mix.
Eating one date a day is said to be highly efficient in creating a heart healthy diet daily. Dates have also been shown to be a delicious way to lower the LDL cholesterol, this is the bad cholesterol we all have. Dates also have benefits that can help in maintaining healthy ears, eyes, nose and throat.
Dates have been shown to reduce sexual sterility caused by the many various sexual disorders. For those who drink and have hangovers, dates are shown to help provide quick relief and also assist in a quicker sobering effect.
Several studies have shown that consuming dates can help reduce the risk of stomach cancers and other ailments.
Dates contain fluoride, which helps to prevent tooth decay and maintain healthy enamel on your teeth. The Vitamin B5 found in dates will help maintain healthy hair, prevent brittle ends, split ends and provide a natural shine.
Dates are also known to help maintain a healthy blood pressure which reduces the risks of heart disease. Eating dates can provide a healthy boost of energy, with 31 grams of carbohydrates and natural sugars. Dates are a phenomenal method of stimulating the metabolic system. The natural sugars are better than other sugars as they do not give as high of a risk of blood sugar jumps for diabetics.
This superfood fruit is also highly beneficial in helping keep our skin hydrated, and healthy looking. They can help the skin stay supple, and build strength for our hair in both the strands and the hair follicles.
Dates can taste delicious alone or in various combinations of other foods. For those who have chosen to eliminate sugar from their diets, dates are one of the healthiest fruits with natural sugar that you could eat.
In simple terms, dates can be easily incorporated into meals, turned into snacks for when you are having a movie night, or binge watching your newest favorite show. Dates can be kept in your purse, in your briefcase as a way to lift you up during a midafternoon slump. Dates are not one of the most popular fruits available everywhere, but they are a superfood that should probably be considered to be incorporated into a daily diet for everyone.