Dates have traditionally been considered as one of the ideal foods to begin with when you break your fast during the holy month of Ramadan. No iftar is complete without dates. In addition to traditional reasons, there are many health reasons why dates should be an essential part of your daily diet.
1. Dates are a natural energy booster:Dates are not only naturally sweet and delicious, but also boost your energy levels.They have high levels of natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose.They can thus pacify your hunger pains to a significant extent.
2. Dates Promote Bone Health: Dates are a source of minerals which strengthen your bones. Dates contain several minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium and magnesium.Potassium is an electrolyte that promotes heart health while calcium is essential for bone health.
3. Dates are Good for Digestion: Dates have a high fiber content, even more fiber than bananas. Just a quarter cup of dates can account for 12 percent of the daily fiber requirement of an individual. This will help draw water into the digestive tract and minimize constipation.
4. Dates Promote Brain Health: Scientists have found that dates offer protection against oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain. Consumption of dates and similar fruits on a regular basis has been linked to a lowered risk of neurodegenerative diseases and better cognitive performance in older individuals.
5. Dates Promote Skin Health: Dates contain vitamins C and D that help the skin to retain its elasticity. It can also help the skin to combat ageing by preventing the accumulation of melanin.
6. Dates can help regulate Cholesterol: Thanks to their high fiber content, dates bind to cholesterol and can help in the excretion of cholesterol from the body. It is also thought that dates are helpful in reducing the level of triglycerides in the body.
7. Dates Lower the Risk of Stroke and Cardiac Disease: Dates help to lower the levels of triglycerides and cholesterol and are rich in antioxidants which reduce inflammation. Hence,they can make a significant contribution to reducing the risk of stroke and cardiac disease.
8. Dates can Reduce Risk of Anemia: Dates are rich in iron. Anemia has symptoms like dizziness, shortness of breath, fatigue and brittle nails. It is generally caused by deficiency of iron. Increasing the intake of foods that are rich in iron like dates could reduce risk of anemia and provide relief from the symptoms of anemia.
9. Dates can build up resistance to cancer: Dates are high in polyphenols which increase the body’s resistance to inflammation. High levels of inflammation over the long term lead to higher chances for cancer. Regular intake of dates has also been linked to less incidence of colorectal cancer. It is also said that consuming more dates increases the growth of good bacteria in our digestive tract, thus promoting colon health.
10. Dates provide Support to the Nervous System and Help to Preserve Brain Function: It is a known fact that our nervous system and brain tissue degenerates as we age. Most of these adverse changes are linked to inflammation. The inflammation can be slowed down by controlling the effects of oxidants like cortisol. Dates are known to reduce the inflammatory effects of cortisol. Even serious diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s can be controlled if excessive inflammation can be curbed.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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