Health benefits of dates include reduction of cholesterol levels, providing essential nutrients like proteins, energy, and vitamins for the body, reducing constipation, aphrodisiac properties, strengthening bones, controlling blood sugar levels in Diabetic people, delaying aging and making our hair healthy.
There are much more benefits of dates. Health benefits of dates are seen on each and every system of our body.
What are dates?
Dates are the fruits of a plant called date palm. The scientific name of date palm plant is called phoenix dactylifera. They belong to the palm family called Arecaceae.
Dates have been cultivated in the regions like middle east for thousands of years. They were cultivated in countries like Iraq, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Later on, they were introduced to other countries by the international traders.
Dates are very renowned or their nutritive value and also due to their mouth watering taste. It is a perfect example of a food which is both good to eat and healthy too.
Every part of date palm plant is useful. The seeds of the date palm are used as a feed for the animals. The leaves of date palm plant are used in the manufacture of various things like brooms, baskets, mats, ropes, huts, etc. The wood of the plant is also used for construction purposes.
Types of dates:
There are many different types of dates. Let us look at some of the most common varieties of dates.
- Deglet nor
Dates nutrition facts:
Dates are highly nutritious and they can be consumed safely by people of all age groups and people having any health ailment. They are a powerhouse of energy, vitamins, and minerals.
They are an excellent source of energy and they help us in getting an instant energy boost. They are rich in proteins and also fiber. Their fat content is almost negligible, which makes them perfect for people with high lipid or cholesterol levels in the body.
They contain beta-carotene and lutein zeaxanthin which act similar to vitamin A. They are a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, and vitamin K. They also contain many types of B vitamins like thiamine or vitamin B1, Riboflavin or vitamin B2, Niacin or vitamin B3, Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5, Pyridoxine or vitamin B6 and also folate or folic acid which is vitamin B9.
Dates also contain many pivotal minerals required by our body like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. They also contain a good amount of water.
Health benefits of dates:
1. Health benefits of dates for constipation:
Health benefits of dates for curing constipation are very popular among the people. Constipation is a problem which is not a very serious one, but can’t be neglected too. It can lead to many more problems like hemorrhoids or piles, anal fissures, etc. All these conditions are extremely painful.
Dates help in relieving constipation mainly due to 2 reasons. They are rich in fiber, that too particularly soluble fiber.The name of soluble fiber in dates is called beta-D-glucan. Soluble fiber helps in adding bulk mass to the stools and enable them to pass through the intestines easily.
Dates are also rich in sorbitol sugar. Sorbitol helps in absorption of water from the blood vessels into the intestines by the mechanism of osmosis. This helps in making the stool soft and easy to pass. Sorbitol acts as a laxative which is completely natural.
How to use dates for constipation?
Just follow the below steps to get rid of constipation using dates:
- Take 4 to 5 dates. You can take dates of any type like Medjool, barhi, Kimia, etc.
- Take a glass of warm water.
- Soak the dates in the water overnight.
- Remove the dates from the water.
- Then make a coarse paste of the dates.
- Take a glass of warm milk.
- Add the dates paste to the warm milk and drink it.
- Then drink the water in which you soaked the dates.
- Soaked dates are very effective in controlling constipation.
2. Strengthens bones:
To enjoy the health benefits of dates in the development of bones and proper strength of bones, we need appropriate nutritional support. We need adequate quantities of vitamins and minerals for healthy development of bones. We all know that calcium promotes bone strength and dates are a rich source of calcium.
According to a study, nutrients like calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 or pyridoxine are essential for the strengthening of bones. Dates contain sufficient quantities of all these minerals and vitamins. These nutrients help in the prevention of bone fractures.
According to another study, intake of diet rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, proteins, fiber, calcium, zinc, and magnesium enhanced the bone mineral density or BMD of middle-aged and elderly people in comparison to people who didi not take these nutrients in their diet.
If the bone mineral density is good, osteoporosis doesn’t occur in old age. Osteoporosis is the main reason for brittle bones and fractures in the elderly population. As dates enhance the bone mineral density, you will be strong and don’t suffer from fractures during old age.
3. Treat anemia:
Anemia is the deficiency of hemoglobin, which is the oxygen-carrying pigment of our red blood cells. Iron deficiency anemia occurs due to the deficiency of iron, which is an important substance for the formation of heme, a part of hemoglobin.
People from many parts of the world and also people of all age groups suffer from iron deficiency anemia due to improper nutritional intake or dietary deficiency. Anemia leads to many symptoms like getting easily tired or lethargy and fatigue.
Anemia also makes a person short of breath or gasping for breath when severe are the oxygen carrying capacity of red blood cells is compromised due to deficiency of hemoglobin.
Health benefits of dates for anemia are innumerable. Dates are rich in iron, which helps in the formation of hemoglobin. A diet rich in dates is suggested for all the people suffering from anemia. It is the preliminary treatment tried before advising iron supplements by the doctors.
Dates also contain vitamin C which enhances the absorption of iron from the gut, and thereby promoting the hemoglobin levels.
4. Dates for Diabetes:
Dates are high in calories and sugar content, but still, they don’t worsen sugar levels in diabetics. They can be eaten in moderation by diabetics as they are very healthy. But, the extracts made from the seeds of dates are highly beneficial for people suffering from diabetes.
According to a study, the seed extracts of certain types of dates called ajwa and sukkari have proven to possess antidiabetic properties. They were capable of lowering the blood glucose levels to a great extent. These seed extracts have also shown to promote the health of liver and kidneys. They were also successful in controlling the oxidative stress.
According to another study, the seeds of dates have proven to protect against the development of complications of diabetes related to liver and kidneys.
The leaves of dates also possess potent antidiabetic properties. They were as efficacious as oral hypoglycemic drugs like acarbose in controlling the blood sugar levels. If you use date seeds, you will surely appreciate the health benefits of dates for diabetes.
5. Reduces cholesterol:
Cholesterol is one of the main reasons behind the development of atherogenic or atherosclerotic plaques. High blood sugar levels and high blood pressure or hypertension also contribute to the development of atherosclerotic plaques.
These atherosclerotic plaques lead to the development of many disorders by obscuring the blood supply to these organs. They can lead to heart attack and also stroke, in which blood supply to the brain is diminished.
According to some scientists, the consumption of dates like Hallawi dates and Medjool dates helps in reducing the levels of triacylglycerols, a type of lipid which leads to atherosclerosis. The anti-atherogenic ability of the dates is mainly due to its constituents like phenolic acids like ferulic acid and coumaric acid, chlorogenic acid derivatives and also catechins.
By eating dates regularly, you can save yourself from atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. Many people have used dates and realized the health benefits of dates in controlling cholesterol.
6. Prevent cancers:
The leaves of dates have to be proved to be beneficial in preventing the development of various types of cancers. In a research study, hydroalcoholic extract or HEPdl was extracted from the leaves of dates and then tested for anticancer activity.
HEPdl had about 10 polyphenols which were effective in preventing cancers. HEPdl has a cytotoxic activity or the ability to kill harmful cancer cells. It is capable of preventing the development of cancers like melanoma, a type of skin cancer.
Further research is being carried out to produce drugs capable of killing the cancer cells or to produce chemotherapeutic agents that can treat various cancers. Health benefits of dates for cancer prevention will surely be known by every one in the future.
7. Prevents colon cancer:
In people suffering from constipation, the fecal matter accumulates in the intestines for a longer duration. This leads to the production of many toxins that lead to colon cancer or colonic carcinoma.
A study was conducted to study the efficacy of dates in preventing colon cancer. The researchers made the people eat 7 dates a day for 21 days nad then studies the observations.
As per the study, the people who ate dates had a higher frequency of passing stools daily and they also noticed a drastic reduction in their constipation. They were able to pass stools very easily. The high polyphenol and fiber content of dates is responsible for such a laxative property of dates.
The researchers have concluded that health benefits of dates in reducing the risk of colon cancer can be seen when dates are taken regularly for a long duration of time.
8. Treats breast cancer:
A study was conducted to study the efficacy of a date variety called Ajwa dates to cure breast cancer. In the study, it was noted that Ajwa dates are capable of inhibiting the growth of breast adenocarcinoma cells. These dates are also capable of killing the breast cancer cells by the process of apoptosis or programmed cell death.
Further research is being done to use dates as an adjunctive therapy for the treatment of breast cancer along with conventional chemotherapeutic agents used for the treatment of breast adenocarcinoma. The methanolic extract of the Ajwa dates is responsible for its ability to kill breast adenocarcinoma.
9. Protects the liver and kidneys:
Liver and kidneys are very important parts of our body and they help in the excretion of waste products out of our body. But, they can be damaged due to the effects of many toxins and drugs. Liver and kidneys can also be damaged due to the actions of certain free radicals.
A study has shown the efficacy of dates seed extract in protecting the liver and the kidneys from the harmful effects of various toxins and free radicals. The hydroxyacetone extract of the seeds containing a substance called proanthocyanidin helps in protecting the liver and kidneys.
10. Promote wound healing:
The extract or sap of date leaves is called Lagmi. A study has proven the efficacy of Lagmi in promoting wound healing. Lagmi contains many sugars and minerals which are capable of healing wounds fast.
The wound healing ability of Lagmi or the dates sap can also be attributed to its ability to scavenge the free radicals and its anti-inflammatory properties. Lagmi or date sap contains many flavonoids and phenols which help in promoting the division of cells at the wound site and accentuate the wound healing process.
11. Possess antibacterial properties:
There are innumerable types of bacteria which cause dreadful diseases in us. Persons with weak immune system are easily susceptible to these bacterial diseases. A study was conducted to study the antibacterial activity of dates.
Dates contain many compounds which inhibit the growth of various bacteria. Dates are most effective in killing the bacteria like E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Serratia, and Bacillus cereus.
12. Dates act as antioxidant:
Dates have significant antioxidant properties. As per a research report, many health benefits of dates are due to its antioxidant effects. Dates contain polyphenols, flavonoids, tannins and flavonols.
Dates are capable of relieving oxidative stress in the human body. At the same time, dates are also capable of inducing oxidative stress in the bacteria by enabling the production of hydrogen peroxide. This helps in killing the bacteria like E.coli and staphylococcus aureus very easily.
The antioxidant properties of dates also help in preventing liver, heart and kidney disorders. They also help our skin and make it youthful. Even the seeds of dates have antioxidant properties.
13. Promotes digestion:
Dates are rich in soluble fiber which helps in the easy passage of the stools by adding bulk to the stools. Health benefits of dates on the intestines are also due to its anti-inflammatory properties. They reduce the inflammation or swelling in the intestines and help in preventing various disorders which cause intestinal inflammation.
Dates also promote the growth of helpful intestinal bacteria like lactobacilli. This makes our gut very healthy and helps in getting rid of all digestive problems like acidity or indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal bloating, etc.
In addition to these health benefits of dates for intestinal health, they also kill the harmful bacteria causing intestinal infections. They also release certain substances which aid in proper digestion. Consume dates regularly to enhance your intestinal health.
14. Rich in proteins:
Dates are rich in proteins. Proteins are the building blocks of the body. Proteins are essential for the formation of al the enzymes and hormones in the body. Proteins are also part of cell walls of all the cells in the body.
Proteins are also required for the formation of muscles. This helps in getting rid of muscle soreness and fatigue. It also improves the stamina of a person to perform various works. Dates being rich in proteins play a vital role in all the bodily processes.
15. Boost energy:
Dates are rich in calories. They contain sugars like sucrose, glucose, and fructose. About 100 grams of dates provide almost 300 calories of energy. So, dates can boost your energy levels instantly.
Just keep a handful of dates in your bag and carry along with you. Whenever you are feeling very tired, fatigued and unable o concentrate on your work, eat a couple of dates. It will rejuvenate you very fast. You will have high energy levels within few minutes.
16. Protect the heart:
Heart disorders are amongst the leading causes of death worldwide. Heart disorders like angina, heart attack are mainly caused due to high cholesterol or lipids and also high blood sugar levels which lead to atherosclerosis. Atherosclerotic plaques block the blood supply to the heart.
Dates reduce the levels of triacylglycerol, a type of cholesterol leading to atherosclerosis. Dates seeds and leaves also reduce the levels of blood sugar. This helps in preventing the formation of atherosclerotic plaques.
If you eat dates regularly, you will have a healthy heart and you will have a longer lifespan in comparison to your peers who don’t eat dates.
17. Heath benefits of dates for nervous system:
Many types of nervous disorders like dementia and subacute combined degeneration of spinal cord are caused due to a deficiency in vitamins like folic acid and B12 vitamin or cyanocobalamin as per a study.
Dates are rich in vitamin B9 or folic acid which prevents the disorders of the nervous system like SACD, dementia or memory loss.
Alzheimer’s disease is a neurodegenerative disease and it leads to memory loss or dementia. It can even become so severe that an Alzheimer’s person can forget to eat and drink. According to a study, vitamin supplementation can reduce the intensity of symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dates are rich in many vitamins which have antioxidant properties. These antioxidants prevent the damage from the rain caused by free radicals. Regular consumption of dates promotes the health of the nervous system.
18. Acts as aphrodisiac:
High levels of stress in today’s world are leading to infertility and lack of sexual drive or sexual urge. Health benefits of dates can also be seen in enhancing the sexual desire. They act as a potent aphrodisiac. Date palm pollen is used as an aphrodisiac in men and also women.
The practice of using date palm pollen for stimulating sex drive is going on for ages. But, many of us are not aware of this. According to a study, date palm pollen can also help in improving the fertility of the people.
The constituents of date palm pollen responsible for its aphrodisiac and fertility-enhancing properties are flavonoids, estroles, saponins, fatty acids and amino acids. Dates paste when taken with milk and honey increases the sexual stamina of a person.
19. Health benefits of dates for eyes:
Eyes are one of the most important parts of a person’s body. Any minor problem with the eyes makes us worry a lot. We need to take proper care of our eyes to prevent vision problems. Doing eye exercises and taking a diet rich in nutrients good for eyes forms a part and parcel of the regimen required to get healthy eyes.
Dates are rich in substances like beta-carotene and lutein zeaxanthin. They act similar to vitamin A. Vitamin A in optimal amounts is absolutely essential for the development of healthy eyes. According to a study, beta carotene and lutein zeaxanthin help in the prevention of many eye disorders which lead to blindness like age-related macular degeneration.
Dates also help in preventing many problems like night blindness, cataracts and visual impairment due to their high vitamin A content.
20. Health benefits of dates for hypertension:
Dates have benefits in controlling blood pressure too. According to American heart association , a diet rich in potassium is essential to control the blood pressure.
Potassium lessens the effects of sodium. It helps in balancing the fluid levels or water levels in the blood vessels. This helps in reducing the levels of high blood pressure. According to another study, deficiency of potassium increases the levels of sodium which leads to hypertension.
If you suffering hypertension, do eat dates regularly. But, if you having any kidney problems like renal failure or chronic kidney disease, potassium might not be good for you. You will need to avoid eating dates if you have such disorders.
21. Treats hangovers:
You might drink a lot on weekends to enjoy your spare time and holidays. This might lead you to develop hangover the next day. You will suffer from a severe headache due to a hangover.
Just rub the skin of the dates at night. Then soak them in warm water. Leave them overnight. Eat the dates the next morning and also drink the water you used to soak the dates. This is an excellent home remedy to get rid of a hangover fast.
22. Help in weight gain:
Dates are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Proteins in dates help you in the formation of strong muscles. They are also rich in energy. 100 grams of dates provides 300 calories. This helps you in gaining weight.
Whenever we want to gain weight, we need to eat a healthy diet rich in proteins and vitamins. We shouldn’t eat any junk food to gain weight. Dates are a good way to gain weight eating healthy food. Just have 5 to 6 dates a day for weight gain. In addition to weight gain, dates also make you very healthy in all aspects.
23. Health Benefits of dates for skin:
Dates contain antioxidant substances like vitamin A, C, and E. They also have other antioxidants like beta carotene and lutein zeaxanthin. These substances help in fighting the free radicals that harm our skin and cause premature aging.
Dates also help in reduces all the signs of aging like wrinkles on the face, age spots, and fine lines. Dates make us look youthful. Dates are rich in vitamin E which makes our skin healthy.
They are rich in vitamin C which is necessary for the formation of collagen which is a part of the skin. It helps in making the skin healthy, promotes the healing of cuts, abrasions, and wounds on the skin. It also helps in retaining the elasticity of the skin which is lost with aging.
24. Benefits of dates for hair:
Proper nutritional support is essential for the healthy growth of hair. Vitamins and minerals in adequate amounts help in making the hair thicker and stronger.
In addition to regular hair massage, hair masks or hair packs, nutrition plays a pivotal role in stimulating a healthy hair growth. Dates contain all the vitamins and minerals which can stimulate hair growth.
They stimulate the hair roots for proper hair growth. As the hair becomes strong with dates, you will notice that your hair breaks and falls less often than before.
25. Treat diarrhea:
Dates help in controlling constipation. At the same time, they also attenuate the symptoms of diarrhea. They contain potassium which helps in controlling diarrhea as low levels of potassium or hypokalemia can be the reason behind diarrhea.
Dates promote the growth of helpful intestinal bacteria like lactobacilli which help in controlling the symptoms of diarrhea. The high fiber content of dates also helps in treating diarrhea symptoms.
Ways to use dates in your diet:
- You can eat dates by themselves as they are very yummy.
- Soak dates in warm water and eat them the next morning.
- Make a paste of dates and add it to warm milk and drink it.
- Add dates paste in making your cakes and muffins. Use it as a natural sugar substitute.
- Make use of dates paste to make delicious desserts like Barfis, laddoos instead of sugar.
- You can use a coarse paste of dates, finely chopped nuts like almonds, cashews, pistachios to make a laddoo, a type of Indian dessert. Store them in airtight containers and eat them whenever you have sugar cravings.
- Add dates to your oatmeal instead of sugar or honey.
- Make a dessert called Kheer with milk and vermicelli and add dates to it.
- Add dates to your smoothies and milkshakes.
- Make delicious fruit bread and add dates pieces to it.
- Make a fruit salad with various fruits and add chopped dates pieces to it.
- You can sue them in your sandwiches.
- You can be creative and try out more ways to include days in your diet.
Other names of dates:
Tamil: Pericham pazham
You have seen all the health benefits of dates. Start eating them today to benefit greatly from them. How have you benefited from dates? What is your favorite variety of dates? Share your experience with us.