There are so many ways to benefit and things to love about dates! Not only are they an impressive source of antioxidants, fiber, energy, vitamins and minerals, but they also taste great. Compared to dried fruits like figs and apricots, they are a much better source of important natural compounds that have antioxidant activity. Considered a “superfood”, the benefits of dates are virtually endless.
by Greg Montoya
While they are mainly grown in countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt, the Medjool date is one of the most commercially grown varieties in the United States. The other commonly produced date in the U.S. is the Deglet Noor date.
Following for some of the primary benefits of this superfood:
The USDA National Nutrient Database has stated that there are 199 calories in 3 dried Medjool dates and a sugar content of 47.86 grams. Because dates are comprised of highly concentrated energy, it’s important to be conscious of portion size if you’re trying to lose weight.
The USDA National Nutrient Database also states that 3 dried Medjool dates contain 4.8 grams of fiber, which fulfills more than 10% of the daily value of 25 – 38 grams. Fiber is a vital component to a nutrient rich diet, helps prevent overeating, constipation and helps maintain healthy digestion. On top of that, fiber favorably affects blood cholesterol levels and helps maintain heart health.
Vitamins and Minerals
In accordance with “Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition,” they contain 10 minerals with the most notable being potassium, selenium, magnesium and copper. 4 dates provide over 15% of the recommended intake of these minerals. Because they have low sodium/high potassium content, they’re a healthy choice for people that have hypertension. They also contain small amounts of vitamin A and B-complex. In addition, they contain sulfur (both an element and a mineral) which can help reduce the effects of seasonal allergies.
The significant amounts of minerals found in them has earned them the “superfood” rating when it comes to strengthening bones and combating painful, debilitating conditions like osteoporosis. The copper, selenium, magnesium and manganese in dates play an important role in healthy bone strength and development, especially as we age. The impressive levels of iron in dates make them an ideal dietary supplement for those suffering from anemia.
While there is a decrease of antioxidant levels during the drying process, they are still regarded as a good source of antioxidants when compared to other dried fruits. A number of studies have demonstrated the antioxidant content of dates has exhibited the presence of compounds that have free radical scavenging abilities. They have been reported to possess the second highest antioxidant values among fruits commonly eaten in China.
The Best Ways to Eat Dates
There really isn’t a “best way” to enjoy them, but here are a few easy suggestions:
- Eat them as they are (just watch out for the pits).
- Take out the pits and stuff the dates with one of your favorite nuts.
- Mix them diced up into your breakfast cereal.
- Add them diced to vanilla yogurt.
With so many wonderful benefits, along with their great taste, it’s easy to see why they are so well loved. Pick some up today and make them a part of your healthy lifestyle.
Source of the article.