The succulent sweet fruit from the Middle East, Date fruit or Khajur isn't just a delicious fruit eaten to break Roza at the time of iftar. Consumed fresh, dried or in canned form, the amazing health benefits of dates make it a must-have superfood. It is highly recommended to eat dates during pregnancy.
Date fruits trace back to the ancient Egyptian civilization that used dates to make wine. From improving brain functioning and cognitive abilities to preventing heart problems, from being a natural aphrodisiac to providing relief from constipation, there are many health benefits of dates. Such amazing benefits of dates make it one of the top choices of fitness enthusiasts and weight watchers.
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Nutritional value of dates:
High nutritional value of dates makes it an instant energy booster. The tradeoff between date calories and fiber amount is absolutely perfect for weight watchers. Dates are loaded with Vitamins A, K, B6, and minerals like Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium, Sulphur, Copper, Protein etc.
Health benefits of dates:
If being delicious wasn’t just enough to devour dates every day, here are some amazing benefits of eating dates:
1. Keep your heart young:
One of the major health benefits of dates is its cholesterol-lowering ability. Nutrient-rich, Date fruit is loaded with antioxidants and isoflavones that prevent cholesterol from getting deposited in arteries. This anti-atherosclerosis quality of dates safeguards heart by preventing hardening of arteries and deposition of plaque. It even lowers blood pressure. Dates nutrition index is pretty high, without any trace of cholesterol in it. The bottom line is: Enjoy a few dates if you want to keep your heart young.
2. Build and maintain strong bones:
Since nutritional value of date boasts of a high amount of copper, magnesium, manganese and selenium, it is recommended to eat dates during pregnancy. All these minerals are crucial for maintaining healthy bones. Further, dates being rich in Vitamin K (a blood coagulant) metabolize bones making them strong and healthy. If you want to stay away from osteoporosis in old age, become friends with dates now!
3. Goodbye Constipation:
Constipation deregulates the mineral content in body worsening things further. One of the major benefits of eating dates stems from fiber and mineral content it supplies. Date fruit, with its fiber and mineral constituents, put the digestive system back on track by providing relief from constipation. All you need to do is soak dates overnight in water and consume them empty stomach the next morning. This helps to regulate the mineral level in body and move stool forward easily. Incorporate date fruit in your diet if you want a healthy bowel.
4. Happy gut and healthy intestines:
Another health benefit of eating dates is in the generous amount of nicotine and fiber it supplies. Regular intake of date fruit inhibits the growth of disease-causing harmful bacteria in the guts. Further, the soluble and insoluble fiber present in dates promotes the growth of healthy gut-friendly bacteria in the intestines. This safeguards the entire digestive tract from a range of diseases including colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon). Fiber also helps in proper absorption and assimilation of nutrients in the intestine.
5. Natural remedy for Anaemia:
Dates, nutrition powerhouse of iron, are an excellent dietary supplement for people suffering from anaemia. Add dates to your breakfast cereal or drink date infused milk to combat anaemia.
6. Natural aphrodisiac:
People suffering from reduced stamina, less sterility, infertility and lost sexual desire can derive benefits from eating dates. Date fruit, a natural aphrodisiac, is rich in flavonoids and estradiol that increases sperm count, motility and stamina. You can try this natural remedy: Take goat’s milk and soak few dates in it overnight. In the morning, blend the entire concoction adding 1-2 teaspoon of honey and a few green cardamoms to it. Drinking this power potion can certainly help improve sexual endurance.
7. Prevent Seasonal Allergies:
Take a closer look at the dates nutrition chart and you’ll find plenty of organic sulphur in it. Organic sulphur, a rare element found in food, is very helpful in warding off seasonal allergies. This is why it is advised by naturopaths to eat dates during pregnancy.
8. Healthy brain:
Date fruit safeguards against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer, Dementia, cognitive malfunctions etc. Dates benefit in maintaining the nervous system at its optimal health. Potassium, anthocyanin, phenolics and protocatechuic acid present in Date fruit prevent inflammation of the brain, improves its alertness, speed and cognitive abilities. Date infused milk is a power drink for healthy brain and nervous system. To prepare this, boil some dates with a glass of milk, add few strands of saffron and a pinch of turmeric to the mix. Drink it before bedtime for best results.
9. Energy booster:
Fructose, sucrose and glucose contribute towards dense Date calories. Thus, date fruit is the perfect snack to eat when you are in need of an immediate energy burst. In fact, many fitness enthusiasts eat dates before beginning their workout session. People in the Middle East break their fast (Roza) by eating two dates along with water. This prevents them from overeating and pacifies hunger.
10. Fight off haemorrhoids:
We cannot stress enough on how beneficial it is to eat dates during pregnancy. Apart from building strong bones, preventing allergies and promoting brain health, date fruit also saves from major pregnancy complication- haemorrhoids. Dates being rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, magnesium and manganese regulate bowel movements effectively. This prevents haemorrhoids from occurring.
11. Get healthy skin:
Not only health, benefits of eating dates transcend into the healthy skin too. Date fruit is rich in Vitamin C, E and D which promote elasticity in the skin. Flavonoids, phytohormones and antioxidants present in dates have anti-ageing effect on the skin. Regular intake of dates benefits the skin by preventing accumulation of melanin in the body. It even combats wrinkles.
12. Prevent hair fall:
Benefits of dates extend to hair too. Iron, calcium and vitamins present in date fruit promote hair growth by improving the blood circulation of the scalp. Dates provide nutrition to hair that prevents hair fall and ensures healthy hair growth.
Side effects of dates during pregnancy:
Just as it is with any other food, an excess of everything is harmful. Remember, moderation is the key when it comes to eating high energy dense food. Especially during pregnancy, you must be extra careful about what you eat as it can directly affect your baby.
- Consult your doctor before eating dates during the last stage of pregnancy. Dates are well-known as labor-inducing foods and therefore until you really want to start your labour early, try to keep the consumption to a minimum.
- Packed with calories and sugar, give dates a miss if you suffer from diabetes. Dates are known to increase sugar level if eaten in excess and can even cause weight gain.
- If you are allergic to Sulfite, do not eat dates. Sulfite, the wax coat to keep dates fresh and shiny, can cause allergic reactions in some people.
- Another reason to keep dates intake moderate, the gas build up caused by high fructose content in them.
Fresh, dry or soaked- dates (in moderation) are your new best friend for a healthy body! They definitely deserve a place on your plate. Do not forget to opt for the organic variety, if you can lay hands on, buy sulfite free organically grown dates to eat during pregnancy.