Every day, some kind of a healthy recipe pops up onto my Facebook wall and usually contains one of these “super food” ingredients: coconut oil, quinoa, cocoa powder, buckwheat flour, oat milk, or dates. Especially cake recipes are all starting with dates to get them healthily sweet and stick the dough together. If you are buying lots of healthy food products, you have probably already noticed how often these are included in the ingredients. We know it´s because they´re basically a fruit so they give us the sweetness without using sugar and can be used instead of eggs or butter, but that´s not the only reason. Dates have amazing health qualities that you should be aware of, it´s not just another substitute, it is much more than that…

Powerful minerals for a strong body

Dates contain high amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc, all of which are vital minerals for our bodies. Especially calcium, magnesium and selenium play a great role in preventing osteoporosis and keep your bones strong. In people with beginning weakening of bones, eating dates daily can significantly help, and in high doses can even completely stop the development of osteoporosis. Another of these minerals, iron, is important especially for women, who are either anemic which causes them extreme fatigue and weakness, or when they´re pregnant and need to double their nutrition for the unborn child. Potassium-containing foods are commonly used to stop diarrhea, but one of its primary functions is building muscles so if you´re an athlete and you want to avoid artificial supplements, just pack on some dates.

Healthy heart

Since heart disease is one of the top causes of death worldwide, we always give a lot of emphasis on the properties of these foods that keep your heart healthy. Of course, dates are one of them. Only one date contains 1.6g of fiber which is 6% of your RDA. In 2008, a journal called “Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition” reported that the insoluble fiber contained in dates is capable of binding toxins and fats on it and eliminate these from the body, thus preventing hardening of arteries and other heart disease. In a 2009 study from “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry,” researchers reported that eating dates daily lowers triglycerides on average by 12% which prevents the same development of heart disease, getting strokes or heart attacks.

Weight-loss aid

We already mentioned fiber and its benefits for your heart and prevention of the most widespread diseases but it´s actually helping you with much more than that. Especially insoluble fiber binds all the toxins and saturated fats on it and excretes them from the body so that these have no chance to get absorbed. This way, you´re getting detoxified (don´t forget to drink enough water with so much fiber) and the fats are not getting into your system so you naturally must lose weight. A 2011 report in “Nutrition Journal” also states that dates have been tested and came out as a low-glycemic food containing natural sugars because they´re a fruit, so if you´re diabetic or losing weight, dates won´t raise your blood sugar levels by much and will leave you satisfied. 100g serving of dates contains approximately 300 kcal which is not too much, especially considering that you´re probably not going to eat such an amount.

Allergic people´s best friend

What is not generally known about dates is their ability to aid allergic people with their problems. When someone is allergic for a long time, and especially when one doesn´t completely eliminate the certain allergenic food from their diet, they usually end up with a more severe allergy towards the certain food, plus are prone to getting more food allergies over time. Dates are a miracle for these people because they contain organic sulfur which has an ability to significantly decrease people´s allergic reactions to food and pollen. So if your allergies are piling up with every season, try adding a nice amount of dates into your diet or even eat them with the slightly allergenic food and see how your reactions will slowly fade away…

Did you overdo it with alcohol?

When you go out for a glass of wine but end up partying all night and instead of a glass, drinking the whole bottle, you may regret it the next morning. Many people recommend drinking a glass of water with a baking soda in it or just have a nice strong coffee, but these remedies will actually just postpone the hangover. Even though the baking soda may slightly help, it will also significantly slow down your digestion and so all the calories will go straight to fat stores. If you really want to prevent a bad hangover, let some dates soak in water overnight and then crush them and add them into your porridge in the morning. The sobering effects are allegedly amazing. Although there are no scientific facts to back up this claim, we think it´s worth a try.

by Katarína Vicová

Joy, T. (2013). What are the health benefits of eating dates? Retrieved from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/507760-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-dates/

Organic Facts (2015). Health benefits of dates. Retrieved from: https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html
The other big O (2013). [picture]. Make it a date. Retrieved from: http://theotherbigo.ca/2013/12/22/date-and-carrot-muffin-recipe/