A Date is a sweet fruit from the Date Palm (scientific name: Phoenix dactylifera). Originating in the desert oases of northern Africa and southwest Asia, Middle Eastern peoples have included dates as a part of their diet for centuries. The date is thought to be one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits.
The date palm has been referenced to as a “tree of life,” probably due to its excellent health benefits as well as its high nutritional value. Dates are best eaten when they are fresh, in season and water rich. You may also find raw dried dates at your organic market and these will be more concentrated and should be treated like all other dried fruits.
Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and Muslims fast each day, from sunrise to sunset, in order to gain a higher level of spiritual enlightenment. The tradition of eating dates during Ramadan, in order to break the fast at the end of each day, spans the course of history back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W) Naturally, a depletion of energy can be experienced as a result of fasting, and consuming dates is thought to be a gentle way in which to ease the body back into the act of eating. Dates, it is said, prevent metabolic, digestive, and other physical issues that may be caused by the practice of fasting.
Health Advantages of Eating Dates
- Dates are known to be an excellent cure for intestinal disturbances.
- Dates are digested very easily therefore they are good for supplying quick energy.
- Regular consumption of dates has been found to check the growth of pathological organisms and help in the growth of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
- Being a laxative food, dates have been found to be beneficial for those suffering from constipation; as well dates generally help the elimination of waste.
- Studies have shown that consumption of dates, soaked overnight and crushed, is good for those who have heart problems.
- Dates can be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect.
- Dates have the ability to lower LDL cholesterol.
- Researchers have revealed that dates are effective in preventing abdominal cancer.
- One of the key benefits of dates is its ability to regulate a healthy nervous system, thanks to the rich potassium content. Research has recommended that higher intake of potassium (about 400 mg) can cut the risk of stroke by 40 percent. As potassium does not get stored in the body, a regular consumption of dates will continually replenish the body and aid in maintaining a healthy nervous system and the right balance of the body’s metabolism.
- Dates are rich in iron and can be beneficial to those who suffer from anemia.
- Research has found that eating dates daily for four weeks can improve the quality of lipids (fats) in the blood without raising sugar levels.