21 Jun The Health Benefits of Dates
Dates are grown in abundance in the Middle East and whilst incredibly high in sugar, they are also hailed as being one of the healthiest foods we can enjoy as part of a balanced diet. They are said to boast a whopping 23 amino acids, some of which are not even present in the most popular fruits that are a regular part of our diets. Also present are an array of minerals, vitamins and fiber all of which play a different role in helping support the overall health of our bodies.
So why are they so good for you – first and foremost they are easy to digest. The dietary fiber contained in dates looks after our digestive system and ensures that we can absorb as much of the good stuff as possible. The fiber also binds up any nasties, helping them to pass through and out of our bodies as quickly as possible.
The B vitamins in dates are fantastic for your eyes, backing up retina function. Vitamin A works at keeping your skin healthy and supporting efficient mucus membranes. Mucus membranes are essential in ensuring that our airways are clean and clear. Vitamin A is also said to help protect mouth and lungs against developing cancer.
Of the 15 minerals present in dates, the most notable are calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. They are all important cogs in the amazing machine that is our body.
Manganese and copper fulfil major supporting roles by helping the absorption of some of the bigger stars such as calcium and iron. Copper aids the production of collagen – a chief structural protein and helps the magic happen by turning carbs in our cells into energy. Manganese boosts many things from thyroid function to the immune system.
Calcium is the largest mineral present in our bodies and is most famous for its part in bone health. Its contribution to heart rhythm and muscle function can also not be ignored. Like calcium, magnesium is a foundation for building healthy bones. Magnesium also supports nerve function and helps turn food into energy.
Last, but not least, iron and potassium are the leads in your cardiovascular performance. Iron assists in correctly balancing oxygen in our blood stream; in turn potassium supports a healthy heart rate and blood pressure.
Ajwa dates are known as the ‘king of dates’. They are softer and drier and sometimes come stuffed with a dry fruit strengthening their flavour. These dates are harder to get as the tree only produces them every three years.
Medjool dates are most common to the Middle East and can be eaten fresh or dried. They are larger, softer and sweeter and taste like delicious caramel but a natural, healthier alternative. This particular date is full of fiber.
According to Bateel, one of the most decadent places to purchase dates in the UAE, there are approximately 600 varieties of dates in the world today. They offer a selection of the most delicious including Ajwa, Medjool, Dekki, Khidri and even softer dates, such as Barhi and Sakari, in frozen form.
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