Hail The Holy Date || A Date Fact Sheet In Time For Ramadan
Samboosak? Check. Qamardeen? Check. Dates?? Double Check. With the preparations for the holy month of Ramadan well under way, let’s all take a moment to investigate one of the pillars of Ramadan’s diet….the iconic Date. Dates are deemed as a superfood with a highly spiritual aspect and they have become an essential part of our diet in and out of Ramadan so what is it about this magical ’fruit’ ….let’s investigate.
The fruit of the palm tree is one of the oldest fruits in the world, having originated in the Middle East they are now grown all over the world. There are over 2,000 different kinds of dates, however the medjool date has become one of the most popular since it is now grown in the Western part of the world.
Dates offer a high content of several important minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium and copper. They are also significantly high in calcium, iron, vitamins A, K, and B-6.
1 || Potassium: a few dates contain enough potassium to satisfy a big portion of our daily needs of this essential mineral. Potassium is used to regulate blood pressure and pulse thus protecting against heart disease, and it also builds muscles.
2 || Niacin: dates are a good source of niacin which is an important vitamin that helps our bodies break down food into energy and also helps with nerve function.
3 || Vitamins A and B-6: dates include a good amount of vitamin A which is good for the eyes and skin as well as B-6 which is used to build muscles and grow hair and nails.
3 || Iron: dates are also an excellent source of iron which is essential for the making of red blood cells.
4 || Fiber: four dates will give us 6.4 grams of fiber (which is 30% of women’s daily requirement). Dates are especially high in beta-D-glucan which is a kind of soluble fiber that controls blood glucose levels, aids in blocking the absorption of cholesterol, as well as providing a feeling of fullness by slowing down digestion.
5 || Phenols: dates are considered a rich source of phenols which is an antioxidant compound that protects our cells from free radical damage and can protect against cancer.
Sugar and Calorie Content
Unfortunately dates are not a low-calorie food. A serving of 4 semi-soft medjool dates packs around 277 calories, 1.8 grams of protein, 75 grams of carbohydrates that include 66.5 grams of glucose and fructose. In fact, dates are used to promote weight gain for those who need it.
Benefits of Dates
1 || Treat Intestinal Disorders and Relieve Constipation: for a laxative effect dates are best used when soaked in water overnight and consumed with their water in the morning. Dates are considered natural probiotics as they help in promoting good bacteria in the intestines and they aid the intestines in absorbing the nutrients in food due to their fiber and amino acid content.
2 || Strengthen Bones: due to the significant amounts of minerals found in dates, they strengthen bones and protect against osteoporosis.
3 || Treat Anemia: the high mineral content especially iron makes dates the perfect dietary supplement for people with anemia, as dates also help combat side effects of anemia such as fatigue and they provide increased levels of energy and strength.
4 || Treat Allergies: a lesser know fact about dates is their ability in reducing seasonal allergies and allergic reactions due to the presence of organic sulfur.
5 || Nervous System Health: the vitamins available in dates makes dates ideal for the health of the nervous system. Potassium promotes the health of the nervous system and is also great for brain activity.
6 || Heart Health: potassium, again, is said to have a positive effect on heart health, and studies have shown that it is linked to reducing the risks of strokes and heart disease. Dates also block the absorption of cholesterol.
7 || Other Benefits: dates are a great source of energy prior to exercise or to treat that afternoon slump. Date are also said to treat male sexual problems, ground palm leaves are said to prevent night blindness, and they also provide a sobering effect from alcohol as well as treat hangovers. Since dates promote good gut health, they also treat diarrhea and prevent abdominal cancer.