It's believed that Prophet Muhammad once said, 'People in a house without dates are in a state of hunger.' The highly nutritious and delicious fruit, that is available throughout the year, is a part of the local cuisines in many Middle Eastern and North African countries. Nutritionists say that it is safe to include dates in daily diet as it contains lots of macronutrients and other vitamins that significantly help in maintaining health. Scientifically known as phoenix dactylifera, dates are also considered one of the most nutritious fruits in the world.
Even diabetes patients can eat it
Dates are storehouses of energy as well as fructose and glucose. Even though energy is mostly present in the form of sugar, dates could be eaten by diabetes patients as they contain lots of fibres and have a low glycemic index. Dates help in maintaining a healthy body weight as well as blood sugar level. These fruits can increase the production of insulin. Besides, studies show that by consuming dates the absorption of glucose by the liver gets reduced.
Rich in good fibres, dates may be helpful for people who suffer from various health issues due to severe constipation. Moreover, dates are loaded with antioxidants. Interestingly, the density of antioxidants is higher in dates compared to other dry fruits. Antioxidants can eliminate the free radicals that harmfully affect the structural and genetic balance of the cells in our body.
Why pregnant women should eat it
Dates contain carotenoids that can significantly reduce the chance of getting macular degeneration which affects eyesight. Besides, these can ensure heart health too. Studies show that including dates in the regular diet of pregnant women could reduce complications during childbirth. Moreover, the tannin present in dates eases the stress of delivering. Meanwhile, the flavonoids, various amino acids, estrones, and sterols help in improving reproductive health in men.
Selenium, manganese, magnesium and copper are some of the macronutrients contained in dates. These make the bones stronger, protecting them from injuries. Meanwhile, dates are storehouses of potassium that strengthen the nervous system. Besides, the vitamins C and D ensure that your skin remains youthful and bright. Moreover, the high iron content in dates can prevent anaemia and hair fall.
Consume in moderation
It must be noted that dates contain high amounts of natural sugar. So, overconsuming dates could increase blood sugar levels. It is better to consume dates in moderation to receive its amazing nutritional properties. Even when it's considered safe for diabetes patients, those who are worried about fluctuating blood sugar levels should seek a doctor’s advice before including dates in their diet. Dates could be consumed as they are or added to various dishes. Here is a simple recipe for dates – a milkshake that is delicious and filling.
½ cup hot milk
2 cups cold milk
1 tbsp poppy seeds
Chopped nuts (for garnish)
Soak dates, almonds and cashews in hot milk
Blend this mixture along with cold milk in a mixer jar
Garnish with chopped nuts and poppy seeds
Nutritious and tasty dates – milkshake is ready