They are cultivated all over the world, especially across tropical regions. Dates are sweet, chewy, and available in soft, semi-dry, and dry varieties. Farmers harvest dates in early winter, so dates usually taste freshest at this time.
They have all the goodness that one needs, be it their sweet, rich taste or health benefits. They are warm and fulfilling. Dates produce heat in the body, so they are generally recommended during winter.
NUTRITIONAL VALUES WITH MAJOR HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES (KHAJOOR):
- 1) Nutritional value (100 grams of Dates, provides the following nutrients):Protein: 2 grams
- Fats: 0.15 grams
- Potassium: 20% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
- calcium: 6.5% of the RDI
- Manganese: 15% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
*RDI – Reference Daily Intake
The calorie content of dates is similar to that of dried fruits like raisins and walnuts. Most calories come from carbs which help provide Energy to the body.
Dates have a significant amount of fiber which is essential for overall health. Other than that, they contain many vital minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium. They also contain vitamins like thiamin, vitamins A, K, and riboflavin.
They are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and carotenoids. Such powerful antioxidants help to reduce the risk of diabetes and promote heart health.
2) Improves bone health:
Not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight in winter can deteriorate your bone health. You can indeed prevent this by having dates in your diet. They are an excellent calcium source that helps keep bones and teeth strong.
They contain minerals like magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and potassium, which play an essential role in preventing bone-related conditions like osteoporosis and arthritis.
Dates help ease the stiffness and pain in joints, which is very common in winter.
3) Improves heart health:
Dates are an incredibly heart-healthy food. Dates are high in both potassium and fiber. They help to reduce bad cholesterol, which indirectly helps to lessen the risk of heart disease. Dates also contain isoflavones that are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
There is more risk of heart attacks in winter as your body temperature drops. Having Dates in your diet is advisable as it does not allow blockage of arteries with plaque. Dates reduce the risk of heart attack and high blood pressure. Dates are one of the many heart-healthy foods.
4) Provides Energy:
Dates are high in carbohydrates. It makes them a great source of Energy for the human body. Dates can boost your energy levels immediately when you feel lethargic or sluggish on those winter days. They also help in keeping your body warm in winter.
As a morning or evening snack, they can be your Super Food that helps increase your stamina levels. They are highly recommended to people who regularly exercise or stretch.
Interesting fact- The Muslim community widely uses dates to break their fast during Ramzan month. It helps provide quick Energy and nutrients to the body that it requires after a long day of fasting.
5) Encourages weight gain:
People are often hesitant towards foods high in sugar because of the calories. While Dates may have a handful of calories, they are also packed with various nutrients.
Dates can be a good rescue from your heightened appetite in winter and help you gain healthy weight. You can use Dates accordingly in your diet to gain weight. Sugar, proteins, and other vitamins help the cause. Dates are also rich in fiber which helps in weight management. This enables you to gain weight that is appropriate for your body.
6) Help in improving digestion:
Dates are a rich source of fibers, both soluble and insoluble. They help to increase the secretion of digestive juices, which makes food absorption easy. Dates are great for improving bowel movements. They also reduce the risk of colon cancer.
In winter, the metabolism of the body slows down. This can lead to digestive problems. Dates are recommended in winter as they have anti-oxidative properties that stimulate metabolism.
7) Beneficial for the skin:
- In winter, our skin often gets dry and harsh. Due to icy air, the skin loses its natural oils.
- Consuming Dates regularly in your diet will nourish your skin.
- Dates help to hydrate the skin. It also keeps the moisture level in check.
- The vitamins C and D in it maintain the skin’s elasticity.
- It also has antioxidant properties that help to attain youthful skin by repairing the damage caused by free radicals