It is common knowledge that fruits offer some of the best health benefits. When any given fruit is promoted as a ‘power fruit’, then you have to believe that it does indeed offer a myriad of benefits.
Medjool dates are among these ‘power’ fruits. History traces them back to Iraq, where they are believed to have originated. They are fruits of the date palm trees, and have been a staple food in Middle Eastern countries for long.
Medjool dates are not only delicious but they are also an excellent source of nourishment for consumers thanks to their minerals, fibers, and various other nutrients. You can buy dates online to enjoy their benefits. Here are some of the health benefits that you can get by including Medjool dates in your daily snacks.
They Are Nutritious
Medjool dates have a remarkable nutrition profile. Their calorie content is higher than many fresh fruits because they are dried. The calorie content is similar to that of other dried fruits such as figs and raisins.
Most of the calorie content in dates is composed of carbs. The rest is composed of small amounts of proteins.
Apart from calories, dates also contain some vital proteins and vitamins, as well as a considerable amount of fiber.
The following is the nutritional information for an average-sized Medjool date:
- Calories: 20
- Total Fat: 0.03 grams (g)
- Carbs: 5.33g
- Dietary Fiber: 0.6g
- Protein: 0.17g
- Sugar: 4.5g
- Iron: 0.07mg
- Potassium: 47mg
- Magnesium: 3mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.012 mg
Note that dates naturally have high sugar content. Even when your sugar is coming from a fruit source, be careful not to overdo it.
They Are High In Fiber
Fiber is an essential dietary requirement for your health. Dates contain almost seven grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving. Including dates in your daily snacks is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
Fiber is vital for boosting colon health and digestive health. It also helps create regular bowel movement by contributing to the making of stool. The fiber found in dates is both soluble and insoluble, which helps in cleaning the gastrointestinal system and allows the colon to increase efficiency in its functions.
In addition, fiber also plays a role in controlling blood sugar. It slows down digestion and helps prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating. By eating dates alone, people with type-2 diabetes can help manage their blood sugar and blood fat levels.
Medjool dates are highly recommended for those with constipation.
Additional benefits concerning fiber and colon health include reduced risks of colon cancer, colitis, and hemorrhoids.
They Are High In Antioxidants
Medjool dates have various antioxidants which provide numerous health benefits, including reduced risk of some diseases. Antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage and free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause harmful reactions in the body and may lead to diseases such as cancer, brain ailments, and heart disease.
Dates have a high antioxidant level compared to other fruits of its kind such as dried plums, prunes, and figs.
The following are the most dominant antioxidants in Medjool dates:
- Flavonoids – Flavonoids are important antioxidants that help reduce inflammation. It has been established that they help reduce the potential risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and some types of cancer.
- Carotenoids – Carotenoids promote heart health and also reduce the risk of eye-related issues, like macular degeneration.
- Phenolic Acid – Phenolic acid is known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It helps lower the risk of heart disease and cancer.
These antioxidants also contain brain-protective properties.
Promote Brain Health
Including Medjool dates in your daily snacks helps improve brain function. Dates have been found to reduce inflammation in the brain and offer protection against oxidative stress.
When you consume Medjool dates regularly, you lower your risk of neurodegenerative diseases. The dates also enhance cognitive performance for older consumers.
Additionally, it has been proven that Medjool dates have the potential to slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.
Improve Bone Health And Strength
Medjool dates are highly rich in magnesium, copper, manganese, and selenium. All these play a huge role in keeping your bones healthy to prevent bone-related illnesses, such as osteoporosis.
Medjool dates are also rich in vitamin K, which is a blood coagulant and helps to metabolize the bones. They also contain boron which is another nutrient important for bone strength.
All these properties show that Medjool dates are a superfood in the strengthening of bones and fighting painful bone diseases. They are significantly helpful for aged people whose bones have weakened gradually.
May Promote Natural Labor
Dates have been studied for their ability to promote and ease late-term labor in pregnant women. Eating Medjool dates for the last few weeks before delivery helps develop cervical dilations and reduce the need for induced labor. They may also help in reducing labor time.
Women who eat six dates every day for four weeks before their due date increase their chances of going into natural labor by 20%. They also go into labor for a significantly less amount of time compared to their counterparts who don’t eat dates. The labor time can be reduced by up to four hours.
The role played by dates in labor for pregnant women can be attributed to compounds that bind oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone in the body that facilitates labor contractions during child delivery.
Medjool dates are a rich source of fructose. Fructose is a natural sugar found in fruits and honey.
This is the reason why Medjool dates have a sweet and caramel-like taste. They make a healthy alternative for white sugar in recipes due to the nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber they provide.
The best way to substitute white sugar with Medjool dates in recipes is to make date paste. Date paste is made by mixing water and Medjool dates in a blender. The secret is to replace white sugar with date paste in a 1:1 ratio. For instance, if you use one cup of white sugar, replace it with one cup of date paste.
Remember that even though Medjool dates are high in nutrients and fiber, they also have high-calorie content, so it is best to consume them in moderation.
Eating Medjool dates in your daily meals offers many health benefits. They are nutritious, and high in fiber and antioxidants. They also help improve bone and brain health. For expectant mothers, consuming six dates every day for four weeks before the due date increases the chances of going into natural labor and also reduces labor time. For all these reasons, dates make a healthy snack that should be a regular part of your diet.