Date: A Fruit With Great Health Benefits
The date is a one-seeded fruit, or berry, usually oblong but varies much in shape, size, color, quality, and consistency of flesh, according to the conditions of culture. More than 1, 000 dates may appear on single single weighing weighing 8 kg (18 pounds) or more. The dried fruit is more than 50 percent sugar by weight and contains about 2 percent each of protein, fat and mineral matter.
What makes Dates a rich fruit?
Dates provide a wide range of essential nutrients which make it a rich fruit of all. It's main nutrients are as follows;
- Sugar : Fresh dates have soft and easily digestible flesh which contain simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eat, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly.
- Fiber : Date is rich in dietary fiber, which results in LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative and helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing its food exposure time.
- Vitamins :
- Vitamin A : Dates are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 International Unit per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required to maintain health of mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Vitamin B-complex : This fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are involved in the cellular metabolism of carbohydrates, protein and lipids.
- Vitamin K : Its benefits are:
- It automatically regulates blood clotting by transporting calcium from the body to the area of injury.
- It also reduces malabsorption, jaundice and internal bleeding in the liver.
- It is required to produce a protein called Octeocalcin which binds calcium to the bones matrix to increase its density and in this way it prevent us from osteoporosis.
- A woman experiencing excess menstrual bleeding would have been deficient in vitamin K. Dates can help her in reducing the blood flow out of the body.
- Minerals : Dates are also rich in minerals for example:
- Calcium : It is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction.
- Manganese: It is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme Superoxide Dismutase.
- Copper : It is required for the production of red blood cells.
- Magnesium: It is essential for bone growth.
- Potassium : 100 g of dates contains 696 mg or 16% of daily recommended levels of Potassium. It is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They offer protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.
- Flavonoids : Dates contain antioxidant flavonoids like:
- Lutein and
These antioxidants protect human cells from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals therefore eating dates found to be useful in protecting against cancer of colon, prostate glands, breast, lung, and pancreas.
- Tannins are known to possess anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.
- Zea-xanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbs into the retinal cell line, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration of eyes.
- Iron : Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0. 90 mg / 100 g of fruits (about 11% of Required Dietry Intake). Iron determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.
Dates can be used for treatment of different disease & disorders
- Iron Deficiency: The dates are the best source of iron and it fulfil our nutritional needs at its best.
- Heart disease: Its Potassium helps to control heart rate and blood pressure.
- Constipation: Date's fiber reduces LDL cholesterol absorption in gut and thus protects mucus membrane of colon from cancer and works as a bulk laxative to treat constipation. Vitamin B complex also plays an important role in metabolism of carbohydrates, protein, and fats.
- Anti Hemorrhagic : Calcium, Vitamin K & tannins of dates prevent easy bleeding tendencies.
- Anti cancer : Because of multiple flavonoids it protect our body from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, oral and pancreatic cancers.
- Eye's problem : Its Zea-Xanthin protects us against age-related macular degeneration of eyes. Vitamin "A" of dates also improves vision.
- Bones Repair: Calcium, Vitamin K and Magnesium play important role in bone growth and its repair.