Dates are one of nature’s best kept secrets, aren’t they? They’re deliciously sweet, flavorful, and packed full of nutrients. Because of this, dates are a fabulous addition to any successful Clean Eating Meal Plan or Vegan Grocery List.
A handful of dried dates alone makes a great clean eating snack. But they’re also quite tasty in creamy yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, muesli, and mixed in with other whole foods. But this goes further than a pleasing taste profile: they’re downright medicinal for your body!
The Nutrition of Dates: Overview
- 9 Surprising Health Benefits of Eating Dates
- The Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy Are Astounding
- FAQs About the Health Benefits of Dates:
What are the benefits of eating dates in the morning on an empty stomach?
What are the health benefits of dates for men?
Why are red dates good for you?
- How to Start Eating Dates Daily
I’ve written this article to clue you in to some major health benefits of eating dates, including basic nutritional advantages, disease prevention, and even how daily consumption can encourage a healthier pregnancy!
9 Powerful Health Benefits of Eating Dates
1. They’re Full of Essential Nutrients
Since dates grow in tropical areas, most of the dates in the Western world are dried. Which is excellent news for us! Dried fruit is ultra-dense, so it’s easier to consume. This makes getting your daily dose of vitamins and minerals taste like a naturally sweet treat rather than a chore.
Dates are high in essential nutrients like potassium, magnesium, Vitamin B6, copper, and manganese. They’re also a good source of protein, iron, and healthy carbohydrates.
Dates are truly “clean foods” because they’re free from a lot of risky substances like cholesterol, sodium, and saturated fat.
2. Dates Keep You Feeling Full Longer
Dried dates are a good source of fiber, which keeps you feeling full long after you eat. For this reason, they are great on-the-go fuel for busy days when you just can’t seem to find the time to sit down and eat a proper meal.
Another benefit of feeling satiated longer means that you won’t be as tempted to “cheat” on your diet or overeat by grazing on unnecessary calories between meals.
Interested in more foods that keep you feeling full and energized after you eat them?
If so, then check out High Fiber Breakfast Foods for the Natural Energy Boost Your Body + Mind Craves
3. They Also Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth in a Healthy Way
Dates make great sweet treats because of their natural, healthy sugars. They’re an excellent substitution for more classic desserts like cake and cookies. Popular desserts like these contain excessive amounts of refined sugars, which can wreak havoc on your immune system, increase your risk of developing heart disease, and damage your mood and energy levels.
They contain glucose, fructose, and sucrose, which are all natural sugars. As you eat less refined sugars, your palette will become more sensitive, and you’ll really start to taste the difference between artificial or refined sweeteners versus natural, plant-based sweets.
Instead of unhealthy desserts, which are laden with preservatives and refined sugar, try savoring some dates to satisfy your sweet tooth.
If you’re interested in learning more about the biological effects of refined sugar, then check out:
The Health Effects of Sugar on the Body: Your Brain + Belly on Sugar
4. Dates Harness the Power of Antioxidants to Fight Disease
Antioxidants are truly life-saving compounds that prevent diseases by shielding your body from damage at a cellular level. Dates contain polyphenols, a specific type of antioxidant that helps fight inflammation. Daily intake of polyphenols can prevent or alleviate symptoms of depression, heart disease, diabetes, and arthritis. They’re also linked with the prevention of colon, endometrial, lung, breast, pancreatic, and prostate cancers!
5. Eating Dates Can Improve Your Brain Health
The simple act of consuming dates on a regular basis may have the power to improve your brain health. Some extremely fascinating studies involving laboratory mice eating dates reveal astounding implications for human brain health.
Again, the antioxidants in dates are their secret weapon. Due to their anti-inflammatory effects, studies suggest that the polyphenols found in dates may provide “neuroprotection,” or a type of safeguard against many age-related neurodegenerative disorders, like Huntington’s, Parkington’s, and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Another study reveals the connection between the buildup of β-amyloid peptide and Alzheimer’s disease. Think of “β-amyloid peptide” as harmful buildup like plaque in your teeth. As you age, this buildup of plaque in your brain damages your brain cells by making it difficult for them to communicate with each other, which can ultimately lead to Alzheimer’s disease.
But the health benefits of eating dates goes beyond disease prevention; daily consumption can also improve the way your brain functions. Notably, one study found that mice who regularly ate dates displayed less anxious behavior, stronger information-retention, and better learning capabilities than the control group of mice.
If you want to learn more about diet and brain health, then check out:
What to Eat for a Happier, Healthier Brain
6. Enhance Your Bone Health Naturally
In order to maintain proper bone health, your body needs plenty of phosphorus, selenium, manganese, copper, magnesium, and potassium. Dates are excellent natural sources of these valuable nutrients!
It’s interesting to understand how magnesium, copper, and phosphorous form the “holy trinity” of bone health. When these three nutrients come together, they create hydroxyapatite, which is the substance responsible for keeping your bones robust and sturdy.
7. Contrary to Popular Belief, Dates Can Help Diabetes
Generally speaking, people with diabetes are told to steer clear of eating dates. The reasoning has been because the sugars in dates may cause blood sugar levels to get out of control. However, according to a comprehensive study published in Nutrition Journal, the consumption of dates does not cause a rise in unhealthy blood sugar. This is because they are actually a low glycemic index food.
Furthermore, eating dates (in moderation) may actually help treat diabetes by regulating blood sugar.
The exciting part about this news is that individuals with diabetes can now reap these healthful benefits of dates:
- People with diabetes often suffer from blood clots. However, the Vitamin K in dates helps manage healthy blood clotting.
- Elevated blood sugar levels can cause diabetics to lose magnesium, but dates are a safe source of this vital nutrient.
- Dates contain important B Vitamins that help prevent the nerve damage that so many diabetics suffer from.
- The Vitamin A in dates helps prevent diabetic retinopathy.
People who are on the cusp of developing Type II diabetes should restrict the amount of high glycemic foods they consume. Prevention is always best! The natural sweetness of dates helps stop sugar cravings and prevent refined-sugar binges.
8. Dealing with IBS? Try Eating Dates!
Roughly 1 in 5 people suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), a digestive disorder that causes many uncomfortable symptoms like constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and gas. The foods you consume can either drastically improve your symptoms or make them seem absolutely unbearable.
Dates are one of those foods that can transform your IBS from insufferable to barely-there! The insoluble fiber they contain has been shown to activate proper bowel movements in individuals suffering from constipation.
9. The Benefits of Eating Dates During Pregnancy Are Astounding
The health benefits of dates during pregnancy are widespread. So much so that it seems like one of those little secrets we should be shouting from the rooftops! The specific nutrients in dates come together to form a powerful elixir for easing the uncomfortable symptoms that pregnancy can cause, and they also promote a healthier delivery.
Having a tough pregnancy? Check out how these nutrients in dates can help:
- The insoluble fiber found in dates soothes many common pregnancy symptoms like constipation and intense food cravings. Additionally, the fiber content and healthy sugars reduce the risk of developing gestational diabetes.
- Painful cramps are common during pregnancy, but the magnesium found in dates may help alleviate your discomfort. Furthermore, daily intake of magnesium during pregnancy has been shown to reduce the risk of complications like gestational diabetes and preterm labor.
- Magnesium is also linked with healthier weights – for both baby and mama!
The health benefits of eating dates are especially powerful in promoting healthy labor:
- Eating dates is helpful in late pregnancy because they help naturally induce uterine contractions. They have also been linked with less hemorrhaging after delivery.
- One study reveals that women who consume dates preceding delivery have a 77% shorter first stage of labor and are less likely to need drug-induced labor.
More Specifics on the Health Benefits of Dates: FAQs
In addition to highlighting 9 main health benefits of eating dates, I want to tell you about some more specifics. For example, eating dates on an empty stomach has its own merits. So does eating dates in the morning!
What Are the Benefits of Eating Dates in the Morning on An Empty Stomach?
One of the benefits of eating dates in the morning, before anything else, is that you are eating them on an empty stomach. Since you are eating them as your first meal of the day, you’re setting yourself up for success. In other words, the aforementioned benefits of boosting your brain health, curbing sugar cravings, and keeping you full translate to a higher-performing you for the rest of the day!
They do this in 3 major ways:
1. First of all, their brain-boosting benefits will help you concentrate better at work or school.
2. Secondly, since the fiber keeps you feeling full and energized, you will always leave the breakfast table feeling full and ready to conquer the day for several hours after eating. This is a good way to avoid that “crash” you get after a sugary breakfast or a few cups of coffee.
3. If you are following a strict diet, then dates will help you in a number of ways. First, having some healthy sugar right away in the morning means you won’t feel deprived of sweets later on… And deprivation almost always leads to the very out-of-control snacking frenzies that you’re trying to avoid when dieting! Second, feeling full will also help you restrain from unnecessary snacking on empty calories later on.
What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Dates for Men?
While dates are especially healthy for pregnant women, they also have specific health benefits for men. First, they may increase male libido. And according to a study published in the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, they may also enhance male fertility.
What Are Some Red Dates Benefits?
Red dates, also called jujube, have their own unique benefits. In fact, they are some of the most widely consumed “health foods” in China. Chinese tradition also includes them in traditional herbal formulas as well ingredients in health tonics.
Here are some health benefits specific to red dates:
1. An elixir of red dates soaked in water is believed to enhance your liver’s function and serve as a “natural detox.”
2. Red dates soaked in red wine may help facilitate healthier blood flow through your arteries.
3. For a finer-tuned nervous system and better sleep, try making a simple red date porridge.
The recipe is equal parts red dates, lotus seeds, and dried lily flowers brewed in water. This may also help naturally calm your nerves.
In order to fade sunspots or freckles naturally, give “Jujube Steamed Fungus” a shot! First, soak about 10 red dates in water for a couple of hours. The next step is to steam them. After this, soak about 15 grams of black fungus in water. Cut the fungus into smaller pieces, and then add them to the dates.
The final step is to boil the dates and fungus in a pot full of water and let them simmer for about 30 minutes. To make it more palatable, add a dash of pure cane sugar. According to Chinese tradition, this “Jujube Steamed Fungus” is also believed to slow down the aging process by keeping your muscles firm and your youthful glow healthy longer.
Inspired By The Health Benefits of Dates?
Here’s How You Can Harness Their Power Daily
Whether you’re in search of the best foods to eat during pregnancy, want to naturally prevent disease, or simply value the importance of obtaining nutrients through whole foods, dates should definitely be added to your diet. I hope this information about the health benefits of eating dates has been as exciting for you as it has been for me!
One awesome source of dried dates is organic Mu Mu Muesli. This is a glyphosate-free, non-GMO homemade food containing dried dates and other natural ingredients that complement the healing power of dates. Muesli is a great way to incorporate healthy foods into your diet because you can do it in a variety of ways: by mixing it with yogurt, pouring some into your oatmeal, or combining it with homemade coconut milk.
Healthy doesn’t have to be boring, and muesli is a great example of this!