Health Benefits of Dates

A product of the date palm and cultivated since approximately 6000 B.C, the date fruit is one of the sweetest fruits around and also happens to come in many different varieties. Although dates can be eaten fresh, the fruit is very often dried, resembling raisins or plums. But whether fresh or dry, the health benefits of dates are still just as plentiful.

The following are some of the key nutrients found in dates.

• Fibre • Potassium • Copper • Manganese • Magnesium • Vitamin B6

Dates aren’t exactly a nutritional powerhouse when compared to some other foods like kiwi or sesame seeds, but the fruit does still offer numerous health benefits along with great taste. They are a useful way of sweetening cakes and fruits and, in view of the fibre and nutrients, they are better than using sugar with its hollow calories.

Here are some health benefits of dates.

1. Promoting Digestive Health, Relieving Constipation – Fibre is essential for promoting colon health and making for regular bowel movements. The insoluble and soluble fibre found in dates help to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency. Some other benefits relating to fibre and colon health are reduced risks of colitis, colon cancer, and haemorrhoids.

2. Boosting Heart Health – In addition to promoting colon health, fibre is also known to boost heart health.

3. Anti-Inflammatory – Dates are rich in magnesium – a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Further, inflammation in the arterial walls is also reduced with magnesium intake. Based on magnesium’s anti-inflammatory properties, magnesium can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammation-related health ailments.

4. Reduced Blood Pressure – Magnesium has been shown to help lower blood pressure – and again, dates are full of the mineral. Additionally, potassium is another mineral in dates that has several functions within the body, aiding with the proper workings of the heart and helping to reduce blood pressure.

5. Reduced Stroke Risk – After evaluating 7 studies published over a 14 year time period, researchers found stroke risk was reduced by 9% for every 100 milligrams of magnesium a person consumes per day.

6. Boosting Brain Health – Some studies found that sufficient vitamin B6 levels are associated with improved brain performance and better test scores.

A Summary of Dates Health Benefits: Dates are great for:

• Weight loss • Promoting heart health, reducing heart disease risk - magnesium has been shown to help lower blood pressure – and again, dates are full of the mineral • Prebiotic – helps the digestive track Relieving constipation, supporting regular bowel movements • Iron-deficiency anaemia • Promoting respiratory and digestive health • Haemorrhoid prevention • Chronic conditions such as arthritis • Reducing colitis risk • Preventing colon cancer • Anti-Inflammatory - rich in magnesium – a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits

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