Whilst many Americans may not be all too familiar with them, dates are actually a well-established staple in Middle Eastern and Arabic countries. Whilst Americans may only use dates sparingly (i.e. in certain cakes and pastries), in Middle Eastern and Arabic countries, the date is considered a complete foodstuff.
Categorised under fruit and veg, dates include all the many health benefits of other, perhaps better known, fruits and vegetables. Dates are particularly popular amongst Muslim people, who have regarded them as a nutritious, special fruit for many years. Today, this belief is also shared by nutritionists and doctors, who acknowledge the benefits of the date fruit in treating various diseases. They are also a recognised food supplement, rich in sugar and essential vitamins and minerals.
Research on the nutritional value of date fruit has shown that it can help to prevent certain cancers (from colon cancer to stomach cancer). In fact, compared to other, perhaps better known fruits, the humble date was found to produce far greater energy for our bodies. In all, scientists have identified 13 vital substances and 5 essential vitamins which make the date a great healthy food source. Aside from the date itself, all parts of the date palm on which it grows can be used too – meaning no waste!
Dates are sticky, sweet and delicious. In the tropical countries in which it is cultivated, it is an important food stuff for residents. People elsewhere are now starting to learn about the plentiful benefits of date fruit, and ditch sugary food full of empty calories for dates – they’re just as tasty, provide just as much energy, and are actually good for us! Even doctors are recommending that we eat a date fruit every day to help to keep our digestive system in good order and prevent from constipation. Loaded with potassium, date fruit can also help to control diarrhoea and can even help to calm nerves. It’s easy to fit date fruit into your diet – simply leave them to soak in water overnight and consume in the morning to set you up for the day. Done twice a week, eating dates this way can help to strengthen your heart. Again, it is important to make sure that you check with your doctor or dietician if you.
Those who suffer with diabetes or have a sensitive pancreas should avoid eating date fruit can result in increased blood pressure. As with anything, excessive date fruit consumption can have its disadvantages. It is not recommended, for example, to eat date fruit with yogurt if you are diabetic, or at risk of diabetes. In addition, those who are primarily concerned with weight loss should monitor their consumption of date fruit. That said, consuming date fruit regularly is far better than eating simple sugar and those who do strenuous exercise can use date fruit as a nutritious snack to give them a post-workout boost rather than reaching for an unhealthier alternative.
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