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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.
by Mike Barrett
Nutritional Content of DatesIf you’re looking for fiber, potassium, or copper, look no further than dates. While dates are rich in many vital nutrients and therefore offer many health benefits, the fruit is so small that you’ll need to consume a larger quantity to intake the necessary amount.
The following nutritional data outlines some of the key nutrients found in dates, and is based on a 100g serving of the fruit.
- Fiber – 6.7 grams. 27% RDA.
- Potassium – 696 milligrams. 20% RDA.
- Copper – 0.4 milligrams. 18% RDA.
- Manganese – 0.3 milligrams. 15% RDA.
- Magnesium – 54 milligrams. 14% RDA.
- Vitamin B6 – 0.2 milligrams. 12% RDA.
Check out the USDA Nutrient Database for a full nutritional profile of dates.
The Known Health Benefits of Dates – What the Date Fruit Has to OfferDates 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. Here are some health benefits of dates.
- 1. Promoting Digestive Health, Relieving Constipation – Fiber is essential for promoting colon health
and making for regular bowel movements. The insoluble and soluble fiber
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 fiber and colon health are reduced risks of colitis, colon
cancer, and hemorrhoids. (Dates could even be coupled with other home remedies for hemorrhoids.)
- 2. Boosting Heart Health – In addition to promoting colon health, fiber is also known to boost heart health.
- 3. Anti-Inflammatory – Dates are rich in magnesium – a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. One study found that “inflammatory indicators in the body such as CRP (C-reactive protein), TNF (tumor necrosis factor alpha), and IL6 (interleukin 6) were all reduced when magnesium intake was increased.” Further, inflammation in the arterial walls was also reduced with magnesium intake. Based on magnesium’s anti-inflammatory properties and the findings of this study, 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.
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