Dates are delicious and sweet, but unlike most sweet delights are extremely useful. Thanks to the rich content of amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals dates are very suitable for active people and even athletes.
Dates are the fruit of the date palm, which grows mainly in the tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and Asia. They have oval, long and narrow seed. Their fleshy part is very sweet. Until they mature, their color is green, after that they become yellow, black, golden brown or mahogany red, depending on the type.
Dates – nutritional and health characteristics
Dried dates have lots of calories (100 g dried dates contain 270 kcal), but mainly because of the high content of fruit sugar – glucose, fructose and sucrose, which are 55-70%. Fats are about 0.2-0.5% the proteins are 1-2.5%, 15% minerals and salts – iron, copper, manganese, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, cadmium, aluminum, cobalt, sulfur, boron and others. Three to four dates, for example, can cover the daily dose of iron.
Dates contain fluoride that protects teeth from caries and selenium – this element can help preventing the risk of cancer, improve the immune system and reduces the risk of heart disease.
Dates are extremely valuable and useful fruit, one of the oldest known to mankind. They start their origin in the Arab countries where times these sweet and healthy fruits of date palm were honored since ancient. Even then they were known for their benefits to the human body and there are evidences that dates are the main food of the Arab warriors, Bedouins, Egyptians and Chinese centenarians – all lived in areas where food is scarce and conditions – extreme.
What do the dates contain?
Dates are one of the most nutritional dried fruits, because of the carbohydrates, proteins and fats in them, and are rich in almost all vitamins except vitamin. E. They contain 23 kinds of amino acids (which are missing in most of the other fruits), riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and highly active antioxidants, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium, folic acid, calcium, copper, sulfur, mineral salts, etc.
It is important to mention that they have no cholesterol, on the contrary, even lower levels of bad cholesterol and regulate the glucose in the blood. They are ideal substitute for sweet things and a great choice for diets and healthy diets. Dates have a low glycemic index and are suitable for diabetics. And yet – with them, as with all dried fruit should not overdo.
Health benefits of dates
- Strengthen immunity and act generally positive of the health – dates are one of the most nutritious foods in general;
- Affect metabolism and are especially useful in low thyroid function due to the high content of iodine in them;
- Support the brain activity and increase the activity of neural connections and concentration;
- They are useful for digestion. Contribute to the development of beneficial bacteria in the intestine and maintain the acid balance of the body.
- Give strength, endurance and energy. Help with exhaustion and fatigue, and are recommended for consumption after a long illness;
- Strengthen and stimulate the activity of the heart, liver and kidneys.
- They are useful against anemia and cardiovascular disease because of the high level of potassium.
- Recommended for hypertension and pulmonary diseases. Relieve cough and contribute to the removal of fluid from the lungs.
- They are recommended for diabetics due to the beneficial fructose and glucose.
- They are extremely useful for pregnant women, because of the folic acid.
- They are suitable for diets and weight reduction. They are good replacement of the refined sweets and reduce hunger;
- Dates contain fluorine, which prevents dental caries;
How to choose and store dates?
Choose rounded and soft dates with smooth and shiny skin. Avoid very wrinkled fruit or those with sugar crystals on the surface.
Keep fresh dates up to two weeks in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. Dried figs can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature in a cool, dry place up to 6 months, and in the refrigerator – up to 1 year.
How to eat dates?
Dates are consumed fresh, dried or cooked. As fresh are rare because very quickly wither. In the Arab countries where dates are one of the main foods of them are prepared in a variety of dishes. In Africa and the Middle East bake bread from dates. From the juice of fresh dates is prepared “honey.” You can add them to breakfast cereals (cold or hot).
Start your lunch with vegetable salad without oil and seasoned with lemon juice. Let you have in your menu chicken breasts or other lean meat. You can complete the meal with a cup of green tea and a handful of dates. Try to pre-determine your meal, to eat slowly and not to use supplements. Do not eat dates, if you decide to eat dessert after dinner.
Dates for weight loss?
It sounds strange, especially considering that these sweet dried fruits contain more than 290 calories per 100 grams. If you decide to lose weight, the dates will help, but only if you know how to use them properly. To do this you need to be aware of your metabolism.
Dates for weight loss for people with slow metabolism
Dates are suitable for those who slowly but surely gain weight. A piece of cake would hardly affect the size of your jeans, but “the treatment” of depression with ice cream every Saturday for a for half a year, will certainly add a few kilos to your weight.
According to their nutritional, dietary and medicinal qualities dates are equal to cereals. Dates are useful for the elderly, children and pregnant. These fruits are added to many dishes – fruit salads, muffins, homemade cookies and cakes.
Of dates are made palm honey, sugar, palm juice and palm flour. Fresh dates are stored in a refrigerator. Palm sugar is much more useful to the body than the sugar produced from cane or beets. If put dates for a while in hot milk, their taste will be improved, and if they are filled with butter, walnuts, almonds or thick cream, they will increase the protein content needed for the human body.
Follow the rules and dates will help you keep your diet healthy. Their natural sweet flavor, dietary fiber and vitamins in their composition will not only improve your mood and make you feel energized, but will rebuild muscle tissue after an active workout.
Combine all the elements of a healthy lifestyle and will surely lose weight.