A date with dates
-By Tasneem Dhinojwala
What is the first thought that comes to your mind, when someone mentions anything about the date fruit or you happen to see one? It could be anything from a dry fruit used by Muslims to break their fast or a fruit used on special occasions by some. It is very rare to find dates as a part of people’s daily diet.
But this sweet and chewy fruit is a powerhouse of nutrition and can work wonders if included as a part of one’s daily diet.
A tropical fruit, that dates back several millions of years, it can be eaten both fresh as well as in the dried form, available in different varieties. The most popular are Kimia, Mejdool, Deglet Noor, Sagai, Sukkari, Kas, Fardh, Sufri, and Mabroom. They are differentiated based on their shape, size, color and taste. Some are pitted while some are not.
But whichever variety you pick, the health benefits remain the same.
Here is a list of reasons why dates should be consumed every day to reap its benefits.
- Rich in potassium, magnesium, fiber, and copper, eating five dates per day keeps the heart healthy, keeps the blood pressure in check and reduces the risk of inflammation-related ailments.
- High in fiber content, the problems of the stomach and intestine are kept at bay. The soluble and insoluble fiber that is found in dates helps in keeping the gastrointestinal system clean.
3. When it comes to children, dates are heavily recommended by doctors to be included in their daily meal plan. Vitamin B6 found in dates boosts brain health. The natural sugar in dates makes it a good energy booster for the little ones, instead of them gorging on other things sweet. Dr. Narendra Jha, a leading pediatrician advises parents to give at least two dates to children who are pale and have iron-deficit anemia.
4. Though high in sugar content, surprisingly dates are recommended during a weight loss programme. Eating dates in moderation cut down on the sugar cravings and also satisfies the sweet tooth for those craving.
5. Dates are believed to be a natural cure to impotency. As dates are highly strengthening foods, men who took dry dates on a regular basis were believed to have a high sexual drive and endurance.
6. Dieticians recommend dates for people looking to gain weight. Dr. Maria Kapasi, a homeopath and nutritionist recommend date milkshake after exercise, as it helps in healing the muscles faster and gives instant energy. She also advises dates for patients with the chronic ailment of muscle pain and bone diseases because of the magnesium, phosphorous and calcium content in dates.
7. Dates are heavily recommended for pregnant women about to deliver. Milk-soaked in dates overnight, and then boiled, is believed to ease labor and reduce the need for induction.
With so much to offer to your taste buds as well as your body, is it not time to bring this overlooked fruit on to your tables now?