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Health Promoting Dates

3 months ago

2059  0
Posted on Jul 21, 2020, 1 p.m.

Dates are a sweet treat that contain more than just sugars and carbohydrates, they are also a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other health promoting nutrients that can help to keep you healthy. 

Dates are often used as alternative sweeteners because of the natural sweetness, but did you know that they are good sources of vitamins B, C and E, fiber, phytosterols, antioxidants, carotenoids, and minerals like iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, selenium and potassium? 

Three of the most potent antioxidants within dates include flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acids which will help to reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and protect your cells from free radical damage within the body that can lead to disease. 

Dates can help to control the risk factors for heart disease including triglycerides, cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Consuming 100 grams of dates each day for one week was shown to help decrease triglyceride levels between 8-15% in one study. Dates have a favorable ratio of sodium to potassium which can impact other compounds involved in blood pressure regulation, and they may help to prevent the buildup of plaque in the arteries. 

Despite the sweetness, dates can be beneficial for those with diabetes; one study showed that 100 grams of dates per day for four weeks led to no increase in blood sugar levels. Additionally, dates do not have a very high glycemic index along with being high in fiber and antioxidants which may help with the management of diabetes. 

Dates may have a protective effect against colon cancer as they have been shown to increase bowel movements, reduce ammonia concentration in stool, and to inhibit the proliferation of colon cancer cells, which all can help to reduce the risk of developing colon cancer. 

Additionally the very nutritious cholesterol free and protein rich dates can help to promote digestion, improve bone health, strengthen the nervous system, promote brain health, assist in weight loss, and improve skin health. 

100 grams of dates contains 277 calories, 75 grams of carbs, 7 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 20% of the daily recommended values of potassium, 14% of the DRV for magnesium, 18% of the DRV for copper, 15% of the DRV for manganese, 5% of the DRV for iron, and 12% of the daily recommended value for vitamin B6. 

To enjoy the health benefits provided by dates they can be added to oatmeal, blended into smoothies, as salad toppings, or in a trail mix to experience the health benefits such as the antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant and immunomodulatory effects within the body that are helpful in controlling a range of health issues. 

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