8 Amazing Health Benefits of Dates and Simple Ways to Eat Them
Are you looking for ways to improve your health through nutrition?
After you read this post you’re going to want to add dates to your next grocery list. The benefits of dates are impressive and long-lasting.
As Christians, we’re called to take care of the temple, yet so many of us struggle with our health. Whether you’re looking for ways to improve your health or looking for biblical weight loss tips, learning about the treasures within the foods God has given us is a blessing on our lives.
Today’s topic is all about dates. These sweet little fruits have been a fresh and dried fruit favorite for centuries, and for good reason! Not only do they have a lovely taste, they are also packed full of health.
Keep reading to discover the top 5 health benefits of dates including improved brain health, digestive health, and so much more!
Let’s jump right in.
What are the Benefits of Eating Dates Daily?
Dates are known as a superfood, high in minerals, fiber and packed with energy. (1) Chalked full of antioxidants, necessary to clean up free radicals in the body. Many varieties are low on the glycemic index so even though they’re sweet, you don’t have to worry about a huge spike in insulin. Because they also contain 27% of the recommended daily requirement of potassium, eating dates daily is a great way to regulate fluid balance, nerve signals, and muscle contractions. Foods high in potassium also help to regulate blood pressure. (2)
They really are a melt-in-your-mouth delicacy that is perfect for people with a sweet tooth but wants to stay away from processed and harmful refined sugars.
Dates have a long history in many cultures around the world but did you know these yummy treats came with a ton of health benefits?
You’ll be amazed to know that there is such a thing as a magic food that God created to give you muscle strength, help you lose weight, support a healthy nervous system, and keep your heart in great condition. Your Body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit and it’s important to care for it every day.
You’d think that with just this bit of information I’d be done explaining the health benefits of dates but in fact, there’s more to learn!
Dates Have a Healthy History
Dates, also known as date palm are thought to be the oldest cultivated fruits in the world. Phoenix dactylifera is their scientific name given to them by the ancient Greeks long ago.
They’re typically grown in tropical and subtropical regions of the world growing up to 75ft in height. They come in many different varieties including Deglet Noor, Medjool, Dayri, Halawy, Khandrawy, Zahidi and more.
These fruits have a chewy texture and they taste very sweet. Dried dates come with a wrinkled skin while fresh dates have smooth skin. It’s long been enjoyed as a sweet tasting treat or dessert however only in recent years do we now know the health benefits of dates.
In scripture, fruits are compared with goodness of spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” A beautiful description of God’s love for us.
Click on the video below to watch What are the Benefits of Eating Dates? Are they a Magic Food?
Whether they are dried or fresh, there is no doubt that dates are tasty, nutritious, and absolutely good for you!
8 Proven Health Benefits of Dates
So if what you’ve read over so far hasn’t impressed you enough to start eating or eating more dates, maybe these 8 proven health benefits will.
Starting with their nutrition facts.
Dates Are High in Nutritional Value
First, calories. For about a half a cup of dried dates, your looking at anywhere from 250 to 400 calories, depending on the variety.
They’re pretty similar to figs and raisins. Whether you eat them solo or pair them with something else they’re relatively low on the glycemic index making them a healthy choice over your traditional desserts.
Dates contain a small amount of protein but are high in fiber. A single date will give you 7 grams of insoluble fiber, which is important for healthy bowel movements.
They’re packed with potassium, a key electrolyte that works to balance the fluids within your body. People who consume the recommended amount of daily potassium experience less swelling and inflammation in the body which causes disease. (3)
Other key nutritional facts for dates include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, Vitamins A, B-6, Niacin, Folate, zinc, Riboflavin, and Thiamin.
Reasons to Love Antioxidants
Free radicals are a byproduct of the energy production within each of your cells. A build-up of these free radicals are harmful to your body, causing damage to cells, proteins and your DNA, but luckily God had a plan for that too!
Foods containing antioxidants. Antioxidants remove these unstable atoms out of your body. According to the National Cancer Institute, antioxidants reduce your risk of cancers and other diseases. (4)
Including dates into your daily diet can have far-reaching health benefits. What’s not to love?
Dates help reduce inflammation.
Not only do antioxidants help with inflammation, dates also contain flavonoids that are beneficial in reducing inflammation.
Flavonoids are a “group of natural substances with variable phenolic structures…” with the potential to prevent chronic diseases. (5)
By consuming it daily, along with a wholesome lifestyle, you can prevent certain diseases linked with inflammation such as Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and some cancer types.
Dates Keep You Regular
As stated above, dates have an enormous amount of fiber that is essential for a healthy, regular bowel movement.
Fiber helps your digestive health as it prevents constipation. So if you have a problem with eliminating regularly, consuming at least 100 grams of dates a day should help you tremendously. (6)
And as you maintain regularity with your bowel, this reduces your risk of various diseases caused by waste and toxin buildup in the body.
Staying Regular is a Big Deal
Usually, when you think of fruits that will help with digestion and intestinal health, prunes are the go to. And while these are also excellent for your health and will help to get you moving, not everyone loves the flavor.
Dates are an excellent alternative.
Maintaining good gut health impacts the rest of your overall health, so it’s nothing to blush at, it’s serious business. Poor gut health is linked to rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and a weakened immune system. (7)
So stay in check by adding foods full of good fiber such as dates.
Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
Dates are naturally low on the glycemic index.
Although it is sweet, it contains natural sugars that don’t spike insulin the same way processed or refined sugar does. This means you can enjoy these sweet little fruits without causing a spike to your blood sugar levels.
Dates can even be consumed by diabetics who are actively monitoring their blood sugar levels, allowing them to reap the health benefits.
The fiber content in dates slows down digestion, and this gives you a steady level of blood sugar and energy to power you up throughout the day.
Improves Brain Health
By consuming dates regularly, you are also improving your cognitive function. The natural sugar within dates is a great source of quick energy for your brain.
Dates also help to reduce inflammatory markers including the interleukin 6, which is within your brain. With high levels of this component in your brain, this increases your chances of suffering from Alzheimer’s, as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. (8)
Natural Anti-Inflammatory For Your Brain is Vital
Plaques that accumulate in your brain are also responsible for a weakened activity of substances called the amyloid beta proteins.
When this happens, communication between your brain cells is compromised and may result in Alzheimer’s and brain cell death. (9)
The flavonoids in dates help minimize inflammation, thus keeping your brain healthy.
Eat It Raw - As Is
No need to complicate things if you want to munch on some dates. Share them with the kids, bag them up for trips or visits to the park.
They can be stored either in the refrigerator or cabinet, just don’t leave them out in the heat and the sugars might start to break down and they’ll become a little yucky.
Just like how you would eat raisins or figs, it’s a perfect snack or dessert when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want all the nasties that come with so many processed treats.
Blend It With Your Smoothie
Love drinking your smoothie for breakfast or after your workout?
Make it even more nutritious by adding some dates!
Blend it up with your choice of fruits such as bananas and apple then add in some peanut butter and cacao nibs for an extra boost of energy, protein, and fiber.
Since dates have a natural sweetener, it’s wonderful to naturally liven any shake.
A special treat that even your kids will love.
Salads and Dates
Tossing some dates to your fruit salad is also an easy and great way to enjoy this highly nutritious fruit that gives you a boost of energy.
Enjoy a nice blend of dates, mango, apple, and banana, or dates, figs, pears, banana, and strawberries. Try different mixes until you find the one you love the most!
Have you ever tried adding fruits to your salad? This is a summer favorite but salad greens mixed with fruits are a great way to add nutrition to your meal plan.
Just like other dried fruits and berries, you can add dates to your veggie salads as well. Add a few dates to a spinach blend with almonds or walnuts, any other choice of fruit and a homemade balsamic vinaigrette and you have yourself a nutritent dense meal!
Oatmeal with Dates
Oatmeal is a great breakfast choice as it’ll keep you feeling full and energized all morning long. If you love eating oatmeal, try adding dates to it.
Not only is it filling but you don’t even need to add any sugar to your oatmeal because the dates sweeten it up.
If you really want to make breakfast the best meal of the day, try adding in some almond milk and walnuts or pecans for a low glycemic breakfast you’re sure to love!
Enjoy Eating Dates and Reap Amazing Health
God has created dates and so many other wonderful, healthy foods for you to enjoy that will help you to maintain optimal physical health. If you’d like to learn more about the Bible diet, check out the Treasures of Health Nutrition Manual, or the Treasures of Healthy Living Bible Study for an in-depth look based on scripture.
From head to toe, the health benefits of dates are worth adding into your menu for you and the whole family!
In a meal, as a treat, dessert, or snack there’s plenty of ways to enjoy this powerhouse food.
Leave a comment in the comment section below and let me know how you enjoy dates! I’d love to hear from you!
Dates are such an excellent fruit to add to your daily meals, but they’re also a wonderful snack and who knew they would be great to add into smoothies?
So be sure to include dates to your diet daily to reap the wonderful benefits it offers to your body.
If you need more ideas or tips on how to incorporate dates to your diet, or you have some recipes that include dates that you would like to share, please feel free to leave it in the comments below.