Date tree was first cultivated around 3500 B.C in Modern Iraq and Nile Valley of Egypt. The height of these tress ranges from forty to eighty feet. They were known as “candy that grows on trees”. They are very sweet and tasty and it can be preserved by drying it or packing it after the drying process. Dried dates were the principal food of Arabian caravans, on long journeys across the desert. They are also known as khajoor and are also eaten for their medicinal values.
Fresh dates are used in many cuisines such as fruit salads, cookies, cakes, cereals and muffins. They are also available in the market as date honey, date sugar, date sap and date palm flour.
There is so much nutrition hidden in this small delicious dried fruit. Dates, one of the greatest source of dietary fiber, has been recommended by the American Cancer Society, to consume 20-35 gms of dietary fiber a day. They can be grouped as soft, semi-dry an dry. It has the highest concentration of polyphenols among dried fruits. Dried fruits should be a daily part of our diet as they are high in phenol antioxidants and nutrients.
Dates contain 31 grams of carbohydrates which include 3 grams of dietary fiber and 29 grams of naturally occurring sugar such as glucose, fructose and sucrose to provide quick energy and hence also called the powerhouse of energy.
Dates contain potassium, which is an essential mineral our body needs to maintain muscle contractions, healthy nervous system and to balance the body’s metabolism as well. Potassium is not stored in the body and much is thrown out from the body as we perspire. Our body should be continually replenished, hence we should consume dates as It helps to excrete sodium and keeps blood pressure down.
As we grow old, our kidney becomes less efficient at eliminating sodium; hence intake of potassium is necessary.
Dates contain B complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-B6 and pantothenic acid, which helps make hemoglobin, the red and white blood cells. This hemoglobin helps to reduce anemia. For best result, date juice should be drunk early morning on an empty stomach.
Dates, soaked in water overnight and eaten with whole raw milk helps to cure ulcers of the stomach. You have to peel them before eating.
Children with sensitive stomach should be given date water with milk, as it helps to digest the milk.
It gives energy to people who are engaged in physical exercise and hard work.
It is a good source of copper, a diet essential for the body, though needed in small amount.
It also helps in improving eyesight and prevents night blindness.
Dates are low in fat and hence no cholesterol. It provides lot of energy to the body and curbs fatigue and weakness in the body.
Dates are high in fiber and hence beneficial for treating constipation. Soak them overnight and eat them early in the morning to enhance the laxative effects of dates.
Dates are extremely good for boosting our immunity system.
Dates, when eaten on a regular basis after meals, help to reduce gastric problems and prevent heart burns and curb acidity.
It also helps to increase ones sexual stamina. Soak a handful of dates in milk overnight and early morning, whip it to make a smoothie and then add cardamom powder to it. Drink this delicious juice to increase your sex endurance.
For curing hangover, soak few dates in water and have it early morning along with water. This is a very good remedy to relieve from alcoholic intoxication.