Dates are high in natural sugar, so many people think they may not be good for them. However, these sweet fruits are packed with plenty of nutrients, making them an excellent snack in moderation. Farmers harvest dates in the fall and early winter, so dates usually taste freshest at this time of year. However, many people eat dried dates, which can last for a long time in a sealed container.
In this article, learn about the health benefits of dates and how to incorporate them into a well-balanced diet. Dates are one of nature’s sweetest treats. Their high sugar content may have you wondering whether dates are considered a healthy choice. Dates are sweet, but as a fruit, they also provide beneficial micronutrients and some fiber. You may want to consume dates in moderation, but they are by no means an empty-calorie food.
Benefit of Dates
In addition to tasting great, dates are a rich source of carbohydrates. They provide a good amount of potassium, magnesium, and iron as well as many B vitamins, and are naturally low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
Dates are high in potassium, which is an electrolyte the body needs for good heart health. Potassium also helps to build muscle and proteins in the body.
Dates can satisfy a person’s sweet tooth while also providing essential nutrients, such as vitamin B-6 and iron.
Just ¼ of a cup of dates provides 12 percent of a person’s daily. Fiber helps a person feel fuller for longer.
Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds that can protect the body from inflammation. Dates contain more polyphenols than most other fruits and vegetables.
Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber.
Dates contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are associated with cancer prevention. Upon testing date extract, researchers have found impressive free-radical scavenging ability and antitumor AL activity.
Dates provide potassium, an essential electrolyte for the cardiovascular system. Potassium has well-established effects on reducing high blood pressure. Dates are also very low in sodium and provide some fiber. All three of these factors support the consumption of dates for heart health.
Dates contain magnesium, which is important in bone formation. Magnesium deficiency is associated with a higher risk of osteoporosis. Obtaining magnesium from food sources rather than from supplements is preferred as it reduces the risk of toxicity. Furthermore, the iron from dates helps supply healthy bone marrow stores
Dates can be Use eaten
Dates can be eaten fresh or dried, much like raisins. People can also add them to a variety of sweet or savory dishes.
Stuffed dates: People can stuff dates with almonds, pecans, cream cheese, or pistachios for a snack or finger food.
Salads: Chopped, sliced, or pitted whole dates are an excellent addition to salads.
Smoothies: Blending dates into a banana smoothie adds natural sweetness and extra nutritional value.
Stews: Dates taste great in Moroccan stews or tagine dishes.
Energy balls: People can blend dates with nuts, cranberries, oats, coconut flakes, or a variety of other ingredients to make no-bake “energy balls.”
When shopping for dates, people should look for those that are shiny and unbroken.
A person can store fresh dates in an airtight container in the refrigerator for many months and even longer in the freezer. If refrigerated, dried dates will last for about 1 year in an airtight container and many years if frozen.
A person should not eat dates that have a sour smell, are very hard, or have crystallized sugar on their surface. These signs can indicate the dates have gone bad.
People can replace the sugar, chocolate chips, or candies in baking recipes with dates to ensure they are eating natural sugars instead of refined sugars.
Storage and Food Safety
Dates are dry fruits that have many different health benefits. They have a sweet flavor, which makes them a great alternative to sugar when sweetening your smoothies and desserts. Dates taste best when they can retain their moisture, so storing them properly is critical. If you plan to eat your dates within a week, store them in an airtight container in your pantry. You can also use the fridge to store your dates for up to a year. If you bought your dates in bulk, or if you plan to use them at a later date, then store them in the freezer.
For the longest shelf life, store soft and semi-soft varieties like Deglet Noor in the refrigerator, where they’ll keep for up to 18 months. Store at room temperature for up to a year. dried packaged dates are pasteurized to inhibit mold growth. You can store them at room temperature in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for about 6 months.