Dates are one of the sweetest fruits on the planet. You might be wondering if dates are a healthy snack because of their high sugar content. Dates are naturally delicious, but they also include essential minerals and fiber as a fruit. Dates should be consumed in moderation, although they are far from calorie-free food.
Nutritional Values as of Date
A single 8-gram date contains 23 calories, 0.2 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of fat. Potassium, magnesium, and iron are all abundant in dates. The USDA supplies the nutritional information below.
- 23 calories
- 0g fat
- Sodium (mg): 0.2
- 6 g carbohydrate
- 0.6 g fiber
- 5 g sugar
- 0.2 g protein
- 53 mg potassium
- Magnesium: 3.4 milligrammes
- 0.1 mg iron
A date has 6 grams of carbs, most of which are sugar. Dates are also delicious because they contain a lot of fructose, which is twice as sweet as glucose. An average date has a little over half a gram of fiber. As the fruit ripens, the sugar content increases while the fiber level decreases.
Dates have a glycemic index of 43 to 55, depending on the type and stage of ripeness. Dates, despite their deliciousness, are surprisingly low in glycemic index.
Dates don’t have a lot of fat in them.
Dates contain only a small quantity of protein. To achieve your daily protein needs, include lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes in your diet.
Minerals and vitamins
Potassium, magnesium, and iron are all abundant in dates. Dates also include six B vitamins, including folate and pantothenic acid, which are needed for good health. Dates also contain a high amount of polyphenols, an antioxidant that protects cells from harm, as well as helpful phytoestrogens.
A single date (8g) contains roughly 23 calories, the majority of which are carbohydrates. Medjool dates (24g) have higher calorie content, with 66.5 calories per date.
Medjool dates are a high-carbohydrate food. They are naturally low in fat, cholesterol, and sodium, and give a good quantity of potassium, magnesium, and iron, as well as numerous B vitamins.
Dates’ micronutrients and plant components have been linked to a number of possible health advantages.
Can Help You Avoid Cancer
Dates have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities that have been linked to cancer prevention. Researchers discovered that date extract has outstanding free-radical scavenging capabilities as well as antitumoral efficacy after testing it.
Helps to Keep Your Heart Healthy
Potassium, an important electrolyte for the cardiovascular system, is found in dates. Potassium is well-known for its ability to lower blood pressure. Dates are also low in salt and include a little amount of fiber. Date consumption for heart health is supported by all three of these considerations.
Promotes Bone Health
Magnesium is found in dates and is necessary for bone development. A lack of magnesium has been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis. It is preferable to get magnesium from food rather than supplements because it decreases the danger of toxicity. Furthermore, the iron in dates aids in the maintenance of healthy bone marrow storage.
Magnesium Comes in 11 Different Forms
Menopausal Symptoms Could Be Reduced
Isoflavones, which are usually associated with soy products, are a form of phytoestrogen that aids in the reduction of menopausal symptoms. Dates have the highest content of isoflavones among fruits. As a result, dates are being researched to see if they can help with menopausal symptoms naturally.
It aids in the stabilization of blood sugar levels.
A modest number of dates can go a long way. Dates can be used in place of intense sweeteners like syrups and refined sugars to add sweetness without causing blood sugar levels to surge. Dates are also a handy, portable snack that might help with low blood sugar symptoms.
Fiber intake is increased by eating dried fruits, but portion size is crucial.
Date allergic reactions are uncommon and mainly consist of irritation and inflammation in and around the mouth. The symptoms of date allergy are usually caused by mould or sulfites (a preservative applied to dried fruits like dates). Symptoms are similar to asthma symptoms and can range from moderate wheeze to a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction that necessitates medical attention right once.
Many persons who are allergic to fruits are also allergic to latex or pollen.
Dates, which are the fruits of the date palm tree, have been grown since prehistoric times, possibly as early as 8,000 years ago. Date palm trees come in over 100 different types and are native to the Middle East.
Dates are hung in big clusters above the tall palm trees and come in a variety of textures, from hard, dry species to semi-dry types like Deglet Noor dates and large, soft dates like Medjool dates (aka “the queen of dates”). Medjool dates are a popular kind at grocery stores in the United States, and they are typically significantly larger than other dates (with one pitted Medjool date averaging 24g).
Dates are actually fresh fruits, despite their appearance of being dried. Fresh, whole dates are one of nature’s only naturally “dried fruits,” containing only 30% moisture. Many dates are left on the palm tree until they are completely ripe to extend their shelf life. These dates, which are available at many specialty grocery stores, are slightly dry before being harvested, but they are still considered fresh.
Whole, chopped, or extruded pitted dates are available. For baking, extruded dates are covered with oat flour, rice flour, or dextrose. Date juice is also available, which can be used in baking or smoothies.
When It’s the Most Effective
Although packaged dates, both pitted and unpitted, are accessible all year, fresh dates are only available from mid-August to mid-March in the United States.
Food Storage and Safety
Dates should be plump, shiny, and wet to the touch. They should not be broken, cracked, dried, hard, or shriveled, even if they are somewhat wrinkled. They have a deep flavor and a sticky-sweet, almost candied texture.
Soft and semi-soft kinds, such as Deglet Noor, should be kept in the refrigerator for up to 18 months for the best shelf life. Store for up to a year at room temperature. 12 Dates that have been dried and packaged have been pasteurized to prevent mold growth. You can keep them for about 6 months at room temperature in an airtight container in a cold, dry place. They can also be stored for up to a year in the refrigerator.
How to Get Ready
If your dates have pits, remove the stone by slicing them lengthwise. Even dates marked as unpitted may contain pits or pit pieces on rare occasions.
Baked items including bread, muffins, cookies, and tarts benefit from the moisture and natural sweetness of dates. They can also be packed with meat or cheese and served with dried fruits and nuts as an appetizer or snack.
Yogurt, hot cereals, smoothies, slaws, and salads all benefit from the addition of chopped dates. When making savory foods like roasts or stews, try substituting them for raisins or apricots, or add them to marinades and glazes to provide sweetness and balance other flavors.