Medjoul dates: healthy choice
The high amounts of antioxidants alongside fiber and vitamins make dates one of the recommended dried fruits for daily eating. How does regular consumption of dates affect the digestive system and heart health and in which cases they may actually be harmful?
It is important to remember that because dates are dried their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruits and is similar to that of other dried fruits such as raisins and figs. However, despite their caloric value, dates contain quite a few important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber. Also, dates contain a lot of potassium and they can even be used as a great healthy substitute for white sugar in various recipes. There are also different varieties of dates that contain large amounts of glucose, which can range from 60% to 80% of the recommended daily amount.
One Medjoul date (24 grams) contains:
Calories – 66.5 kcal
Protein – 0.43 grams
Fat – 0.036 grams
Carbohydrates – 18 grams
Fiber – 1.61 grams
Calcium – 15.4 mg
Iron – 0.216 mg
Magnesium – 13 mg
Potassium – 167 mg
Phosphorus – 14.9 mg
Dates can help relieve constipation due to their high fiber content. Research results showed that 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced an improvement in stool frequency and a significant increase in bowel movements compared to the time when they did not eat dates. In addition, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control, the fiber slows down digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from rising too high after eating.
Improve iron levels in the body
Feeling tired can be a sign of anemia, it is mostly common among women but can affect anyone. Research is being done to determine if consuming dates and iron supplements may increase the iron levels of adolescent girls. The results showed that consuming dates in combination with an iron supplement increased their iron levels more than just an iron supplement alone.
Rich in antioxidants
Dates provide various antioxidants that protect against free radicals. Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and prunes, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content. These are the three most powerful antioxidants in dates:
Flavonoids: Powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied primarily for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer.
Carotenoids: have been shown to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders such as macular degeneration.
Phenolic acid: known for its anti-inflammatory properties, may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
When should you not eat dates?
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Those with IBS may be sensitive to foods containing fructose, a type of carbohydrate that some people have trouble digesting and can lead to bloating and upset stomach.
After a big meal Dates are rich in fiber and take longer to digest. As a result, eating a large number of dates after a large meal can cause an uncomfortable feeling of fullness.
Allergy. Although it is rare, some people can be sensitive or allergic to dates.
Diarrhea or loose stools. Dates contain a sugar alcohol known as sorbitol, which may increase bowel movements in some people. It is better to limit or avoid them in the case of soft stools.