We are always looking for healthy snacks to replace sugary confectionary or salty treats in our diet. One of the options with an incredible range of dietary benefits is dates. These dried fruits are grown on date palm trees and are a key part of the diet of people in North Africa and the Middle East. Here are some of the best health benefits of dates.
1. Dates help prevent constipation
If you are looking for a way to boost your fiber intake, dates are a great choice. They can help prevent constipation, and the fact that fiber slows digestion means that they can help you control your blood sugar.
2. Dates could help your brain health
Studies on animals have shown that dates can reduce amyloid-beta protein activity, thus preventing the build-up of plaques in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s and other illnesses. They can also help lower inflammation in the brain.
3. Dates are a natural way to take on sugar
Dates are very high in natural sugar content as they are packed with fructose. If you want to swap out refined sugar for a natural alternative, the sweetness of dates and their wonderful flavor makes them a great option.
4. Dates may reduce cancer risk
There is not a huge amount of data on this but the fact that dates are so high in fiber and contain antioxidants mean that they are a good addition to your diet. A high fiber diet helps to lower the risk of bowel cancer.
5. Dates are incredibly nutritious
In addition to all the fiber, dates are also loaded with many other essential nutrients. They contain potassium, magnesium, iron, vitamin B6, manganese, selenium and copper.
6. Dates are good for your heart
Many of the main heart illnesses are caused by the build-up of fatty plaque, but studies have shown that dates can be effective at bringing your triglyceride levels down and reducing your oxidative stress, which helps to ease the strain on your heart.
7. Dates are good for bone health
We mentioned all those minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, and selenium. Well, one of the ways in which they may help the human body is by keeping your bones healthy.
8. Dates may help with natural labor
This one is a little unexpected, but a 2020 study took a close look at how dates affected labor, and the results were surprising. It found that adding dates to your diet could cut down the duration of labor for when the cervix dilates.
9. Dates are packed with antioxidants
Anyone who pays attention to their diet will know just how important antioxidants are, and the polyphenols, carotenoids, sterols and tannins that dates contain make them a great choice for a healthy diet.
10. Dates may be good for your skin
As a natural source of vitamins C and D, dates may help to improve the health of your skin, and they may help to prevent the accumulation of melanin.