This is a Million Benefits of Dates for Iftar for Health | Good Doctor
Dates are a snack that is often found during the holy month of Ramadan. Apart from being a snack, you also need to know the benefits of dates for breaking the fast so that your health condition remains fit during fasting.
Dates are a popular menu around the world which is widely used as a natural sweetener in smoothiesjuices, to baked goods such as cakes and muffins. Want to know the benefits of other dates? Come on, see the article below.
Overview of dates
Dates contain high natural sugar, so many people think dates are not good for consumption. However, these sweet fruits are packed with lots of nutrients, making them an excellent snack in moderation.
Dates grow on date palms in small clusters. The term date comes from the Greek word daktulos which means finger.
Farmers harvest dates in the fall and early winter, so they are usually the freshest at this time of year. However, many people eat dried dates, which can last a long time in a closed container.
Each date contains about 60 to 70 percent sugar and has high amounts of fiber and iron, which are effective against anemia.
Dates have been around since prehistoric times and are believed to have been cultivated since 8,000 years ago. Native to the Middle East, today there are over 100 different varieties of date palms.
Dates hang in large clusters atop towering palm trees and vary in texture from hard and dry varieties to slightly dry varieties such as the Deglet Noor date, and large and soft dates, such as Medjool dates (aka “queen dates”).
Medjool dates are a common variety in grocery stores and are much larger on average than other varieties.
Even though dates appear dry, they are actually fresh fruit. Whole dates contain only 30 percent moisture, making them one of nature’s “dry fruits.” To extend the shelf life, many dates are left on the palm tree until they are completely ripe.
Even if they are slightly dry before harvesting, these dates — which are available in many specialty grocery stores — are still considered fresh.
Dates nutritional content
Dates are sweet, but as a fruit they also provide beneficial micronutrients and fibre. Reporting from Very Well Fit, here is the nutritional content of one date fruit weighing about 7 grams.
- Calories: 20 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Sodium: 0.14 mg
- Carbs: 5.3 g
- Fiber: 0.6 g
- Sugar: 4 g
- Proteins: 0.2 g
One date contains more than 5 grams of carbohydrates, most of which come from sugar. In addition, dates have a very sweet taste because they have a high fructose content, which is twice as sweet as glucose.
There is about half a gram of fiber in the average date. The sugar content increases and the fiber decreases as the fruit ripens.
The glycemic index of dates can range between 43 and 55 depending on the variety and degree of ripeness. Despite their sweetness, dates turn out to be a low glycemic food
Dates are not a significant source of fat.
Dates supply a small amount of protein. Include other protein sources, such as lean meats, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes, to meet your daily needs.
5. Vitamins and minerals
Dates are a good source of potassium, magnesium and iron. Additionally, dates provide six essential B vitamins, including folic and pantothenic acid.
Dates also have a high concentration of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant that protects against cell damage, along with beneficial phytoestrogens.
The benefits of dates for health include breaking the fast
The micronutrients and plant compounds in dates have been linked to several promising health benefits, including when you eat them for iftar in Ramadan.
1. The benefits of dates for breaking the fast, mhave high nutritional value
Eating dates is great for you when breaking your fast. This will provide a healthy and balanced nutritional intake, because dates are rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
A study concluded that dates are almost an ideal food because they contain various essential nutrients and health benefits.
2. The benefits of dates for breaking the fast, preplenish the body’s natural sugar levels
Fasting will lower blood sugar levels, and this will usually make you more hungry. These conditions can trigger an increase in appetite uncontrollably.
Fortunately, dates contain nutrients and natural sugars that can replenish blood sugar levels so you don’t feel hungry. So, it is highly recommended to consume dates when breaking the fast and sahur.
3. Increases energy
Dates can be an alternative food source of energy. You need it when you are active because dates contain a lot of natural sugars such as glucose, fructose and sucrose.
This content can increase energy in the body, so you don’t feel weak quickly.
4. Regulates bowel movements
Dates are packed with fiber. Fiber helps the body’s metabolism in moving food products in the stomach, so it can help the intestines work to prevent constipation.
In addition, dates promote healthy bowel movements and act as a laxative, which can help relieve constipation symptoms.
5. Rich in magnesium
Another advantage of dates is that they are rich in magnesium. While the content of magnesium itself has been widely proven to be able to reduce inflammation, as well as the risk of other diseases such as cardiovascular disease and arthritis.
6. Strengthens bones
Dates also contain selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium. All of these minerals help you maintain and maintain healthy bones, while protecting against osteoporosis.
7. Improve heart health
Dates are also rich in potassium, which helps in controlling heart rate and blood pressure. It is important for vital body systems such as the heart, brain and kidneys to function properly.
If your blood pressure is good, of course it can reduce the risk of stroke and other heart diseases, so eating dates regularly can improve your heart health.
8. Improve eye health
Eating one date a day can help you to maintain eye health and protect against myopic. This is because it contains vitamin A, beta carotene, lutein and xanthin which are beneficial for healthy vision and can help prevent macular degeneration.
9. Prevents some forms of cancer
Dates provide a variety of antioxidants that offer a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of several cancers. Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that cause harmful reactions in the body and cause disease.
Compared to similar fruit types, such as figs and dried prunes, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content. Here’s a summary of the three most powerful antioxidants in dates:
- Flavonoids: are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer
- Carotenoids: shown to improve heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration
- Phenolic acid: known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
Once you know the benefits of dates for breaking the fast, there’s nothing wrong with consuming dates other than at that time, such as at dawn, for example. Eating dates, to be a healthy food alternative, is also worth putting on your shopping list.
10. Treat anemia
Iron is a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells and determines how much oxygen is in the blood.
Since dates contain high amounts of iron, they can naturally treat iron deficiency such as anemia.
Risks and considerations when consuming dates during fasting
Reported from MedicalNewsToday, dates have a very high sugar content compared to their other nutritional values. People trying to manage their blood sugar, such as diabetics, should watch their total sugar intake when consuming dates.
Eating dates in moderation is less likely to raise a person’s blood sugar excessively, even if they have diabetes.
According to one study, dates are a low glycemic index food that does not result in a significant increase in blood sugar in people with or without diabetes.
Although the researchers only had a small sample size, their findings suggest that eating dates in moderation shouldn’t dramatically impact a person’s blood sugar.
Allergic reactions to dates are not common and are usually limited to itching and inflammation in and around the mouth.
Mushrooms or sulfites, which are sometimes added to dried fruits such as dates as preservatives, are common triggers for date allergy symptoms. Symptoms often resemble asthma and can range from mild wheezing to life-threatening anaphylactic reactions, which require immediate medical attention.
Many people with fruit allergies are also sensitive to latex or pollen. If you are indicated to be allergic to dates, avoid eating them and talk to your doctor to determine the source of the problem.
How to eat dates
Dates can be eaten fresh or dried, like raisins. People can also add it to various sweet or savory dishes. Some examples of dishes that use dates include:
- Stuffed dates: You can stuff dates with almonds, pecanscream cheese, or pistachios for a snack or snack.
- Salads: Chopped, sliced, or pitted whole dates are a great addition to salads.
- Smoothies: Mixing dates into smoothies Bananas add natural sweetness and extra nutritional value.
- Stew: Dates taste great in Moroccan stews or tagine dishes.
- Energy balls: You can also mix dates with nuts, cranberriesoats, coconut flakes, or a variety of other ingredients to make no-bake “energy balls.”
When shopping for dates, try to look for dates that are shiny and not cracked. You can store fresh dates in an airtight container in the fridge for months and even longer inside freezer.
If refrigerated, dried dates will last about 1 year in an airtight container and many years if frozen.
You should not eat dates that have a sour smell, are very hard, or have sugar crystals on the surface. These signs could indicate that the condition is bad.
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