Dates - Halawi
Uncertified Organic from California.
Fat-free, cholesterol-free and sodium-free, high in B-complex vitamins magnesium, potassium, carbohydrates and a good source of dietary fibre.
Halawi dates are a small to medium sized variety, with an oval shape. They have a tender amber flesh, with a light honey flavour. Their thin light brown skin has a tendency to dry out, so keep them tightly wrapped and refrigerated in an airtight container.
Proven Health Benefits of Dates
Dates have an excellent nutrition profile.
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.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides the following nutrients:
• Calories: 277
• Carbs: 75 grams
• Fiber: 7 grams
• Protein: 2 grams
• Potassium: 20% of the RDI
• Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
• Copper: 18% of the RDI
• Manganese: 15% of the RDI
• Iron: 5% of the RDI
• Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
Dates are also high in antioxidants, which may contribute to many of their health benefits.
High in Fiber
With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool.
In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates.
Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating.For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food.
High in Antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease.
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content.
Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates:
• Flavonoids: 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: Carotenoids are proven 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, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
May Promote Brain Health
Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Additionally, animal studies have shown dates to be helpful for reducing the activity of amyloid beta proteins, which can form plaques in the brain.
When plaques accumulate in the brain, they may disturb communication between brain cells, which can ultimately lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s disease.
One animal study found that mice fed food mixed with dates had significantly better memory and learning ability, as well as less anxiety-related behaviors, compared to those that did not eat them.
The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids.
May Promote Natural Labor
Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labor. They may also be helpful for reducing labor time.
In one study, 69 women who consumed 6 dates per day for 4 weeks prior to their due date were 20% more likely to go into labor naturally and were in labor for significantly less time than those who did not eat them.
Another study of 154 pregnant women found that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not.
A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant women who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily starting the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labor for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates.
The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labor contractions during childbirth.
Additionally, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor.
Excellent Natural Sweetener
Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit.
For this reason, dates are very sweet and also have a subtle caramel-like taste. They make a great sugar substitute in recipes due to the nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that they provide.
The best way to substitute dates for sugar is to make date paste by mixing dates with water in a blender. A rule of thumb is to replace sugar with date paste at a 1:1 ratio.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Dates have been claimed to have a few other health benefits that have not yet been extensively studied.
• Bone health: Dates contain several minerals, including phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. All of these have been studied for their potential to prevent bone-related conditions like osteoporosis.
• Blood sugar control: Dates have the potential to help due to their low glycemic index, fiber and antioxidants. Thus, eating them may benefit diabetes management.