Dates are commonly known as “Khajoor” in India . Believed by some historians to be the oldest cultivated fruit, dates played an important role in several ancient empires and religions.
While dates can be enjoyed fresh, many people prefer the rich flavor of their dried form. Dried dates are also called ” Chhuhara” in many regions of India . In addition to improving convenience and changing the taste and texture, the drying process increases levels of certain minerals. They are available in several varieties, with flavors and nutrients differing based on where and how they’re grown. Well-known types of dried dates include medjool, zahidi, and deglet noor. They can be found in grocery stores and health food shops all around the world.
Dried dates are a good source of:
- Vitamin B5
Sugar content –
Though being considered as a part of the dry fruit family , it contains a good amount of sugar . Even only 2 dates provide a total of 110 calories and help in an instant energy boost .
Due to this high sugar content , it is important to understand to consume them in moderation .
Also , they can be very handy in case of a low sugar or hypoglycemic episode .
Dry dates are low in fat and contain negligible cholesterol; moreover, they are known to control bad cholesterol in our bloodstream. Apart from this, they are low in sodium and a rich source of potassium, which makes them beneficial for keeping blood pressure in check .
As dates contain a high amount of fibre , they act as the bulk of the food , fill the stomach and thus provide early satiety . They contain both soluble and insoluble fibres . These fibres also act as a laxative , and help to relieve constipation . Fibres help the intestinal and gut bacteria to grow thus adding to better digestion .
Bone Health –
Being a source of calcium , dates help in better bone health . They help in preventing osteoporosis and arthritis by Calcium and Antioxidant properties . They also help in keeping the teeth strong . For menopausal women , they help in easing the effect of decreased estrogen levels on bones and decrease the process of osteoporotic bone deterioration .
Skin and Hair benefits –
Dates are a natural source for Vitamin B5 and antioxidants , thus providing decreased free radical formation , and ultimately results in better skin and scalp plus strengthens hair roots and improves its texture . They help in repairing dryness , brittle hair , split ends and much more .
Date fruit allergy is a rare occurrence. The fruits are safe to eat in infants and pregnant women. Some people may experience an allergic reaction to date fruits. Additionally, the sulfites (added during drying) in dried dates can lead to allergic reactions for some people. Symptoms can vary, with many people experiencing skin rashes. Some people may suffer eye sensitivity, with itchy, watery, or red eyes or a runny nose after eating them. Thus , if any such reactions are seen when eating dates for the 1st time , it is advised to not consume them again . And visit a doctor to consult as soon as possible .
Dried packaged dates are pasteurized to inhibit mold growth. You can store at room temperature in an airtight container in a cool, dry place for about 6 months. They will also keep in the refrigerator for up to a year.
All in all , dates improve digestion , bone and teeth health ,and decrease bad cholesterol .
A handful or around 100 gm of dried dates can be consumed everyday and be made a part of living a healthy life .