Dates are very nutritious and excellent natural sweetener
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. These small fruits not only naturally sweeten foods, but they’re also loaded with nutrients.
Dates pack lots of fiber, plus carbs
Fiber is an essential nutrient for helping to regulate your digestive system, prevent constipation, keep you full, and lower cholesterol, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Adults need about 22 to 34 grams per day. And considering they’re packed with this system-regulating nutrient, dates can help you reach that daily number.
“Two dates contain 3.2 grams of fiber, but for some people, it’s hard to eat just two dates,” Bonnie Taub-Dix, registered dietitian, creator of Better than Dieting, and author of Read It Before You Eat it, tells Bicycling magazine.
Of course, there’s a downside of having too much fiber, since too much of the nutrient can lead to bloating and potential diarrhea in some people.
Dates are also an excellent source of energy. The tiny fruit consists of 70 percent carbohydrates, which comes from mostly sugars like glucose, sucrose, and fructose, according to a review published in the journal Food Research International.
Dates have other health-promoting nutrients
Dates also provide vitamins and minerals like iron, magnesium, and copper. These nutrients help support the immune system.
Iron, in particular, is super important because it helps carry oxygen to your muscles through your bloodstream. And magnesium helps to maintain healthy blood pressure and blood sugar, as well as maintain muscle and nerve function—it’s also easy to lose through sweat and urine so it’s key to get in your diet.
According to a study published in International Journal of Molecular Sciences, most date varieties contain polyphenols (a type of disease-fighting antioxidant) and other nutrients that help support your cardiovascular system and maintain blood pressure. They may also reduce inflammation.
While research is limited, some studies have highlighted dates for improving brain health and providing antibacterial properties thanks to those antioxidants and phytochemicals.
How can you incorporate dates into your diet?
Dates can be incorporated in your everyday diet as they easily pair with foods you likely already enjoy. Dates are very versatile and can be found in many different forms including jams, syrups, desserts, appetizers, and beyond.