Individuals tend to have a misconception of fruit when it comes to health. Though they do contain natural sugars, they are also abundant in fiber and nutrients.
What's more, the rich nutrients dates supply lend some noteworthy benefits, including these five!
Dates: The Pitted Facts
Though mostly cultivated in the Middle East, the U.S. supply of dates comes from date orchards located in California and Arizona.
Dates tend to be small to medium in size and come in three varieties: soft, semi-soft, and dry. The semi-soft variety accounts for most of America's production and mostly found in health food stores.
In addition to texture and moisture varieties, dates are sold in both pitted and non-pitted forms. Pitted dates may appear more wrinkled than non-pitted diets, though they both tend to be smooth, glossy, and plump.
Despite the assortments, dates preserve themselves for long periods of time and consumed in a number of ways. They are often enjoyed simply on their own or naturally sweeten foods such as muffins and oats.
The dates nutrition facts below proves their natural sweetness, as they are a predominate carb source.
*Adapted from the USDA's National Nutrient Database
Dates are also valuable sources of potassium, copper, manganese, manganese, magnesium, and vitamin B-6.
As a fun fact, dates lack vitamin C, a vitamin commonly found in fruits.
5 Health Benefits of Eating Dates
1. Dates are supportive of weight loss.
Foods high in nutrients and fiber may lead to weight loss and maintenance.
Specifically, high fiber diets have shown to contribute to healthy body mass indexes (BMIs) compared to diets low in fiber.
2. Dates promote bowel regularity.
Dates are especially recognized for their dietary fiber contribution.
The high fiber content (1.6 grams per one date) categorize dates into a "laxative food" and is used to manage and alleviate constipation.
3. Dates may lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
The high fiber content of dates can lower cholesterol levels by binding and excreted cholesterol from the body. Dates have also been suggested to reduce triglyceride levels, a type of fat in the blood.
Keeping both cholesterol and triglycerides within healthy levels lowers the risk of heart disease including heart attack and stroke.
4. Dates can help reduce hypertension risk.
Relative to its potassium content, dates can reduce the risk of high blood pressure, clinically known as hypertension.
Constant high blood pressure can damage the heart and weaken blood vessels. If left untreated, hypertension may cause further heart-related conditions including heart attacks and congestive heart failure.
Potassium also lessens the likelihood of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia).
5. Dates are diabetic-friendly.
Although dates are rich in natural sugar, individuals with diabetes can still enjoy this sweet fruit.
On the glycemic index (GI) scale, dates are considered to be a low-GI food (or a score less than 55). A 60-gram serving size of dates has a GI score of 42, which is lower than bananas (GI of 48) and grapes (GI of 59).
For best blood sugar control results, stick to serving and portion sizes along with embracing consistent meal and snack times.