Dates produced by the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera) are majorly found in the Middle East, Southern Asia, among other countries.
The fruit is, on numerous occasion mentioned in the Holy Quran.
“In the earth, there are diverse regions side by side and gardens of grapes and cultivated fields, and date‐palms sharing one root and others with individual roots, all watered with the same water. And We make some things better to eat than others. There are Signs in that for people who use their intellect”. (Surat ar‐Ra’d: 4).
It is the fasting season for the Muslim community across the globe. Breaking fast with a date is a traditional Islamic practice encouraged by the Holy Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
“If you have a date, break your fast with it, if you don’t have it, break the fast with water as it is purifying.” (Abu Dawood)
Many will remember how Maryam; the mother of Prophet Issa was provided with dates during her labour period, as mentioned in the Holy Quran.
The Holy Quran narrates how the mother of Prophet Issa was ordered to shake the trunk of a palm tree to get dates in her moment of labour.
“Do not grieve! Your Lord has placed a small stream at your feet. Shake the trunk of the palm toward you, and fresh, ripe dates will drop down to you. Eat and drink and delight your eyes”. (Surah Maryam: 24‐26).
Avoiding overeating and easy digestion is some of the key health significant obtained by breaking the fast with dates.
Dates have numerous health benefits including the provision of essential minerals, vitamins, and fibers.
Health benefits of eating dates
Date contain a source of energy – date contains different natural sugars such as sucrose, glucose, and fructose, which boosts energy level in the body. After a day’s fasting, taking few dates will help re-energize the body. It can be used as a source of food.
Dates are healthy for proper digestion. Dates are rich in minerals, fibers, and vitamins.
Reduce cholesterol – dates reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood and in turn protects the veins due to the existence of a compound called Pectin.
Prevents cancer – it helps protects the body from colon, brain, and abdominal cancer. Studies show that the fruit helps in reducing such deadly cancers.
It also reduces bladder stones and also contains fibers and sugar that can easily be digested.
Due to the presence of fluoride, dates prevent tooth decay. Fluoride is a mineral that helps prevent tooth decay and strengthen the teeth through disruption of acid production.
Dates are a great source of dietary fiber. The American Cancer Society recommends the consumption of 20-35 grams of dietary fiber a day. Dietary fiber increases the rate at which food moves through the digestive system and help control diabetes by decreasing elevated blood glucose levels.
It prevents blood loss since it contains iron. It is a healthy diet for people suffering from anemia, thus providing energy and reducing body fatigue.
Strengthen bones. Dates contain minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A.
It treats health problems related to loss of appetite. It won’t fill the stomach, unlike other fruits.
Help prevent constipation – Dates contain soluble fiber that promotes bowel movement and in turn, reduce constipation in the body.
Helps reduce allergy– According to a study done in 2002, organic sulfur compounds can have a positive impact on the amount of suffering people experience from SAR (Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis). Dates are a great way somewhat to stem the effects of those seasonal allergies through its contributions of sulfur in the diet.
It protects the body from fatigue and helps prevents heart disease since it contains copper and magnesium.
Weight gain is one of the benefits of dates. The fruit contains vitamins, sugar, and protein. If you are underweight, consuming it along with other foods will help you gain some weight.
It improves sexual performance – According to Organic Facts, In 2006, Bahmanpour studied the effects of date palms and their oil on sexual functioning and found that higher levels of estradiol and flavonoid components of dates are what increase sperm count and motility, as well as promoting increased testes size and weight.
Dates contain vitamin A, and this helps prevent dry skin.
It contains vitamin B1, which helps corrects metabolic disorders linked to genetic diseases.
It helps the treatment of hair loss.
It contains substances that help prevents skin infection.