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Food & Nutrition

Health Benefits Of Dates For Moms To-Be & Kids

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  • October 1, 2021
  • MKB Team

It is well known that fruits are generally very beneficial for the functioning of our body. However, little do we know in detail the properties that these foods provide us. Date fruit is one such deliciously popular fruit that has a load of nutritional value to offer us, along with its delectable sweet flavour!

 

Dates- A small fruit from the date palm tree is part of a flowering species of the proud palm family, and is a soft fruit with a range of health benefits. Its origins are mostly uncertain, but it is guessed to be native to the middle-eastern countries, particularly Iraq. Dates are now grown in many tropical regions all over the world, and have become quite popular! These chewy and sweet fruits can be consumed fresh or dried, and are equally nutritious and delicious both ways. They have a variety of important nutrients and health benefits, which make them an ideal choice for a superfood worthy of being included in our daily diets. 

Let’s take a look at the nutritional profile of Dates.

 

Nutritional Profile

 

A 100 g serving of pitted dates will provide the following nutrients-

  • 277 kCal
  • 75g of carbohydrates
  • 7g of fibre
  • 2g of protein
  • 12% of vitamin B6
  • 5% of iron
  • 18% of copper
  • 15% of manganese
  • 14% of magnesium
  • 20% of potassium

These values are approximate, and the percentages are according to the required daily intake of an adult of an average 2000 kCal. These may also change if the dates are processed or sweetened. 

 

The Many Health Benefits of Dates for Kids and Adults

 

The date fruit is not simply a highly nutritious little fruit. It also contains a significant amount of fibre and antioxidants, which are important for your overall health. Including just a handful of dates in your daily diet can help you meet your fibre intake, benefit the digestive system, prevent constipation, and aid smoother bowel movements. The fibre in dates also slows down digestion, thus preventing blood sugar level spike after consumption. 

 

The abundance of antioxidants in dates provide a variety of health benefits such as a reduced risk of diseases like Alzheimer's, diabetes, etc., and protection of cells from disease-causing free radicals. It has the highest content of antioxidants compared to other such fruits like plums and figs, the three most important ones being carotenoids, phenolic acid and flavonoids.

 

Some studies have also shown that dates can aid in lowering inflammation and preventing the formation of plaques in the brain, which is important in preventing Alzheimer's. 

 

The date fruit is very sweet, naturally, and is thus a source of fructose, with a slight caramel-like taste. So they can act as an effective substitute for sugar, and can be used as a natural and healthy sweetener. This can be done by making date paste by mixing dates and water in a blender. 

 

Dates have also been claimed to have benefits that promote bone health and check blood sugar levels. What’s more, they are easy to add to the diet owing to their versatile taste and easy availability! 

 

Benefits of Consuming Dates During Pregnancy 

 

Due to being high in nutrients and vitamins, the date fruit can provide women with a variety of health benefits during pregnancy. It can provide energy, boost immunity and satiate sweet cravings healthily.

 

Due to their high calorie density, dates provide the much- needed energy during pregnancy. Just a handful can supply the mom-to-be with the required sugars, as well as other nutrients. 

 

Due to their high fibre content, they have a low glycemic index, which keeps blood sugar levels in check, prevents constipation, and keeps the digestive system healthy in a pregnant mom. They may also reduce bad cholesterol, and help in maintaining a healthy weight.

 

A good source of folate, moderately consuming dates can prevent congenital defects of the brain or spine. This is especially recommended during pregnancy.

 

Consumption of dates during pregnancy can also increase the amount of vitamin K present in mother’s milk, which is passed on to the baby. This is important as it is responsible for blood clotting, as well as bone development. 

 

Dates also contain iron, aiding in prevention of anaemia at the time of pregnancy. It also plays a role in maintaining haemoglobin, and strengthening both the mother’s as well as the baby’s immunity.

 

These sweet fruits are also known to regulate blood pressure, and maintain salt- water balance owing to their potassium content. Additionally dates can help in reducing muscle cramps and the risks of strokes, and other cardio-vascular diseases.  

 

The Tasty Way of Including the Date Fruit in Your Diet

 

Dates are famous for their soft texture and their sweet taste. They can be had fresh and raw from the tree, or as a dried fruit. There is no paucity of the ways in which dates can be added to one’s everyday diet in fun and interesting ways. The best part is that they can satisfy sweet cravings all owing to their naturally sweet taste! They are highly versatile as they can be combined with salads, cereals, trail mixes and even dips to provide  nutrition, taste and flavour to your daily boring food. However, it is not advisable to over-process dates as the nutritious value is lost in the process. 

Here are some fun ways to include dates into your daily diet-

  • They can be blended into smoothies to add a naturally sweet taste
  • Pureed dates can be added to desserts as a natural sweetener. Combine them with sesame seeds and pure honey for an additional zing and taste.
  • Date syrup is popularly added to ice cream, oatmeal, waffles and pancakes.
  • Apart from these food innovations, dates can also be used to traditionally sweeten your daily doses of tea or milk.
  • Dates can be added to pies, cakes, muffins and cookie doughs for a sweet flavour
  • Pitting the dates by opening them and removing their seed, and then adding your favourite nuts or seeds into it can act as a quick, satiating and healthy snack.

 

Women who are pregnant and kids who need nutrition for proper growth can stay well-nourished and healthy by consuming Dates. So have a date, with Dates!









Published by

MKB Team

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