A date (Phoenix dactylifera) or date palm is a palm, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. This species is widely grown and is reportedly naturalized in Australia, Spain, North Africa, the Canary Islands, Madeira, Cape Verde, the Sahel region of Africa, the Middle East, and the United States. Dates are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm long, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow, depending on variety. Dates contain a single stone about 2–2.5 cm (0.79–0.98 in) long and 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) thick.
Here are the 7 health benefits of dates.
1. Dates could help keep your bones strong.
Dates contain minerals, such as selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, which are essential for healthy bone development and strength, especially since people begin to age, and their bones gradually weaken.
2. Dates can help reduce anemia risk.
Copper and iron are essential for the new blood cell formation. One hundred grams of dates contain 5 percent of the recommended value of iron and 18 percent for copper. The high level of iron balances out the inherent lack of iron in anemic patients, increasing energy and strength while decreasing feelings of fatigue and lethargy.
3. Dates can help maintain a healthy blood pressure.
Dates are loaded with potassium and a low content of sodium. One hundred grams of dates contain 696 milligrams of potassium, compared to 1.0 milligrams of sodium. This helps the blood vessels relax and maintains proper blood pressure.
4. Dates can contribute to improving your heart’s strength.
The recommended 4,700 mg of potassium is not obtained by many individuals in the United States, according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, despite the benefits of increased potassium intake. One study suggested that people who consumed 4,069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium approximately 1,000 mg per day.
5. Dates may help improve digestive health.
Dates contain a significant amount of dietary fiber with 7 grams per one hundred grams. The daily recommended dietary fiber intake for men and women are 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively. Fiber can help reduce the risk of constipation, making one’s bowel movement easier to manage. Fiber can also scrape cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels.
6. Dates may help improve brain health.
Several components of dates, such as potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits. Folate has been known to reduce the occurrence of Alzheimer’s disease and cognitive decline. Potassium has been linked to increase blood flow to the brain and enhance cognition, concentration, and neural activity.
7. Dates can help individuals sleep.
Dates have been known to help an individual sleep with its high content of magnesium, which is a mineral that is directly linked to improving the quality, duration, and tranquility of sleep. Dates also help regulate the metabolism, to help reduce sleep disorders and the occurrence of insomnia.