The dates (dates translated into English) is known for its sweetness, but this fruit hides exciting properties and benefits. Meanwhile, it is rich in vegetable fibers, vitamins, iron, mineral salts, and natural sugars such as fructose and represents a precious energy source.
Description Of The Palm And Fruit, Use In The Kitchen
The date is none other than the fruit of the Phoenix dactylifera, a palm ( date palm ) that can reach 30 meters which has its natural habitat in the Middle East (Palestine, Israel, area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) and North Africa, especially those countries bordered by the Mediterranean Sea such as Tunisia, Algeria or Morocco. Californian dates are generally cheaper even though they are more petite and less sweet.
Each palm can even exceed 300 years of life and can produce up to 50, 60 kg of dates starting from the third year of age.
Dates can be eaten both fresh and dried and, therefore, after losing water due to dehydration. They contain kernels, which can also be used as a coffee substitute after being roasted.
In addition to tasting the sugary meats of the natural date, the fruit lends itself very well to being used in the kitchen as an ingredient for sweets or desserts. Date honey is also obtained from the date, which can worthily replace sugar and butter in the preparation of various succulent recipes. In Arab countries, date flour is used to prepare date bread, a famous specialty in those parts.
Nutritional Properties Of The Date
Dates can be eaten fresh or dried, with slight differences in calories: 100 grams of dry dates bring 275 calories, while the fresh ones only have 150 calories. In any case, both are rich in vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, C, E, K, and J), mineral salts such as potassium, calcium, selenium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, zinc, manganese, iron and sulfur, sugars such as fructose, sucrose, maltose, and dextrose, amino acids such as arginine, cysteine, glycine, phenylalanine, histidine, aspartic acid, and glutamic acid, serine, tyrosine, tryptophan, alanine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, proline, methionine, valine, and threonine. And again, beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. 100 grams of dates contain 75g of carbohydrates, 1.81g of protein, 0.15g of fat, and the rest of the water.
Benefits Deriving From Taking The Date
What are the main benefits that the consumption of dates can bring to our bodies?
1) First of all, they give energy to the body, also increasing the reserves available thanks to a large amount of natural sugar present in them, but they are also helpful in attenuating inflammations , in particular, those that affect the respiratory tract and are usually recorded in correspondence with a cold;
2) Furthermore, regularly consuming dates in your daily diet allows you to lower the levels of LDL cholesterol, the ‘bad’ cholesterol that can cause cardiovascular problems;
3) The presence in quantities of soluble and insoluble fibers makes dates precious allies of the digestive system ;
4) And again, the significant presence of potassium means that dates are helpful in promoting the correct functioning of blood circulation and the heart;
5) But not only that because this fruit is also an excellent natural anti-inflammatory while the high iron content makes it interesting even in cases of anemia ;
6) In addition, dates have laxative properties indicated for those suffering from constipation, always if accompanied by plenty of water;
7) These fruits help to tone the muscles and the cardiovascular system, protect brain functions thanks to vitamin B6, are helpful for athletes and for those who have to recover from debilitating diseases, strengthen and protect the nervous system, preserve bones from the damage of time, fight water retention and the effect of free radicals ;
8) And finally, if consumed during pregnancy, they strengthen the uterine muscles by promoting dilation during childbirth and enriching the mother’s milk.
Contraindications And Side Effects To The Consumption Of Dates
In the case of dates, the contraindications are dictated above all by common sense. Being a very sugary fruit, it is better not to overdo it with its daily consumption: the recommended dose is a maximum of 6 dates per day, for a weight of about 40/50 grams.
Among the side effects of excessive consumption is causing severe migraines in susceptible people.
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