Dates, An Ultimate Super Food

Dates, an ultimate super food

Summary

  1. The benefits of dates
  2. What does the date contain?
  3. Precautions
  • The benefits of dates

Fresh Dates

Even if few studies have been carried out specifically on dates , several epidemiological studies have shown that a high consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases ,certain cancers and other diseases chronicles . The presence of antioxidants and fiber in fruits and vegetables could play a role in this protection.

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Dates

Rich in carbohydrates, dates are a food of choice to facilitate muscle work. As carbohydrates are a good fuel for muscles, dates can be useful during sports, especially during prolonged efforts, for example hiking or cycling, cross-country skiing, etc.

  • What does the date contain?

Dried dates, sweeter?

The dates are especially marketed and consumed dry, that is to say partially dehydrated. They contain only 15% to 20% water, compared to 65% to 70% for fresh dates. A dried date contains as much sugar (carbohydrates) as a fresh date, but for equal weight, dried dates contain a little more than fresh dates. Dried dates are sometimes coated with syrup so that they retain a certain humidity, which increases their sugar content.

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Dried Dates

Antioxidants

Fresh dates contain a high concentration of antioxidants , mainly carotenoids and phenolic compounds. Antioxidants protect the cells of the body from damage caused by free radicals . Dried dates contain less than fresh dates, since a certain amount is lost during dehydration .

Dietary fiber

Dates are made up of 57% insoluble fiber and 43% soluble fiber . Insoluble fiber plays an important role in bowel regularity and the prevention of constipation. By retaining water in the colon, they increase the volume and weight of the stool, which reduces transit time and facilitates evacuation. In addition, studies have shown that soluble fiber plays a role in reducing cholesterol levels as well as in normalizing glucose and insulin levels. Therefore, they can help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease .

A 25 g serving of dates (3 fruits) provides 2 g of fiber, which represents 5% to 8% of the amount of fiber recommended per day 7 . Dried dates are a better source of dietary fiber than raisins, dried apricots and prunes, but they are less rich in fiber than dried figs.

Carbohydrates

The glycemic index of dried dates ranges from moderate to high . This index allows you to classify foods according to their effect on blood sugar . The glycemic index of dates is variable, since their chemical composition (sugar content, types of sugar, fiber content, etc.) is influenced by various factors, such as the variety, the composition of the soil and the degree of maturity of the fruit. Although the clinical usefulness of the glycemic index concept is not unanimous, recommends that diabetics consume foods with a low glycemic index more often, and less often foods with a moderate or high glycemic index.

  • Precautions

Choking hazard for young children Young children can choke on hard, smooth or round foods. The hard dried dates and even those in the cookies have some risks. They are the same size as a young child’s esophagus (the tube that carries food to the stomach) and they can get stuck in the throat and block the windpipe (the tube that carries air to the lungs) . So you have to be very careful!

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