For thousands of years people have been using dates in food – long before sugar was discovered. This sticky fruit of the date palm tree is naturally high in fiber while being fat and cholesterol-free. So not only do dates make a great alternative to avoid processed sugars, they are actually good for you too!
The high percentage of soluble and insoluble fiber found in dates makes them a perfect snack or meal addition to help you feel full longer, as well as giving your body the daily fiber it needs to maintain a healthy digestive system.
Dates are a great source of manganese, potassium, and magnesium, all essential minerals for a healthy body. The high potassium found in dates helps to reduce bone loss in post-menopausal women by helping to reduce calcium levels being excreted through the kidneys. Meanwhile, ensuring an adequate intake of other trace minerals helps the body maintain healthy bone growth.
Foods that are high in fiber are great for lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and dates are no exception. The same fiber can also help decrease colon cancer risks by binding to harmful chemicals in the gut and colon to ensure speedy removal.
Great Skin and Sharp Vision
High in vitamin A, dates are a great way to supplement your diet to ensure you are getting enough of this antioxidant vitamin. Not only great for ensuring healthy eyes, vitamin A is also a key factor in maintaining healthy skin, as well as protecting against lung cancers.
Dates contain a good amount of B-vitamins, as well as vitamin K. These vitamins work together to help your body metabolize all types of foods: carbohydrates, protein, and fats. A healthy metabolism is an important part of any weight loss or weight management plan.
How to Eat Dates
Dates can be purchased fresh or dried, whole or chopped. They can obviously be eaten whole and fresh or added to salads and baked goods, but that’s not the only reason to include dates in your daily diet. By substituting dates where you would normally use sugar you can improve the health factor of even your most delectable desserts. For example:
- Use dates and almonds, combine in a food processor to create a delicious pie crust.
- Add to a blender for sweeter smoothies.
- Simmer chopped dates in water to create a sweet syrup.
- Combine above syrup with vanilla and pinch of salt to create a delicious caramel-like dip for apples and other fruit.