Dates are a great substitute for regular sugar, as they are high in fiber and have a low glycemic index. Not only this, but they also serve many health benefits and loads of nutrition.
Dates are highly nutritious.
Nutrition in 1 Date
Glycemic Index of Dates is 42 which is low and Glycemic Index of Table Sugar is 65, which is high.
Compostion of Dates
- Enzymes: These substances bring about biochemical reactions in the body.
- Phenolic acids: These antioxidant compounds help protect against disease.
- Carotenoids: These red, yellow, and orange pigments play a role in various bodily functions.
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and are great for the brain.
How do dates help in weight loss?
- High fiber content: Prevent constipation & Inflammation of the digestive tract.
- High in unsaturated fatty acid content.
- Good source of Protein.
- Satiates the sweet tooth.
- Have Low glycemic index.
Other Health Benefits
- Nervous system support: As dates have high potassium content, they have played a vital role in controlling: Heart rate, Breathing function, Muscular function.
- Improved metabolism: Dates are rich in B vitamins, such as Pantothenic acid, Folate, Niacin.
- Regulates blood pressure: Potassium present in dates is essential to excrete sodium out of the body. Thus, potassium regulates blood pressure by eliminating sodium from the body.
- Prevents Anemia: Dates are rich in iron that is vital for the production of RBC.
- Induce natural labor.
- Reduce Alzheimer’s disease symptoms: Dates are good for brain health.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Dates are an excellent source of vitamin C and D, which boost collagen production leading to increased elasticity.
- Dates have antioxidants that keep you safe from free radical damage and reduce inflammation. They remove toxins, improve digestion and metabolism which is a key to weight loss.
- Great for substitutions. People can replace the sugar, chocolate chips, or candies in baking recipes with dates to ensure they are eating natural sugars instead of refined sugars.
- Easy to add to the diet.
How many dates you should consume?
- Dates may help in weight loss only when you consume them in moderation.
- Excess of anything can lead to weight gain.
- You can have 3 to 5 dates every day to satiate your sweet tooth and keep your hunger pangs at bay.
What are the side effects of consuming dates?
The side effects of consuming dates include:
- Weight Gain.
- Kidney Disease: Individuals with kidney disease should follow caution while having dates. Consult a doctor regarding the amount of potassium to be taken every day.
- Allergies: Dried dates often contain sulfites that may trigger allergies in some.
- Asthma: Sulfites can exaggerate the symptoms of wheezing in people with asthma.
When to Consume dates for maximum benefit?
- Before a workout. Though dates are naturally high in sugar, they don’t spike blood sugar quickly. Rather, they provide a type of slow-releasing carb that allows for a steady stream of energy to fuel your workout. Try having 2-3 dates 30–60 minutes before a workout.
- At breakfast. Dates can be an excellent way to add natural sweetness and fiber to your diet in the early morning. It keeps you full, energized, and satisfied throughout the morning.
- As a snack. This pairing of fiber and sugar allows for a slower rise in blood sugar to help you feel energized without crashing soon afterward.
- At Bedtime. They’re an excellent bedtime food due to their high fiber content & potassium. Promote digestion & goodnight sleep.
When you shouldn’t eat dates?
- If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- After a large meal. Dates are high in fiber, which takes longer to digest. As a result, eating a large number of dates after a large meal may make you feel extremely full and uncomfortable.
- If you have an allergy.
- If you’re experiencing diarrhea or loose stools.
How to include Dates in your Diet?
- Breakfasts: Add dates to oatmeal, granola, or cereal.
- Salads: Add dates to fresh fruit or vegetable salads.
- Snacks: Eat the dates as they are or add them to a trail mix.
- Lunches or dinners: Mix dates into stews, soups, or casseroles.
- Smoothies: Make smoothies with dates, yogurt, and bananas, or other fruits.
- Desserts: Stuff dates with almond butter and top them off with berries or crushed peanuts.
- Energy balls: Use a food processor to mix dates, unsweetened coconut, and walnuts. Add a little vanilla and salt before forming the dough into balls and refrigerate them until serving.
- Sugar substitute: Puree dates and use the puree in recipes as a substitute for sugar.
- Dates with milk.
Do add dates in moderation in the diet and experience the health benefits.