In recent years, we have begun to see them more and more on store shelves, they are beginning to appear frequently in the list of ingredients of many available products, and most of us are also familiar with their taste side, for which they cease to lose their status as an exclusively exotic food and become a popular flavor fixture even in our regions. We are talking about dates - a superfood that boasts not only a great taste, but above all a number of nutritional benefits, thanks to which we can call their consumption a combination of pleasant and useful. Let's take a look at their benefits together.
If we talk about dates, we are talking about fruit. These are the fruits of the common date tree, known as oval berries of different lengths, colors and types. Among them we can find a whole range of varieties, which differ from each other in dozens of characteristics, from color to taste to the content of specific nutrients or the amount of energy value. It originates from the region of Mesopotamia, but today its production and above all its availability have successfully spread to almost the entire world. It is precisely for this reason that no date is like a date, and its quality is determined not only by the variety, but also by the method of distribution, storage and final journey to the consumer.
Dates are a rich source of quickly available energy for the human body. Their composition contains, on average, 60 to 70% carbohydrates. Thanks to this, they are often attributed a strengthening effect, which finds its use at the moment when we need to quickly replenish energy, prevent fatigue or weakness, or support performance, whether physical or mental. Thanks to this characteristic, they get the label of an extra nutritious source.
However, the nutritional aspect is far from ending with energy status, quite the opposite. We also find fiber in them, both in its soluble form and insoluble form. Adequate intake of fiber of both types is a basic prerequisite for healthy digestion. Fiber intake is often neglected and underestimated, which is one of the many reasons why so many people are dealing with digestive issues these days. The inclusion of dates in the diet is, among other things, a great way to increase the intake of fiber and thus support the work of the intestines and prevent constipation.
The list of nutritional benefits continues with a high number of vitamins (specifically, vitamins A, E and K or group B vitamins), minerals (for example potassium, calcium or chlorine) and trace elements (zinc or manganese). Worthy of separate mention in this context is their richness in potassium, which together with magnesium has a positive effect on blood pressure regulation and thus has the potential to reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The contained calcium further supports the health of bones and joints, and together with potassium, it maintains the balance of electrolytes in the cells.
However, one of the most important benefits is the high content of vitamin C, which makes dates a valuable source of naturally occurring antioxidants. They fight free radicals in the body and protect cells from oxidative stress. Otherwise, free radicals are the cause of many serious diseases (diabetes, immune disorders, inflammation and tumors, etc.) and accelerate the aging of the body. Some antioxidants can be produced by the body itself, while others must be obtained from the diet. The inclusion of antioxidants in the diet is thus an important part of health prevention. The interesting thing is that their production fluctuates with age, and for that reason alone, their rich resources should find application in the menu at any age.
If, as a cherry on the cake, to the extensive (and thus not complete) list of benefits stemming from the consumption of high-quality dates, we add their luxurious taste side, which rightfully wins many a gourmet's heart, we get a win on all fronts. As we already know very well today, matching feeling and utility is ultimately the most valuable thing we can connect. Not only in the menu, but also in life. And besides, nowadays we just need to sweeten our lives (healthily), don't we?