3 health reasons to add dates to your diet
This sweet food contains more than just carbohydrates and sugars. Dates are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients.
Dates often are used as alternative sweeteners because of their natural sweetness, but they aren’t just another form of sugar; they’re good for your health.
Dates are packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other health-promoting nutrients that can help you stay healthy and are a good source of:
- Vitamins C, E and the B vitamins.
- Minerals like potassium, calcium, iron, selenium, copper and magnesium.
Dates can be used in recipes for things like energy balls, pie crusts, raw treats and more. You might also try adding chopped dates to oatmeal, blending them into smoothies, stuffing them with nutritious fillings like nuts or adding them to trail mix.
Among their health benefits, dates are antibacterial, antifungal and antioxidant and have immunomodulatory effects that make them helpful in controlling a variety of health problems.
Here are three reasons to add dates to your meals or snacks:
- Dates are good for your heart. They can help control risk factors for heart disease. In one study, 100 grams of dates a day for four weeks decreased triglyceride levels by 8% to 15%. They also can help control blood pressure. They have a favorable ratio of sodium to potassium and affect other compounds involved in blood pressure regulation.
- Dates can help with diabetes. Having 100 grams of dates daily for four weeks led to no increase in blood sugar levels in one study. They don’t have a very high glycemic index, are full of fiber and are antioxidant-rich, all factors that help with diabetes treatment.
- Dates might help fight cancer. They could be particularly protective against colon cancer, as they have been shown to increase bowel movements, reduce ammonia concentration in the stool and inhibit proliferation of colon cancer cells.
Environmental Nutrition is an independent newsletter written by nutrition experts providing information on health and nutrition.