Dates: benefits, contraindications, daily amount

The date is the fruit of the date palm: tasty, versatile and full of energy, this food is rich in benefits for our body.

Plate of dates (Pixabay)

These fruits of the plant Phoenix Dactylifera they originate from countries with a warm climate, which are located between northern Africa and western Asia. Here’s everything you need to know about dates: nutritional properties, benefits, contraindications, recipes and much more.

Dates: nutritional properties

Dates are extremely high-calorie foods.

Dates
Dates (Pixabay)

Suffice it to say, in fact, that 100 grams of product bring about 253 kcal. The same amount of fruit also contains the following macronutrients:

  • Carbohydrates 82.5 g
  • Sugars 65 g
  • Fiber 7.5 g
  • Protein 2.5 g
  • Fat 0 g.

The micronutrients provided by 100 grams of dates are:

  • Potassium 653 mg;
  • Phosphorus 62 mg;
  • Calcium 39 mg;
  • Selenium 3 mg;
  • Sodium 2 mg;
  • Vitamin A: IU 10;
  • B1: 0.05 mg
  • B2: 0.07 mg;
  • B3: 1.2 mg;
  • B5: 0.6 mg;
  • B6: 0.1 mg;
  • Vitamin C: 0.4 mg;
  • Vitamin E: 0.05 mg;
  • K: 2.5 mcg;
  • J: 6.2 mg;
  • Beta carotene: 6 mcg;
  • Lutein Zeaxanthin: 71 mcg;
  • Folate: 18 mcg.

What are dates good for?

Is eating dates good for you? Rich in mineral salts – especially magnesium – and other nutrients that are precious for our health, these foods are a real panacea for the body.

Dates
Dates (Pixabay)

In particular, consuming these fruits is indicated in the periods of physical debilitationbecause thanks to the consistent energy supply they give strength and vigor to body and mind, fighting fatigue and chronic fatigue.

The beneficial properties of the date, however, do not end there. Although most of the positive effects of this fruit are unknown, in fact, it is a food that can alleviate many ailments.

Rich source of iron and mineral salts, dates are ideal for fighting the risk of anemia and remineralizing the body.

The high content of antioxidant substances fights cellular aging, counteracting the action of free radicals. In doing so, the consumption of dates protects us from the onset of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease.

Since these are sugary fruits, their intake is recommended for those suffering from hypotension: the active ingredients of these foods, in fact, fight pressure drops, balancing the regular blood flow.

Among the most incredible properties of dates are those for the benefit of future mothers: these fruits not only help strengthen the muscles of the uterus, favoring its dilation during childbirth, but they also stimulate the secretion of breast milk.

Finally, eating dates is also good for gut health. In fact, being rich in fiber, they promote intestinal transit and gastric emptying, fighting ailments such as constipation and diarrhea.

Who shouldn’t eat them?

What are the side effects of eating dates?

Dates
Dates (Pixabay)

Since these are very caloric fruits, if eaten in excessive quantities they can cause weight gain.

Eating these foods, of course, is not suitable for all those who suffer from allergies to one or more of the substances contained in them. Among the most common hypersensitivity reactions are:

  • Itching;
  • Swelling;
  • Difficulty in breathing;
  • Skin irritation;
  • Headache.

A good recommendation is to always wash dates well before eating them, as their rough surface easily attracts impurities and dust.

You may also be interested in: Pistachio: benefits, contraindications, calories, how many to eat per day

How many can you eat in a day?

As we have anticipated, since these are extremely caloric foods it is advisable not to exceed the recommended daily doses.

Dates
Dates (Pixabay)

The quantity of dates that should be consumed daily is equal to a weight of about 40/50 dates, which corresponds to 6 dates a day.

The risks associated with excessive consumption of these fruits, after all, do not concern only the accumulation of excess weight, but also hyperkalemia.

This condition occurs when potassium levels – which these foods are rich in – become too high in the blood.

You may also be interested in: Nuts: properties, benefits, values, varieties, contraindications

Recipes with dates

The sweet and irresistible flavor of dates means that these fruits can be simply enjoyed on their own, as a delicious snack that breaks hunger throughout the day.

Dates
Dates (Pixabay)

In reality, however, these are such versatile foods that they can also be used in the preparation of many recipes, both sweet and savory.

Among the most popular are the stuffed dates, the date cake and the salad with oranges, pistachios, fennel and dates.

Furthermore, the fleshy dates with soft pulp can be used to prepare the date honeywhich is obtained by simply blending the fruit and can be used as a healthier alternative to butter or sugar.

Hard dates, on the other hand, can be reduced to flour and used, together with barley flour, for the preparation of the traditional date bread, typical of Arab countries.

Incredible but true, from these fruits it is possible to obtain the so-called date wine, particularly widespread in India and Sri Lanka.

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