Five health benefits of dates and a coconut date snack recipe
Satisfy your sugar cravings with nutrient-rich dates that help boost energy, while managing blood sugar levels.
All evidence points to the fact that to improve health, you must avoid sugary foods. Studies show that eating refined sugar causes energy depletion, also known as the dreaded “sugar crash” when empty calories use our body’s vitamins and minerals to turn it into fuel. Think of it like a credit card for your body. Instead of using your resources for building health, refined sugar uses your resources and creates a deficit!
The good news is that nature provides us with incredible nutrition in very sweet packages. One of my favourites is dates as they are an easy portable snack that pairs fabulously with nuts. Dates provide the nutrients you need, while satisfying your sweet tooth.
Here are five reasons to eat more dates:
1. Dates are a source of antioxidants.All dates, fresh or dried, contain different types of antioxidants. Fresh dates contain anthocyanidins and carotenoids, while dried dates contain polyphenols – just like green tea. Experiments in food chemistry show that Khalas (aka Madina) dates are highest in antioxidants when compared to other date varieties.
2. Dates can be good for blood sugar balance. Diabetes researchers have shown that dates have a low glycemic impact. This means that eating dates alone, or with a meal, may help people with type-2 diabetes manage their blood sugar and blood fat levels. Six to eight Tamer dates can be eaten in one sitting without dramatic shifts in blood sugar.
3. Dates can help reduce blood pressure. A standard serving of five or six dates provides about 80 milligrams of magnesium, an essential mineral that helps dilate blood vessels. Research shows that supplementing with 370 milligrams of magnesium can reduce blood pressure. However, taking such a large dose all at once often causes diarrhea. Dates are a delicious way to increase your magnesium intake more gently.
4. Dates contain a brain booster. Each little date contains over two milligrams of choline, a B vitamin that’s a component in acetylcholine, the memory neurotransmitter. Higher choline intake is associated with better memory and learning, making it a key nutrient for children and older adults at risk for Alzheimer’s.
5. Dates help maintain bone mass.Research shows that bone loss in post-menopausal women with osteopenia can be reduced by increasing intake of potassium. One dried date provides nearly 140 milligrams of this valuable nutrient. Scientists believe that high potassium intake protects bone mass by reducing the amount of calcium excreted through the kidneys.