Dates are a sweet and delicious source and natural sugars and fiber, with high concentrations of potassium and vitamin A, among other vitamins and minerals. Dates are one of the sweetest fruits around, and although they can be eaten fresh, they are often available dried and resemble raisins or dried plums (aka prunes, which are also super healthy). The health benefits of dates are plentiful, but here are just a few.
1. Boost Energy
Dates are high in natural sugars, so if you need a quick burst of energy mid-day, instead of going for a second cup of coffee go for a handful of dates or whip up some energy balls or oatmeal bars packed with dates to fight the mid-day slump.
2. Relieve Intoxication & Prevent a Hangover
Did you have one too many tropical rum cocktails on your beach vacation? Pop a few dates when you get home (or carry them with you while you’re out). The high concentration of fructose in dates is thought to help speed the metabolism of alcohol and could bring relief if you’re feeling the effects of drinks. If you still end up with a hangover the next morning, try having them as a snack when you wake up. Try these other hangover remedies, too.
3. Strengthen Bones
Most people know that getting enough vitamin D from food and the sun is vital for bone health, but the combination of minerals like magnesium and copper that are packed into dates make them a superfood for strengthening bones, too. Whether you are looking to fight off existing osteoporosis or bulk up your bones as a preventative measure, dates could help. These bars made with cranberry and dates are perfect for cooking on Sunday and snacking on all week-long.
4. Relieve Constipation
Dates are high in soluble fiber, which promotes healthy and comfortable digestion. If you’re suffering from constipation, try incorporating dates into your diet and don’t forget to drink extra water. Try out this smooth date shake for dates on-the-go.
5. Promote Heart Health
Consistently making heart-healthy dinners is one way to help your ticker, but dates are high in potassium, which is essential to keeping your heart health in tip-top shape, too. Plus, if you’re looking for a way to bring your cholesterol down, dates are good source of soluble fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol as part of a healthy diet. Whip up a batch of these date-packed muffins for a smart treat.
6. Reduce Inflammation
Magnesium is a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and you can definitely get your share of it in dates! A study with over 3,700 participants showed that a diet rich in magnesium was associated with a lower concentration of markers of inflammation in post menopausal women. Turmeric can also help reduce inflammation.
…and the list goes on! Dates are also thought to reverse anemia, help manage intestinal disorders, relieve allergy symptoms, boost sexual stamina and maintain the central nervous system. So next time you’re craving something sweet, instead of going for candy, go for some dates instead. They’re just as sweet and WAY better for you.