*Dates are the edible fruits of the date palm, Phoenix dactylifera.
*Dates are available in fresh and dried forms.
*Dried dates are mature fully ripened dates that are sun dried.
* Dried dates are brown in color with a wrinkly outer skin and a chewy sweet interior flesh.
*They can be eaten as is or used in cooking to make cookies, puddings, etc. Dried dates soaked in water and consumed in summer are believed to protect against sun stroke.
*Buying and storage: Select good quality dried dates. Store in airtight containers or zip-lock bags at room temperature where they will keep for seneral weeks to months.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, dried dates are raw.
*No, because sometimes dried dates at the supermarkets are soaked in sugar syrup or sulphured. Make sure you read the label.
1. Dried dates are a healthy snack low in fats and cholesterol and and high in carbohydrates, dietary fiber and minerals.
2. They are low in sodium and have good amounts of potassium. This helps to maintain the blood pressure and reduces water retention. Potassium is also important for active muscles and nerves.
3. Very good source of iron, which helps in respiration at the cellular level by synthesizing hemoglobin that helps to carry oxygen to cells.
4. Good source of magnesium. It helps in relieving fatigue, relaxing the muscles, nerves and blood vessels, thus relieving the symptoms of asthma, migraine headaches, tension and soreness in muscles etc.
5. Good source of copper, which reduces the risk of inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, enhances the activity of enzymes that are needed to maintain the elasticity of blood vessels, ligaments and joints.
6. Good source of manganese, which is an essential cofactor in many enzymatic reactions in the body, especially in the production of energy and antioxidants defenses.
7. Good source of B-group vitamins like riboflavin and niacin that are essential to enhance the energy production from the foods and for various enzymatic reactions in the body.
8. Very good source of soluble dietary fiber. It adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, maintains the blood glucose and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, etc.
9. High dietary fiber creates a sense of fullness in the stomach, thus it also aids weight loss.
10. Fiber rich dates also help lower cholesterol levels in the blood, thus promoting cardiovascular health.
11. High dietary fiber also reduce the risk of colon cancer.