Dates are an important part of the usual Asian diet, although they are consumed all around the world. They are mostly eaten dried, but even if you eat them fresh their health benefits will stay the same.

Why are dates so beneficial?

Dates are a favorite food among vegetarians thanks to their nutrients which include vitamin B6, selenium, fiber, magnesium, copper, potassium and manganese. The selenium content makes dates effective against cancer. This powerful antioxidant can prevent cancer development, cardiovascular diseases and various infections and also strengthens the immune system. Lack of this nutrient causes hormonal changes and it can act as a strong thyroid stimulant.

Dates are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids which can filter high-energy visible light wavelengths. They are also powerful antioxidants that can protect the retina from light damage. According to a 2007 study, people who eat them regularly have a lower risk of macular degeneration caused by aging.

Dates also contain phosphorus, an element that is called “brain food”, which is why dates are recommended to people involved in intellectual work. Dates can provide your brain and muscles with substantial energy as they contain natural sugars such as fructose, sucrose and glucose, while the chlorine content of this fruit prevents tooth decay. Ripe dates are rich in niacin, vitamins A, B1, B2 and C, sodium, magnesium, calcium and iron. The last nutrient makes dates a highly recommended fruit for people suffering from anemia.

Eating dates regularly can prevent constipation due to their high fiber content which can stimulate digestion. Dates have anti-inflammatory properties which can help in cases of arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and Alzheimer’s.

Pregnant women should eat dates every day in order to prevent morning sickness and to replenish their body with essential nutrients. They can also help against anemia, impotence and insomnia.

As we already mentioned, dates are rich in natural sugar which is why they are a great alternative to refined sugar, and are also easy to digest while reducing hunger at the same time. Two or three dates a day will stop your chocolate cravings and you will enjoy a unique sweet taste which cannot be provided by artificial sweets.