Dates: An ancient fruit with health benefits

Dates health benefits and side effects
Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

Dates: An ancient fruit with health benefits

Date fruits are one of the ancient fruit of the world mainly consumed in the Middle-east and North Africa from a very long time. Now a day the production of the date palm is increasing 3 to 4 times because of its health benefits and essential nutrients. Among many health benefits of the date fruits are anti-oxidant, antimutagenic, hepatoprotective, nephroprotective and immune stimulant (1). Date fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber and, other nutrients. Besides this, the date fruit is also used for the ailment of certain diseases from ancient time because of its medicinal properties.

Main composition of Date fruits

1.Sugar

Date fruits are rich in natural sugar mainly fructose, glucose and sucrose. These are most important compounds as they provide a good amount of energy to human body. Being a fruit of desert where other type of food source are very less, dates thus are the important lifeline for the locals and tribals.  

2.Minerals

Along with rich sugar content, date fruits also have different types of minerals. Major minerals in the fruits are selenium, potassium, magnesium and copper. Minor minerals include manganese, iron, phosphorus and calcium. Minerals are good for health if taken in an appropriate amount. Selenium present in date fruits helps in protecting body from oxidative stress and enhances the immunity (3).

3.Vitamins

Date fruits are rich in vitamins mainely B complex and C. Other than these date fruits also has fat soluble vitamins namely D, E and A. Vitamins are very important for a healthy body.

4.Dietary fibers

Date palm fruits are high in dietary fiber. Dietary fibers are essential for a healthy stomach and proper bowel movement. Proper bowel movement is very important for a healthy body as it reduce bowel cancer , blood cholesterol, reduces the risk of diabetes and other form of diseases. 100 gram of date pulp contains around 32% of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber (2).

5.Amino acids

Date fruits have many essential amino acids like serine, methionine, glycine, proline, aspartic acid, arginine, tyrosine etc. These amino acids are very important for the normal functions of the body. As our body can not generate amino acids and therefore must be provided by external source (3).

Health benefits of Date fruit

Date fruits because of its high nutritional value can be used for treatment of many health related problems. Eating date on regular basis helps in maintaining proper health and activity of the body.

1.Aphrodisiac

Date fruits are aphrodisiacs in nature. In a study done in the year 2013 (4) proves that the water extract of date helps in increasing the male sex hormone therefore are aphrodisiac in nature. Compounds like saponins, flavonoids and alkaloids are androgen enhancing in nature.

2.Cough and cold

Date fruits are very effective against cough and cold. Having date fruits during cold helps in relieving from sore throat heats up the body. There is although no experimental proof but traditionally date syrup mixed with fig, hibiscus and raisins all in equal amount and boiled can be used for the treatment of cough and cold and other chest infections (5).

3.Asthma

Asthma is an inflammatory disease and the main reason of having asthma are many including prolong-illness, hereditary, environmental pollution, allergy etc. The decoction of date fruits and fenugreek is a safe and traditional method to reduce the effect of asthma and is also safe in use.

4.Labour and delivery relaxation

Date palm fruits have been eaten traditib]nally from a a very long time in order to induce labour and relaxing the muscles after delivery. Date palm fruits also helps in increasing the lactation and haemoglobin level after pregnancy.

5.Hepatoprotective

Date palm helps in keeping the liver healthy. In a studies done on rats it was showed that date palm fruit extracts helps in healing liver thus acts as an hepatoprotective. Date palm extract thus helps in saving the liver from alcohol side effects and other drug side effect.

6.Anti allergy

Date palm fruits particularly the seeds contain zinc which acts as an anti allergy to body. Therefore soaps made of date seeds are effective in reducing skin allergy reaction. Consuming date fruits directly also helps in controlling certain skin related allergy (6).

7.Protects kidney stones

Dates fruit are very healthy for the kidney. Due to its diuretic and anti inflammatory nature eating dates thus helps the kidney remain healthy by protecting from renal stones. Drinking water extract of nearly 100 g of date fruits helps in healing kidney stone.

8.Antioxidant

Date fruits are rich in folic acid and therefore considered as antioxidant in nature. Eating date fruits helps in detoxification of the body and strengthen the body’s immune system against cancer and other types of diseases(7).

9.Healthy heart

Date fruits are low in sodium and high in potassium content therefore are useful in maintaining the sodium and potassium balance of the body and also helps in healing cardiac related disorders (7).

10.Antidiabetic

Seeds of date fruits possess antidiabetic activity. A study suggests that the hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic and antioxidant property of date seeds helps in controlling the diabetes (8). Anther study on animal model also concludes that water extract of date seeds helps in restoring the normal function of liver and kidney and balance the oxidative stress in diabetic condition (9).

Side effects

1.Tooth decay

Dates fruits are rich in sugar compound and also are very sticky therefore may causes tooth decay.

2.Weight gain

Date fruits are high in calorie therefore not suitable during dieting.

3. Rich minerals

Dates are rich in minerals like potassium therefore too much eating date fruits can cause some serious health effects.

References

  1. https://doi.org/10.1002/jsfa.6154
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12146567
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1658365514000703#bib0025
  4. doi:10.4236/asm.2013.31006
  5. http://www.academia.edu/7828778/Nutritional_and_Medicinal_Value_of_Date_Fruit
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2995241/
  7. http://www.academia.edu/7828778/Nutritional_and_Medicinal_Value_of_Date_Fruit
  8. https://doi.org/10.4172/2155-6156.1000784
  9. https://doi.org/10.7860/JCDR/2016/16879.7419

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here