Dates health benefits


Dates are sugary delicious fruits of date palm scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera L. It is a fruit with many health-improving properties around the world for many centuries. Dates health benefits are high in nutritional and therapeutic value with significant antioxidant, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-proliferative properties.

The date fruit is native to arid and semi-arid regions in the World. The popularity of date fruits can be estimated by the wide varieties available in the market like Medjool, Amir Hajj, Saidy, Khadrawy, and Deglet Noor.
Based on their texture, the three main types of date fruits are soft, semi-dry, and dry. It is also classified into four stages. ‘Kimiri’ stage, ‘Khalal’ stage, ‘Rutab’ stage, and ‘Tamer’ stage.

The tamer stage is the final stage of maturation when the date has dried to a fairly firm consistency, less moisture with a darker golden color, and increase aroma. Various date fruit-based products are available in the market such as date syrup, date paste, date juice (1).

Nutritional value of dates

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the consumption of 100 g of dates can provide a high amount of energy, dietary fiber, vitamins, selenium, copper, potassium, magnesium, and other components as follows (2).

Compound Amounts per 100 g
Water 21.32 g
Energy 277 kcal
Protein 1.81 g
Total lipid ( Fat)s 0.15 g
Carbohydrates 74.97 g
Dietary Fiber 6.7 g
Sugar 66.47 g
Calcium 64 mg
Iron 0.90 mg
Magnesium 54 mg
Phosphorous 62 mg
Potassium 696 mg
Sodium 1 mg
Zinc 0.44 mg
Folates 15 µg
Niacin 1.61 mg
Riboflavin 0.06 mg
Thiamin 0.05 mg
Vitamin B-6 0.24 mg
Vitamin A 149 IU
Vitamin C 0 mg
Vitamin K 2.7 µg

Dates health benefits

1. Dates are rich in nutrients

The flesh and seeds of dates contain low fat and protein but rich in nutrients such as sugars, mainly fructose and glucose, dietary fibers, selenium, copper, potassium, and magnesium content. It also contains vitamin B complex. Research shows that intake of 100 g of dates provides over 15% of essential minerals (3).

2. Manage diabetes

Dates have a low glycemic index, contain dietary fiber and antioxidants which regulate blood sugar levels, therefore, consumption of 7-10 dates (max.) by the diabetic patient without the risk of postprandial glucose excursions (4).

3. Eating dates helps in keeping the colon healthy

Dates are rich in dietary fiber and polyphenols, therefore, may enhance colon health by increasing beneficial bacterial growth. Further, produce short-chain fatty acids and inhibiting the proliferation of colon cancer cells (5). Thus consumption of dates acts as antiproliferative agents for cancer cell development and enhances colonic health (6).

4. Dates are rich in antioxidants hence protects organ damage

Dates contain high amounts of polyphenolic compounds such as caffeic, ferulic, protocatechuic, catechin, gallic, p-coumaric, resorcinol, chlorogenic, and syringic acids. Moreover, it also contains flavonoids like luteolin, quercetin, and apigenin which are helpful in neutralizing free radicals and protecting organs from damage (7).

5. Dates help in keeping heart healthy

Phenolic and flavonoids compounds in dates reduce necrosis, edema. It also restored the cardiomyocyte’s architecture and preserved cardiac muscle fiber morphology. Therefore eating dates reduces the risk of ischemic heart disease and promotes tissue repair by ischemic injury (8).

6. Dates lower the cholesterol level

Anti-atherogenic compounds in dates like flavonol, polyphenol, unsaturated fatty acid, vitamin C, and vitamin E helps in reducing total cholesterol (TC) and LDL. It also helps in increasing high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels called good cholesterol (9).

7. Reduces Hypertension

The presence of high potassium and low sodium contents of dates may be helpful in lowering blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke in people with hypertension (10).

8. Eating dates helps in having natural labor in pregnant women

Consumption of dates during pregnancy is not only useful for nutritional requirements but also beneficial for decreasing labor time. It helps in promoting cervical dilatation and reduces the need for prostin/oxytocin (labor induce drug). Because dates are a good source of calories that save energy and treat fatigue and hunger (11). Furthermore, it also contains tannin which helps facilitates contractions of smooth muscles of the cervix (12).

9. Dates are a must for a healthy brain

Dates contain phenolic acid which protects against inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain. It also contains natural antioxidants, such as anthocyanins, ferulic acid, protocatechuic acid, and caffeic acid which protect neurons from Aβ-induced toxicity and decrease stress-induced depression-like behavior by promoting neural progenitor cell proliferation (13).
Therefore, the intake of dates in diet can act as a neuroprotective agent and slow down the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (14).

10. Anti-cancer properties of Dates

β-glucans and polyphenol found in dates may be helpful in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and promotes apoptosis. Thus consumption of dates possesses anti-tumor properties against different cancer cells and reduces cell damage (15).

11. Eating dates cures constipation

A research study suggested that dates contain an accurate amount of minerals and sugars, especially potassium and reduced sugars which is important to cure constipation disorders and intestinal transit.
Furthermore, dates are also rich in dietary fibers especially insoluble fibers which accelerate gastrointestinal transit (GIT) activity and reducing the risk of constipation. Hence consumption of dates pulp and palm sap may be very beneficial for the treatment of digestive system disorders as constipation (16).

12. Dates are directly proportional to a healthy liver

Important flavonoids such as luteolin, apigenin, quercetin, and proanthocyanidins as well as β-sitosterol, vitamins, and polyphenolic compounds found in dates are used for adjuvant therapy for liver damage. Therefore, intake of dates may be helpful for hepatoprotective activity (17).

13. Pollen of Date palm improves fertility

A research study suggested that date palm pollen acts as a fertility agent because it contains steroids, flavonoids, saponins, and lipids which may enhance sexual behavior and sperm quality. Moreover, the consumption of date palm pollen also increases the concentrations of testosterone and estradiol. Thus, dates improve fertility parameters like sperm count and motility, LH, testosterone and estradiol levels, the diameter of seminiferous tubules (18).

14. Healthy glowing teeth

The presence of elemental fluorine in dates is beneficial for protecting teeth against decay. Thus dates may be considered as a beneficial food, providing important nutrients and potential health benefits (19).

The side effect of Dates

1. Hereditary fructose intolerance

Dates are a rich source of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, sugar, and carbohydrates (CHOs), which are required for the improvement of health.
However, sometimes intake of too many dates cause hypoglycemia also called hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) with symptoms like bloating, nausea, sleepiness, sweating, and shivering. Therefore if you face these problems you should avoid the consumption of dates, which may lead to disastrous complications and even death (20).

2. Risk of contamination

Although dates pose tremendous nutritional values, it also contains a high amount of moisture which leads to bacterial growth. Not only this the dried dates get affected by molds. Therefore, proper precautions like only buy well processed and packaged dates and wash with food-grade sanitizers before consumption is needed (21).

3. Risk of Human Nipah virus (NiV) infection

Date palm sap is fed by humans because of its nutritional value but it also a source of Human Nipah virus (NiV) infection which is transmitted by Pteropus bats. Bats lick the sap stream that flows from the shaved part of the tree to the collection pot. Infected people show symptoms of milder illness like diarrhea, vomiting, or indigestion. Thus, we should take precautions like reducing the consumption of fresh date palm sap and prevent bat access to the sap during collection (22).

Healthy Recipes of Dates

1. Date yogurt Pomace

Date palm powder fibrous yogurt was consumed because not only does it contain a good source of dietary fiber, phenolic, and antioxidant activity but also can be used as a functional food. It is more liked by children because of its delicious taste and vibrant color.


  1. Seed removed dates blend with yogurt and almonds (soaked overnight)
  2. Garnish with honey and dry fruits (as per choice).
  3. Serve fresh or refrigerated for 15 min. and served chilled.

2. Dates shake

Overnight soaked dates with little water blend in a blender until smooth consistency and drink in the morning may relieve from constipation. You can also add milk and drink at night but before consumption consults your doctor first.

3. Date salad

Seed-removed dates can be consumed as a salad with carrots, lemon juice, lettuce, and salt and consume freshly.


  1. […] Date fruits are one of the ancient fruit of the world mainly consumed in the Middle-east and North Africa for 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 dates 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 times because of its medicinal properties. […]

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