Table of Contents
First of All, What Are Dates?
In simple words, dates can be described as a chewy and sweet fruit that is usually gotten from the date palm tree also known as “Phoenix dactylifra”.
Dates can also be described as a stone fruit, which can easily be described as a single seed, that is surrounded by an outer layer of fleshy fruit. Examples of these stone fruits are;
How Do You Preserve Dates?
When it comes to fruits, everyone is easily bothered about how to preserve them and increase the shelf life of the fruit, and dates are not an exception.
It is important to learn how to preserve your foodstuff, this would ensure you are maintaining the nutrients and shelf life of your food.
A fruit like dates is pretty easy to store, there are several means, but the most commons means used to preserve dates is by refrigeration.
Keeping dates in the freezer is a great means of preservation and it can preserve your dates for up to a year.
Another way of preserving dates is by storing them in a cool dry place at room temperature, this method would preserve your dates for a few months.
Interesting Facts About Dates
You might be wondering if dates really can last that long, well here you go with another
1) Did you know that dates are known to be one of the fruits with the least moisture content? In simple words, dates are naturally dehydrated.
2) Did you know, as time goes by and dates are stored, they begin to release their sugars to the surface, these sugars at the surface might be mistaken as molds, but don’t be afraid, they are not molds, they are sugar?
What have you been doing, if you have not heard about dates? If you already know what dates are, your memory is still going to be refreshed.
3) Dates are considered to be very popular in the Middle East and have been around for thousands of years.
They are also very common amongst the Muslims, and it is said that dates and date palms are sacred, hence commonly used during their fasting periods, as well as other dried fruits. They are also the sole provider of some nutrients needed by the body to function properly.
4) Did you know that each date is said to contain a high amount of fiber and 60 to 70 percent sugar? This fact is why dates are considered to be a great energy booster
Dates are very popular around the world, for the wonders they perform and their sweetness, yes, dates are also sweet.
Dates are very popular for their series of nutritional benefits, the most popular health benefit of dates is the energy-boosting ability, which helps in the increment of iron in the body, and the ability of dates to aid in digestion processes.
Let us not dive too deep into the health benefits now, we would still get to that, but it is hard to talk about dates without talking about the health benefits.
5) Did you know that dates are also used as sweeteners in juices, smoothies, nutrition bars, muffins, pastries, snacks, and so many more?
What Are The the Nutritional Contents of Dates?
Just as we said earlier, dates are known to contain a good amount of nutrients that are required by the body for certain functions and energy.
As you know, the African food network is here to give you the information you need on anything African and food, and dates are not left out from the fun.
You are about to understand the nutritional contents of dates, basically, the nutrients found in this sweet fruit.
Let us get right into the nutritional contents of dates;
According to organicfacts.net, dates are a good source of energy and some other requirements by the body like; Vitamins, minerals, sugar and so many more.
There are also some essential nutrients that are contained in dates like; Calcium, potassium, sodium, and phosphorus.
Some other nutrients that are contained in dates are;
- Vitamin k
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B6
6) Did you know that daily consumption of 15% of the essential minerals, like copper, magnesium, selenium, and potassium can be fulfilled by the consumption of 4 pitted dates per day?
Now you know this information, what are you waiting for? Start eating dates right now.
You have been enlightened on the nutritional contents of this wonder fruit called dates, are you not wondering what this sweet and healthy fruit does to the body? Of course, you are going to wonder, who wouldn’t?
This section is going to look into the health benefits of this sweet and healthy fruit, it is only fair you get to know how helpful the things you take into your body affect you, positively and negatively.
Our focus is going to be on the positive side of this incredible fruit, so let us get into the health benefits of dates;
- Dates are considered to be an energy-giving fruit; Dates are known to have a pretty good amount of natural sugars like; Fructose, sucrose, glucose.
These sugars are responsible for the energy, which is gotten from dates. High sugar contents are known to be good energy givers.
So when you are having a slow day at work and you feel sluggish or lethargic, why don’t you snack on a few dates and get your energy back up?
- Do you have intestinal disorders? Here is another interesting fact about dates;
7) Dates are known to contain soluble and insoluble fibers, not just that, they are also known to possess some pretty amazing amino acids, which help in the stimulation of the digestion processes.
The stimulation of these digestion processes ensures the quick and smooth passage of food, which often occurs through the gastrointestinal tract.
8) Dates are known to have a good amount of fiber content, and fiber is known to aid in the treatment processes, involved in some digestive disorders, like gastroesophageal reflux diseases, also known as ‘GERD’, and some others like; Hemorrhoids, diverticulitis.
- Dates may help in the improvement of brain health; According to organic facts, dates may be a source of protection against brain inflammation and oxidative stress.
9) Dates are a good source of fiber, just like we said earlier, but here is another interesting fact about dates; Did you know dates are considered to be rich in some natural antioxidants, like; Caffeic acid, protocatechuic acid, anthocyanin, and ferulic acid. Dates are also known to be rich in phenols.
The presence of these antioxidants, especially these polyphenolic compounds, may aid in the slowing down of the progressions involved in dementia.
- Constipation can be a real bummer, but you don’t have to worry anymore, because dates are here to save the day, yet again.
Dates are known to be of great aid in the relieving of constipation, this is due to the high fiber content (soluble and insoluble fiber).
These contents, help in the promotion of healthy digestion in the body, hence relieving the constipation symptoms.
- To add to this long list of the wonders of dates, Dates are said to be a good treatment for sexual dysfunctions.
These are not the only health benefits of dates that are helpful to men but think of this particular health benefit as one of many.
Are you looking for new and natural ways to boost your sexual function and libido? Dates are the answer to your sexual dysfunctions.
10) Did you know that dates possess great aphrodisiac properties, which help in the improvement of the libido and aid in sexual disorders?
- Dates are said to help in the prevention of night blindness.
11) Did you know that carotenoids are part of the properties of Dates, and they are said to help in the prevention of night blindness, hence, leading to the improvement of a healthy and amazing vision?
- Dates are known to aid in the relief from anemia. You are aware by now that dates possess some great nutrients and contents that can be helpful in your everyday life.
But did you know that dates are rich in iron, and a deficiency of this nutrient (Iron), it can be a contributing factor to some diseases, and anemia is one of the diseases?
Anemia is a disease that is commonly characterized by a few symptoms like; Shortness of breath, dizziness, brittle nails, fatigue, and some other symptoms.
But don’t worry, there is good news, this delicious ad healthy African fruit is here to save the day again.
Daily intake of foods that have a good iron content helps in the prevention and control of these iron deficiency diseases. Guess what fruit has a great amount of iron? Dates, of course.
Daily consumption of dates ensures the provision of relief from the symptoms of anemia.
12) Did you know that there are several varieties of dates?
If you have not tried dates, beware, you are going to fall in love with this dry fruit on your first try.
Dates have a deep caramel flavor that would leave you and your taste buds smiling and begging for more.
This dried fruit is very commonly found in some places like; India, California, Northern African, and the Middle east.
But we are here to focus on the African aspect of dates. The different types of dates also bring some extra flavor to the party, because they also have their own great and healthy nutritional benefits, don’t you want to know the different types of dates?
There are three major types of dates, these three are the most popular but we will still let you in on the other types of dates.
The Different Varieties of Dates:
Organic Medjool dates
Organic Medjool dates are the most popular dates and can be found almost everywhere around you, in the store, market, and other places.
How Do You Enjoy Dates?
This is a question that should be on your mind, from the very beginning of this article. There are several ways of enjoying dates, but the most common way is just eating it the way it is.
This way is good but don’t you want to explore the different flavors and tastes? Mix things up and have a little fun with it, don’t be boring with your food.
That is why the African food network is here for you, showing you different ways of enjoying your food and fruits, this is only to give you the best experience with your food.
If you are a lover of dates, it is only normal you try to experiment, if you haven’t before now, get ready to be blown away with the new recipes and ideas you are about to get.
The different ways you can enjoy dates:
- Use date crumbles in your cereals, for some extra sweetness and taste
- Enjoy your breakfast with a few slices of bread and date paste used as the spread. Think of the flavor and the taste of this combination, the juiciness, and sweetness of the dates mixed with the softness of your bread.
- Mix dates paste with your yogurt, ice cream, and milk; this would definitely make you smile, the flavor coming from the dates and the milk. Not only would it taste amazing, but the health benefits of this combination would also be great and healthy, and nutrient-filled.
- Make use of dates sugar instead of regular sugar in your food, tea and so many more.
- Add dates to your fruit cake. Do you love fruit cakes? Don’t you want to know what extra flavor and taste you would be getting by adding dates to your recipe? It would be amazing.
- You can also add dates to your smoothies. You already know the health benefits of this delicious fruit, and you should know by now that it has a great taste, to get double the package, of nutrients and great taste, add a few dates to your smoothie and tell us how it was.
- Sweeten things up with some extra flavor and sweetness in your salad with dates.
- Are you looking for some new and tasty snacks for your children to enjoy at home? You can always have some dates cookies.
13) Did you know that dates have different ripening stages?
There are four major stages of ripening of dates, and they show the different morphology of the dates in their different stages of ripening.
The Different Stages of Ripening of Dates
Just like you saw earlier, there are four major stages involved in the ripening process of dates, and they are;
These stages are from the very beginning of the ripening process, we are going to have a closer look at what really goes on during these four processes.
The First Ripening Stage, Kimiri
At this stage, the date is at its early ripening stage, and from the physical appearance, you would be able to see the color of the dates would be green.
The Second Ripening Stage, Khalal
At this ripening stage of the date, the date is grown to its full size, and the color changes from the color of its first stage, which is green, to red or yellow (The color of the date is dependent on the kind of date that is involved). Also at this stage, the sucrose content of the date is increased.
This stage of the ripening of dates is the stage where the dates are still crunchy, almost like apples, at this ripening stage, the dates can be eaten.
The Third Ripening Stage, Rutab
At this stage of development of dates, they begin to undergo some weight loss process, this is usually due to the loss of moisture of the fruit. The moisture content of the fruit usually drops by 35%.
The actual color of the dates begins to surface; they start to look brownish in color. Once the actual color of this healthy fruit begins to show, it can be sold or eaten as fresh fruits.
The Forth Ripening Stage, Tamr
The date usually reaches this stage when it is left to ripen properly for some time. There are some traditional ways of achieving this ripening stage, but the most common way of achieving Tamr is by spreading the dates on a tray or on a mat and allowing it to sundry.
These ripening stages are fun and interesting facts about dates that you should be glad to learn.
Not only is this fruit tasty and healthy, but it also has some pretty interesting facts about it.
Who doesn’t like food with interesting fun facts?
Don’t Forget to Enjoy Your Dates in Moderation
There are some consequences to everything you do, including enjoying your favorite fruit that is considered to be healthy.
You must be wondering the disadvantages of this fruit, after all, it has some pretty good health benefits.
Well, just have it in mind that everything with advantages also has some disadvantages, they might not be as great as the advantages but they are there and you should know what they are.
Disadvantages of Dates
There are only a few disadvantages of this tasty fruit, and they are;
- Dates as you know have high sugar content, this reason alone gives dates an increased amount of calories. In just two dried dates, there are about 110 calories. This can be dangerous for your health, that is why it is advised you enjoy this fruit in moderation.
- Some people might be allergic to this fruit, so there is always a risk of allergies. If you are not aware that you are allergic to dates, you should probably find out before trying it.
- Dates can cause stomach upset, which might eventually lead to diarrhea, due to the high sugar content, that is why moderate eating is always emphasized.
You have seen some pretty interesting facts about dates, you know the health benefits and the disadvantages of this tasty fruit, so what are you waiting for?
If you are yet to have dates at least twice a week, then you are missing out on a lot of nutrients that your body needs.
If you have made up your mind to start trying out this healthy fruit, then you are on the right path to a healthier and happier life.
If you are a lover of dates, tell us how you love to enjoy your dates and share some of your amazing date recipes, remember there is always love in sharing.
After reading through the health benefit and the interesting facts of this magical fruit called dates, are you not intrigued, these are enough reasons for you to rethink your fruit choices, or at least, add dates to your “healthy fruits I should eat everyday list”.
Most people might have some issues with trying something new, especially when it comes to food, but with these interesting facts about dates, you would be sure to get some important and interesting facts about dates that would give you some sort of safety about the fruit.
So you don’t have to worry about trying a new fruit, because you have adequate information about dates, with this list of interesting facts about dates.
If you are not convinced by now, then you should go back and read again, because it is a wonder how a fruit can be so small and hold so many nutritional benefits.
Are you a lover of interesting facts about food? Do you want more of this? Do you want to learn more about African food, we are here for you, to give you the best information about food and to suggest some delicious African delicacies, from different countries around Africa?
Where else can you get this fun and exciting information that would help you in your African food experience? African food network is here to give you all you need in all aspects concerning African food, drink, snacks, fruits, and even drinks.
You can check out other articles about everything about African food, here at the African food network.
Remember to have an amazing day, drink some water and wear a huge smile on your face.