DATES – NATURE’S NATURAL SWEETENER

Dates can be very rightly called as the healthiest sweetener of this earth. Table sugar, that is most widely used, has its harmful effects, and it should be replaced with natural sweeteners like honey, dates, jaggery etc. We will talk about dates, nature’s natural sweetener in detail.

There are more than 600 varieties of dates. Dates are calorie rich foods. 100 gms of dates contain 1301 kcal. Thus, quantity should be taken care of. Always remember moderation is the key. They contain moderate amounts of carbohydrates. They are low in protein and fat. They instantly boosts energy as they are nutrient dense. Dates have moderate glycemic index.

Dates are rich in vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B9, Vitamin A and Vitamin C. They improve bone health as they are rich in calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese and selenium. They strengthen nervous system as they contain little sodium and liberal pottasium. They are rich in iron and flourine , thus great for blood purification.

Dates prevent constipation as they are rich in fibre. 100 gms of dates contain 9.10 gms of fibre. They contain both soluble and insoluble fibres. They promote digestion. They improve skin as vitamin C and Vitamin D in dates makes skin elastic. They fix hangovers and prevent hair loss. They also enhance sexual health, enhance brain health and promote natural labour. They make muscles of uterus strong during pregnancy.

Dates contain lots of antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids and phenolic acid. Flavonoids reduce inflammation, reduce risk of diabetes, alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer. Carotenoids promote heart health and reduce risk of eye related disorders such as macular degeneration. Phenolic acid has anti-inflammatory properties and also lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.

If you have digestion issues, don’t take dates because its high fibre content make it difficult to digest. Also avoid dates in case of diarrhoea and loose stools as sugar alcohal in dates called sorbitol increases discomfort. In IBS, skip dates due to their high fructose content. Patients with kidney problems should also avoid dates. Lastly, those who have allergies from dates, should avoid dates.

Now, the question arise how many dates can one eat ? A normal healthy adult can have two dates per day. Kids and Pregnant women can enjoy four. Dates can be taken empty stomach. They can be used as a sweetener in sweet dishes like pinnis, custards, kheer etc. They can be made into energy bars by combining with nuts and seeds. They can be eaten as a mid meal in combination with nuts and seeds. This is all about dates. For individualised and customized diet plan, contact:

Neena’s Diet Clinic

Dietician Neena

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Course in low FODMAP diet for IBS from Monash University, Australia

Life member of IDA

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