30 Crazy Health Benefits from Eating Dates

(Last Updated On: August 3, 2018)

Dates are not the most appetizing looking of fruits, although they are actually really yummy! With a super sweet taste and a satisfyingly chewy texture you could be fooled into thinking you were eating a chewy candy! The date comes from the date palm which begins bearing the fruits sometime between 3 and 5 years in their development and growth, becoming fully matured at around 12 years.

Dates are popularly used in many different ways across the globe. Uses for dates include: date paste for baking products, date vinegar, date chutney, flavorings and even roasted whole date seeds.

Contents

Our list of 30 health benefits caused by consuming dates regularly.

Dates are a fantastic healthy food to treat yourself to every now and then, enjoying those natural sugars with much less guilt compared to a chocolate cake or ice cream sundae! However, there are certain benefits they can provide for you when consumed regularly… read on to find out more.

Relieve constipation.

Dates can be categorized as a food used for relieving constipation due to their usefulness in so many individuals, not to mention the high dietary fibre contents. Fibre is important for the best digestive functioning possible, allowing for the best functioning of your digestive tract.

It has been theorized that to get the most laxative-like effect from consuming dates you should soak them in water overnight. The next morning these soaked dates should be very syrupy. Consume both the water the dates were soaked in and the fruit itself, you should then within the next few hours begin to feel some effects. Repeat this method until you see improvement in the quality of your bowel movements and the frequency of them also.

Improve bone health and strength.

Dates have significant amounts of minerals inside them, making the fruit a fantastic super food for strengthening the bones. Not only do the minerals present inside the date strengthen the bones, they also help to ward off painful diseases such as osteoporosis.

Healthy bones is especially important the older you get. Therefore, it is recommended older individuals consume around 1-2 dates each and every day at least.

Aids in treating intestinal disorders.

The surprising nicotine content found in the date can be extremely useful in curing many kinds of intestinal issues and disorders. Frequent consumption of the date can therefore help to discourage the growth of any pathogens in the intestines, as well as encourage the growth of many friendly bacterias. Not only do dates help the ratio of harmful and helpful bacteria in the intestines, they also improve the overall digestive tracts functioning allowing for the efficient absorption of all nutrients consumed.

Can help anemia.

The high mineral contents of dates, including iron, can drastically improve conditions such as anemia. Anemia is a condition in which there is a deficiency of red blood cells in the blood, causing a pale pallor and weakness in suffers. When suffering from anemia, consuming dates should provide the body with the much needed mineral iron that it is lacking allowing for an increase in strength, productivity and overall health.

Can reduce the severity of allergic reactions.

Dates contain organic sulphur, which is infrequently (pretty rarely in fact!) found in other foods. The organic sulphur has a few benefits when consumed, one of which being the reduction of allergic reactions -including that of seasonal allergies! Thus, if you are a frequent and persistent sufferer from a certain allergy maybe dates can be the perfect source of sulphur for your diet helping to overcome the issue.

A great energy boost.

Dates are brilliantly high in natural sugars such as fructose and sucrose giving them a super tasty and sweet taste. Not only do they make a perfect snack for when you’re craving a sweet treat, they also help to provide an immediate burst of energy and wakefulness. Dates would make the perfect afternoon snack when beginning to feel slightly sluggish or tired!

Great for the nervous system.

The many vitamins found in the date fruit make it an ideal boost to your nervous system’s health and overall functioning. Consuming dates on a regular basis should help to keep you feeling sharp and in good shape health wise!

Promotes a healthy heart.

As they are rich in potassium, dates have a proven effect on reducing the risk of suffering from a stroke or other heart related issues/ diseases. Not only do they contain potassium, they also help to reduce bad cholesterol in the body promoting a healthy heart and making the functioning a whole lot easier!!

For the best heart health it is recommended you consume dates at least twice per week. Ideally, one per day or every other day if possible.

Improves sexual stamina (according to some studies).

Improves sexual stamina (according to some studies)

Studies have shown that consuming dates can actually be beneficial for improving a person’s sexual stamina in the bedroom. The date orientated concoction targeted especially for this issue is as follows:

  • Soak a handful of dates in fresh goat’s milk overnight.
  • Once soaked, grind the dates within the milk including cardamon powder and honey too creating a paste.
  • Consume the mixture entirely, enjoying as you do!

Note: If you do not like the mixture simply on it’s own try pouring over some plain greek yoghurt for the perfect healthy but sweet treat.

Aids in digestive health.

Due to being high in dietary fibre, dates are one of the most useful foods for helping to improve your digestive health. Promoting healthy bacteria, resulting in smoother bowel movements and an overall healthier feeling of the body.

Improves the health of your blood.

High in minerals, the date fruit only provides great things for our blood.

High in dietary fibre.

As mentioned before, the date is high in fibre. Helping to keep us regular, improve cravings and avoid becoming unnecessarily hungry in between meals.

Acts as an anti-inflammatory.

Some have claimed that dates have anti-inflammatory effects due to being high in magnesium, and therefore help to cure chronic cases of inflammation in the body. Issues that this particular benefit may help include: arthritis, muscle aches and pains, Alzheimer’s disease and even bring down fevers.

Reduces the risk of strokes.

By being high in minerals such as potassium, dates really can reduce the risk of strokes and other heart related diseases. Not only this, research has been found that for every 100 milligrams a person consumes per day of magnesium their risk of stroke is reduced by 9%.

May improve brain function.

Some studies have found that certain levels of vitamin B6 result in higher brain functioning, as well as higher achievements on IQ tests. Therefore by consuming dates you are actively contributing to the amounts of B6 you are eating, aiding in better mental functioning.

Could treat certain cancers.

Research has found that consuming dates may actually be useful in the treatment of some cancers due to the antioxidant contents of the fruit, targeting free radicals and mutating cells.

May help curb cravings by being so sweet.

The sweetness of the date is undeniable and super super tasty! So, when craving a piece of chocolate or even sweets why not consume a few dates instead? This fruit should help satiate cravings by being tasty, full of fibre and best of all is also very healthy!

Lowers cholesterol.

Dates are actually free from cholesterol and contain very little in the way of fat. Including dates in small quantities within your everyday diet can help to keep cholesterol low while even assisting some in weight loss.

High in protein.

Dates give the body readily assimilable proteins that are essential for the body to function. A good idea is to substitute fatty foods for dates, still consuming the same amount of calories, however cutting down on fats and increasing protein intake.

Rich in various vitamins.

Dates are high in vitamins such as vitamin K, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin A and thiamin to name just a few!

Great iron content.

Iron is a really important mineral for the body and consuming dates provides a fantastic source for this.

Improves the quality of your skin, nails and hair.

Dates are a great source of vitamin C which helps the skin’s elasticity and also combat various skin related issues such as eczema or psoriasis.

May fix a hangover and promote recovery.

Dates are (apparently!) commonly used for treating alcohol intoxication, providing relief and useful sobering effects the morning after if you’re feeling too rough! For best results dates should be soaked overnight creating a tonic of sorts.

Aids in weight gain.

Dates should be part of a healthy diet, however consuming them regularly may result in some form of healthy weight gain due to being high in calories and consisting of sugar, vitamins and minerals.

May provide anti-aging benefits.

Vitamin C is present within dates helping the skin to resist oxidation and therefore reduce the effects of ageing.

Could stop hair loss in it’s tracks.

Dates may be useful for treating hair loss when consumed regularly.

Treatment for night blindness.

One very common claim for the benefits of dates is the effects the fruit can have on night blindness, helping to treat the issue. When used regularly dates have been known to reduce the regularity of night blindness with great success.

Could possibly be beneficial when consumed by pregnant women.

Dates are high in folates which are very important for pregnant women.

Great for your dental health.

Being high in fluorine, dates are perfect for your dental health and therefore help to keep the teeth free from plaque whenever consumed.

High in minerals.

Minerals are essential for various bodily functions in our diet and can be provided by the date fruit. Minerals are useful in building strong bones, blood, hair and better nerve functioning.

Possible side effects of consuming dates.

These are the following possible side effects of consuming dates according to the website Good Health All :

Increase blood sugar levels.

Dates actually do contain a high value of both calories and sugar, therefore when they are consumed in excess may cause the body’s blood sugar levels to rise. This side effect of consuming dates can be particularly problematic for those suffering from diabetes, it is advised those we need to maintain healthy blood sugar levels should avoid over-eating dates. If you suffer from diabetes you should ideally not consume more than 3 dates per day whenever possible.

Could cause tooth decay.

As previously mentioned, dates are high in sugars as well as carbohydrates which can be very harmful on our teeth -triggering tooth decay in many individuals. Foods rich in sugar are one of the worst causes of cavities in our teeth and can be directly associated with poor oral health after continuous over consumption.

However, on the other hand, dates do contain fluorine which can be beneficial for the teeth. Fluorine strengthens the tooth’s enamel as well as helps to prevent tooth decay. Therefore dates may not be as bad as you think for your oral health.

Possible weight gain as a result.

Possible weight gain as a result

The notion that dates can help you lose weight is highly controversial. Many believe that due to the date being a great source of dietary fibre, one of the most common reasons as to why we overeat when lacking in this, it is the perfect tool for weight losses. Although dates are reasonably high in calories meaning they may potentially do more harm than good for your weight loss ideals.

Simply put, it is up to you to decide whether or not eating dates can be beneficial or not in terms of your weight. Some individuals claim they are great for weight loss whereas others sing the date’s praises for healthy weight gain, try them to find out!

Cause or worsen diarrhea.

Although dates can be used as a natural relief for diarrhea, they can also cause the same issue also. By eating excess amounts of dates you could trigger the body to react and suffer from cramping, stomach pains and perhaps the worst of all, diarrhea.

Result in consuming potassium in amounts that are too high.

Dates are high in potassium, a useful mineral for the body when consumed in the correct amounts each day. The potassium that is provided in the date fruit is used for lowering the blood sugar, keeping the nervous system healthy, aiding in the body’s metabolism and provides cardiovascular benefits to name just a few. However, excessive potassium in the body can cause feelings of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heartbeats, difficulty breathing and chest pains.

May cause bloating.

Some have found that consuming dates alongside water can cause bloating in some individuals.

May cause possible abdominal pain and/ or cramping.

Eating too many dates can definitely cause some issues for the body. As previously mentioned, one of the side effects of excessive consumption of dates is diarrhea -alongside this it is common to feel abdominal orientated pains and cramping too.

If you begin to suffer from these side effects after eating dates then this may be a good example of over consumption, and a key indicator that you should cut down. After all, health is the most important thing!

May trigger allergic reactions.

Some people suffer from allergic reactions caused by the date fruit. If you are one of these people then avoiding dates entirely is the best course of action -it’s just not worth making yourself ill over!

Not recommended during pregnancy?

As dates are very high in various minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibres and vitamins they should be very beneficial for pregnant women. Although, some claim that dates may actually harm both mother and baby and cause more room for complications.

We’ll let you decide on this one. However, if you do begin to suffer from any adverse side effects make sure to stop eating this fruit immediately and consult your doctor for further help and advice.

By Chess Taylor.

Written by Irina Radosevic MD
Irina graduated from the University of Belgrade, School of Medicine as a Doctor of Medicine (MD) and spent over 3 years working in the Clinical Hospital Center Zvezdara, in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also undertook a postgraduate in Cardiology from the same University and had previously worked for over a year as a Physician and Nutritionist Dietitian for the Fitness club Green Zone. She eventually left her chaotic but fulfilling job in the ER to pursue her passion of writing, travelling and mountain climbing which has included writing a first aid course for the alpine club of Belgrade. Irina currently works as a VA for PintMedia focusing on medical and travel writing. Feel free to connect with Irina on LinkedIn and FaceBook. Her CV can be seen here.