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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calories >>  Date

Calories In Date

Dates are the staple food of the people in Middle Eastern countries. It is a dry fruit which is sweet to taste. Dates have a wrinkled skin which is coated with a waxy film. They can be eaten whole or added to different dishes. A huge number of desserts incorporate dates and finely chopped dates are also used to garnish other sweet dishes.

Dates are a low calorie food which contains a healthy amount of dietary fiber and many essential vitamins and minerals. The seed of the date fruit may be roasted, ground into a powder and used to make a beverage similar to coffee.

Nutrition And Calories In Dates

Dates contain the following nutrients;

  • Carbohydrates
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A, Vitamin B6 and B complex vitamins
  • Calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, zinc, selenium and iron

There are about 23 calories in a date.

Health Benefits Of Dates

The different health benefits of dates are as follows;

  • There are 20 different amino acids in dates which are greatly beneficial for digestion. This is the reason why dates are digested so easily.
  • Just half an hour after eating dates, you will experience an increase in physical energy.
  • Hunger arises due to a reduction in blood sugar levels. Dates help to replenish the blood sugar levels and also supply many essential nutrients to the body. For this reason, many people eat dates before breaking their fast in order to prevent overeating later on.
  • Due to their high potassium levels, dates are beneficial for the health of the nervous system. Studies have indicated that intake of higher levels of potassium helps to reduce the risk of strokes. Since dates contain very little sodium, they also help to prevent increase in blood pressure levels.
  • Dates are rich in iron and hence are an ideal food for those with iron deficiencies. Individuals who are anemic are often advised to consume dates on a daily basis to increase the iron levels in their blood.
  • Researchers maintain that eating one date daily helps to improve the strength of the eyes. Dates are beneficial for preventing night blindness.
  • The essential mineral, fluorine, is found in dates. Fluorine helps to prevent early tooth decay. Fluorine also protects the tooth enamel from plaque formation. When the tooth enamel is exposed to fluorine, substances known as hydroxyfluoroapatites are formed. These substances are resistant to decay.
  • Dates are mildly laxative in nature and hence help to alleviate constipation. To bring out the laxative properties of dates, it is advisable to soak the dates in water overnight. The dates should be consumed the next morning along with the water. Since dates contain fiber, they help to regulate bowel movements and prevent problems of constipation.
  • Dates are also known to improve sexual stamina and hence are beneficial for those who experience problems of sexual weakness. Soak one handful of dates in goat’s milk and keep overnight. Then grind the dates along with the milk and also add a small amount of cardamom and honey. Drinking this tonic helps to boost sexual endurance.
  • Dates contain about 29 grams of natural sugars such as sucrose, fructose and glucose. They are also packed with 31grams of carbohydrates and 3grams of fiber and this makes them an ideal energy-boosting food.

Buying And Storing Dates

When buying dates; choose only those fruit which are plump and have a uniform color. Both fresh and dried dates are available and both have a similar appearance. Store fresh dates in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator. They will keep for about 6 months. You can store dried dates in the same way for up to a year. Dates will keep for much longer if you store them in the freezer.

Preparing Dates

Dates may be eaten whole. They have a pit in the center and you can slit the fruit, gently pull apart the flesh and remove the pit before eating. Dates may also be stuffed with raisins, nuts and other fruit. Chopped dates may be added to various sweet treats.

One cup of dates contains 29 grams of fructose and individuals with fructose intolerance may experience an adverse reaction after eating dates. Since the body cannot tolerate fructose, it does not digest it properly and symptoms such as bloating, gas and diarrhea may occur. Individuals with fructose intolerance may also not be able to eat fruits, honey and sweetened products.

A cup of dates also contains above 100 grams of carbohydrates and hence excessive intake can lead to tooth decay. Any carbohydrate-rich food which remains in the mouth for long periods of time can lead to dental decay. In order to reduce the risk of tooth problems such as cavities, make sure to brush well and rinse the mouth with water after every meal. Avoid drinking sugary drinks between meals.

Submitted on January 16, 2014