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Nutritional Value

Dates are considered an ideal food, with a wide range of essential nutrients and many health benefits.

Dates are high in fiber and help promote a healthy digestive system.  Dates are an excellent source of potassium, a nutrient needed to maintain a healthy nervous system.  Dates contain many vitamins like A, B1, B2 and nicotinic acid (niacin) that help maintain a healthy body by metabolizing carbohydrates and maintaining blood glucose levels.  Dates have higher percentages of potassium, phosphorous and iron than other fruits.  Dates also contain a higher percentage of protein than other fruits.  Dates are free of fat and cholesterol and are low in sodium.

Although dates have high sugar content--approximately 70-80% in the form of glucose, fructose and sucrose--dates have a low glycemic index.  The consumption of dates will not result in rapid and large fluctuations in blood sugar levels.

Bedouin Arabs, who eat dates on a regular basis, have extremely low rates of cancer and heart disease.

Dietary guidelines recommend eating foods low in sodium, fat and cholesterol and high in fiber.  Dates perfectly fulfill these recommendations.

 

Sources:  “Biochemical and Nutritional Characterizations of Date Palm Fruits (Phoenix dactylifera L.)” by El-Sohaimy S.A. and Hafez E.E.  Journal of Applied Sciences Research (2010) 6(8):1060-1067 ;  “The Glycaemic Index of Dates and Date/Yoghurt Mixed Meals.  Are Dates ‘the Candy that Grows on Trees’?” by CJ Miller, EV Dunn and IB Hashim.  European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2003) 57:427-430 ; “The Fruit of the Date Palm:  Its Possible Use as the Best Food for the Future?” by Walid Al-Shahib and Richard J. Marshall.  International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition (July 2003) 54(4):247-259.

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