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Benefits

Horticultural experts believe the cultivation of the Date Palm Tree started around 6000 bc and is a tree with many uses. The Trunk and leaves provide timber and fabric for houses and fences. The leaves are used for making ropes, cord, baskets, crates and furniture. The base of the leaves and the fruit stalks are used as fuel. The fruit yields food products such as young yellow dates, dried dates, date vinegar, date chutney and date paste for bakery products. Only young trees, between three and seven years old, bear flowers.
Dates are highly nutritious, with a sugar content of ripe dates about 80%, and the remainder is a rich blend of protein, fat and mineral products including copper, sulfur, iron, magnesium and fluoric acid.

Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be seeded and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, candied orange and lemonpeel, and marzipan. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savoury dishes, from tajines (tagines) in Morocco to puddings, bread, cakes and other dessert items. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste, spread, date syrup or "honey" called "dibs", powder (date sugar), vinegar or alcohol. Recent innovations include chocolate-covered dates and products such as sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of champagne, for special occasions and religious times such as Ramadan.

Dates can also be dehydrated, ground and mixed with grain to form a nutritious stockfeed. Dried dates are fed to camels, horses and dogs in the Sahara. In northern Nigeria, dates and peppers added to the native beer are believed to make it less intoxicating.

Young date leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as is the terminal bud or heart, though its removal kills the palm. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible. Traditionally the female flowers are the most available for sale and weigh 300-400 grams. The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread.

In India, North Africa, Ghana, and Côte d'Ivoire, date palms are tapped for the sweet sap which is converted into palm sugar (known as jaggery or gur), molasses or alcoholic beverages.