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The Health Benefits of Eating Dates

Updated: Apr 18

Dates are a super-healthy, super-versatile super-fruit. Grown in a variety of countries as well as in California and Arizona, the fruit is widely available fresh or dried and both are delicious.

Some people may worry about their sugar content, but dates are actually a low glycemic index food, in part because they are rich in fiber. Dates are a great substitute or go-to when you're craving something sweet!

Four pitted Medjool dates have:

  • 266 calories

  • 1.7g protein

  • 72g carbohydrates

  • 6.4g fiber

  • 64g sugars (total)

  • 62mg calcium

  • 52 mg magnesium

  • 60 mg phosphorous

  • 668 mg potassium

  • 86 ug beta-carotene

  • 144 IU vitamin A

Dates are high in natural sugar and high in calories as well (if that’s something you are watching) but they have only a negligible amount of fat. They have a host of health-boosters like fiber and antioxidants, as well as other beneficial compounds give them their superfruit profile. A superfood is food that’s packed with nutrients and delivers health benefits. Dates can be considered a superfood because they’re rich in beneficial compounds, such as polyphenols. Preliminary research suggests that these polyphenols in dates are associated with a wide variety of health benefits.

Research shows that dates are abundant in phenolic antioxidants (including catechins) as well as flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties. Antioxidants are great for your health. They fight free radicals (cell-damaging chemicals), repair DNA and help keep our cells healthy. That’s one reason why a diet that’s full of fruits and vegetables is especially healthy for us humans.

Dietary fiber is a key component of a healthy diet as it keeps your digestive system on track and reduces your risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer It also helps with maintaining a healthy weight. Two dates have about 3 grams of fiber which is a little over 10% of the daily recommended amount. The fiber in dates is important for helping you feel full, feeding your gut bacteria, and keeping you regular.

If you're looking to add a few dates to your diet, eat them plain or use them in cooking. I make mine into cranberry bliss bites as a healthy treat that curbs that sweet tooth. Here's the recipe:

Cranberry Bliss Energy Bites

Makes 16

1 cup almonds

1 cup cashews

1 cup medjool dates

1 cup dried cranberries

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 lemon (zest + juice)

1/4 tsp salt

Coarsely ground nuts in a food processor. Add remaining ingredients and blitz until evenly mixed and mixture forms a ball. Roll into bite-sized balls.

Per 4 Bites: 471 calories • 53 g carbs • 9 g fiber • 12 g protein • 28 g fat • 152 mg sodium

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