HEALTH

Nutritional value

Fresh dates have less calories than dried dates. 4 oz fresh dates contain 100 calories while dried dates of the same weight contain 250 calories. Dates are high in iron and potassium. They are useful in anemia, constipation and fatigue.
Hundered grams of fresh dates provide a substantial amount of vitamin C and supplies 230 kcal (960 kJ) of energy. The process of drying causes dates to lose the Vitamin C they contain.
Dates have a very amount of saturated fat and have no cholesterol. They are also very low in sodium and high in dietary fiber. However they have a very high sugar content.

Health

The date is an extremely nourishing fruit. It called the bread of the Sahara. Dates have a great deal of medicinal value. They are easy to digest and provide a lot of energy. Dates are boiled in milk and given to people, especially children, who are recovering from an illness.
Dates have a laxative effect and are very useful in the treatment of constipation. They need to be immersed in water overnight and then pureed with the remaining water before consuming in the morning.
Dates are also believed to strengthen the heart. Dates soaked overnight in water and then mashed along with the same water, taken twice a week, are said to be an effective remedy for a weak heart.
Dates are believed to prevent certain types of cancer, especially pancreatic cancer.
Dates soaked in fresh goat’s milk and eaten with a honey and a pinch of cardamom are believed to increase sexual stamina.
The high tannin content of the fruit makes it medically useful for intestinal problems. They can also be taken in the form of syrup or a paste to treat a sore throat, cold, bronchial catarrh, fever, cystitis, gonorrhea, edema, liver and abdominal troubles.
Caution: Dates contain compounds that may cause headaches in certain individuals.

Selecting

Choose dates that are plump and have an even colour. The dates should look fresh and not dry and withered. Fresh dates will keep for as long as two weeks in the refrigerator.

Storing

If you need to store dates to use after two or three weeks, place them in two zip lock bags and freeze them. Take them out of the freezer a least an hour before they are needed to allow to thaw.

Food uses

Dates can be eaten as they are or stuffed with various fillings such as almonds, candied fruit peel etc. They can be used in cakes, desserts, breads and muffins. Dates are also used to make date syrup, date vinegar, date alcohol, date covered chocolates, date paste, date sugar, and also a non-alcoholic champagne that is used on religious occasions such as Ramadan.
Today fresh dates are considered to be food and medicine. Scientists now know that dates contain more than ten substances considered essential for the human body's well-being and continuing health.
Dates contain plenty of the easily digested and absorbed sugars that give the human body its energy for heat and movement. More importantly, these sugars are of the fructose type and not of the glucose type, which quickly raises the blood-sugar levels. Dates provide energy, help muscle tissues and nerve cells develop, and are especially beneficial for people weakened by illness or those suffering from exhaustion, because of their high caloric value. For example, 100 grams of dates contain 1.5 grams of protein and 50 grams of carbohydrates. In addition, their caloric value is 225 kcal. Fresh dates have a 60-65 percent sugar content and a 2 percent protein content.
Modern medical findings suggest that dates benefit women who are almost ready to give birth. Doctors now advise pregnant women to take fructose-containing foods on their due dates, for such foods provide energy used by the weakened body to revitalize itself, have a trigger effect on the milk hormones and thus help the woman's body produce milk, and also increase the volume of that milk.
Dates contain various vitamins (e.g., A, beta-carotene, B1, B2, B3, and B6) and minerals, (e.g., sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, fiber, iron, sulphur, phosphorus, and chlorine) and are also rich in fiber, fats, and proteins. Some of the ensuing benefits are as follows:
A date's nutritional value is based on the balance between its minerals. During the prolonged period of morning sickness and the altering physiognomy, a shortage of potassium occurs and needs to be supplemented. This fruit's high potassium content is certainly welcome here, as its role in preserving the body's water levels.
Iron controls the red blood cells' synthesis of hemoglobin, which prevents anemia during pregnancy and also regulates the blood's RBC balance, which is so crucial for the baby's development. Due to its high iron content, one-and-a-half dates can meet the body's total iron requirement and thus prevent all complaints caused by a lack of iron.
Calcium and phosphorus are very important elements in developing and balancing the skeleton and the bone structures. Dates protect the body from anemia and weak bones, and thus reduce the risk of such illnesses with their high nutritional value and high phosphorus, calcium, and iron content.
Scientists point out that dates can reduce stress and tension levels. Research done at Berkeley University revealed that dates are rich in vitamin B1 (the "nerve vitamin") and magnesium (essential for muscle functions), both of which are essential for a strong nervous system. Magnesium is also very important for the kidneys, and two or three dates per day are enough to meet all of the human body's magnesium requirements.
Dates also contain folic acid (vitamin B9), which is essential for pregnant women, due to its important role in forming new blood cells, producing amino acids, and developing new cells. As a result, a pregnant woman needs double the usual daily amount of folic acid. If the body's folic acid levels fall below the required amount, bigger but less functional red blood cells are formed and anemia occurs.
Folic acid, which is crucial to developing the cell's genetic makeup and division, is the only substance that must be doubled during pregnancy. Dates are very rich in folic acid.
During pregnancy, a woman's daily vitamin A requirement increases to 800 ug. Dates are very rich in the foremost vitamin A: beta-carotene.
Most other fruits are protein-poor, but dates have good protein content
Oxytocin is used in modern medicine to accelerate labour and is often referred as "rapid birth." It also increases the level of milk production following birth.