Dates are a great source of dietary
fiber. The American Cancer Society recommends that you
consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber a day. Dietary fiber
comes in two forms – soluble and insoluble. Each serves a
valuable function. Insoluble fiber increases the rate at
which food moves through the digestive system. Soluble fiber
may help control diabetes by decreasing elevated blood
glucose levels. Soluble fiber also had been found to help
lower serum cholesterol levels, particularly undesirable low
density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
According to researchers at the University of Scranton in
Scranton Pennsylvania, they have the highest concentration
of polyphenols among dried fruits. The findings of this
research suggest that dried fruits should be a greater part
of the diet as they are dense in phenol antioxidants and
nutrients, most notably fiber.
A serving of power-packed dates contains 31 grams of
carbohydrates, making them a powerhouse of energy.
Carbohydrates include 3 grams of dietary fiber and 29 grams
of naturally occurring sugars such as fructose, glucose and
sucrose to provide quick energy and are readily used by the
body. Dates are a perfect energy boosting snack.
Dates are one of the best natural sources of potassium.
Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to
maintain muscle contractions including the vital heart
muscle. Potassium is needed to maintain a healthy nervous
system and to balance the body’s metabolism as well.
Since potassium is not stored in the body, and much is lost
in perspiration, it must be continually replenished. As you
consume potassium you excrete sodium, helping to keep blood
pressure down. As people age, their kidneys become less
efficient at eliminating sodium. About a 400 mg increase in
potassium intake has been associated with a 40% reduction in
the risk of stroke. This roughly amounts to one additional
serving daily of Dates.
Dates also contain a variety of B-complex vitamins –
thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic
acid. These vitamins have a variety of functions that help
maintain a healthy body – to metabolize carbohydrates and
maintain blood glucose levels, fatty acids for energy, and
they help make hemoglobin, the red and white blood cells.
Dates also contain Magnesium which is essential for healthy
bone development and for energy metabolism and Iron
which is essential to red blood cell production. Red blood
cells carry all the nutrients to cells throughout the body.
In addition, Dates are fat and cholesterol free!