Dates are one of the main and very important fruits in the Arab world. Since history, people consumed dates due to their healing properties. Nowadays, science is proving the many benefits of dates.
Dates through history and science
The Holy Quran mentioned dates several times. God also instructs Virgin Mary to consume dates when she gives birth to Jesus. It was not until now that we understand why. A study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 2011 showed the beneficial effect of dates consumption in late pregnancy on labor and delivery. The results showed that women who consumed dates had more natural and shorter labor with reduced need of induction.
Another study done in 2015 states that consuming date fruits may reduce the risk of colon cancer without inducing changes in the gut bacteria.
Dates also provide an excellent source of nutrition in regions facing food scarcity. They help reduce the suffering in the malnourished populations since they are packed with minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients.
Furthermore, dates have many therapeutic effects due to their anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and other properties.
Dates in Ramadan:
It is a custom to have dates especially during the holy month of Ramadan. It is recommended to break fast by consuming 2-3 dates. Here are some of the benefits of dates that support its importance.
- They are high in sugar, which helps restore the low blood sugar after long hours of fasting
- Easily digested and absorbed, dates give you an immediate source of energy
- They provide a good source of fiber which alleviates the problem of constipation associated with fasting
- Contains more vitamins and minerals compared to other fruits, such as potassium, calcium, iron and phosphorus
- Rich in naturally occurring plant chemicals that can lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of heart disease, and have anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and other properties and benefits
Knowing the many benefits of dates, I recommend their consumption during Ramadan and all year round, keeping in mind to to that in moderation.