We like to eat dates as they are very sweet and delicious. But we actually know not too much about this magic-fruit. It not only can work perfectly as an everyday breakfast used in different dishes but also is known for its fabulous health properties.
Dates are pretty ancient fruit and were discovered thousands of years ago. Its health benefits were known to people even in those ancient times. Now, many of those healing properties are even proven scientifically. While we are used to eating cause they are yummy and sweet, there are a bunch of benefits hidden in these dried or semi-dried magic-pieces.
Dates are very nutritious and natural sweeteners, so they can be easily used instead of non-healthy sweeteners. Along with these, dates are also known for their energizing properties. 4-5 dates a day will provide you a tremendous amount of energy for the workout.
Dates are excellent sources of minerals and vitamins necessary to maintain optimum health. They are rich in B family vitamins, with B-6 topping the list. They are also rich in magnesium, potassium, iron, fiber, to name just a few. As they contain lots of essential ingredients for our health, they positively impact our immune system, muscles, brain, skin, blood system, et al.
In this blog, we will be focused on their positive effect on our blood system. Let’s discover how dates benefit our blood system and how healthy they can make us.
Dates and Our Blood System
Dates affect our vascular system in different ways; they benefit our heart, blood vessels, and what is most essential - our hemoglobin level.
They contain Vitamin K, which plays a vital role in helping the blood clot and maintain blood vessels. The amount of iron and zinc in this fruit helps your blood formation process. At the same time, potassium and magnesium manage your blood pressure and prevent high pressure.
Dates also reduce the risk of heart diseases. The soluble fiber they contain prevents the bad cholesterol from being absorbed into your bloodstream. So, eating dates regularly is less likely that the cholesterols’ fatty deposits will build up in your arteries. Thus, the risk of heart diseases decreases. Plus, soluble fiber also helps to control blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure.
Dates are also rich in antioxidants (especially Medjool dates), which are known for reducing the fat in your blood. The latter is known as triglycerides and can increase the risk of heart diseases. Antioxidants reduce the level of triglycerides, thus again lowering the heart disease possibility.
Israeli scientists have conducted research about how dates affect the risk of heart diseases. And they discovered that daily consumption of dates protects against atherosclerosis - the major contributor to heart attacks and strokes.
Dates do it by managing the triglycerides level in your blood with the help of antioxidants in them and without even raising the blood sugar levels. The research was done by Professor Michael Aviram, a biochemist from the Technion-Israel Institute of Science, and his team.
The research was published online by the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Aviram mentions that not only the quantity of blood cholesterol level plays a vital role in the assessment of heart and vascular disease risk, but also the quality. The quality depends on the cholesterol oxidation - the more it is oxidized into harmful molecules, the more dangerous it is for cholesterol level quality.
What is most important, Aviram’s research showed that regular consumption of dates leads to a 15 percent decrease in triglyceride (fats) levels and a 33% drop in the amount of oxidation of fats in the blood.
Dates and Hemoglobin
Another critical property of dates is that they affect your hemoglobin, which is again crucial for your health. We must keep the average hemoglobin level; when it drops, we become more inclined to various diseases. We experience fatigue, weakness, headaches, and other more severe illnesses. When the level of hemoglobin becomes significantly low, our condition is diagnosed as anemia.
Let’s, first of all, understand why hemoglobin is so vital for our body. It’s an iron-rich protein that helps to carry oxygen throughout our body. To keep the normal hemoglobin level in our body, doctors recommend eating such kinds of products that are rich in iron and increase iron absorption.
Along with lots of other such fruits, dates also can tackle this problem. They are rich in iron, so they could affect our hemoglobin level positively.
Dates Help to Fight against Anemia
As I have already mentioned, anemia is the condition of having a lower than normal hemoglobin level. It is accompanied by several symptoms: fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, hair loss, headache, dizziness, cold hands, feet, etc.
Dates can significantly improve this condition as they contain vitamin B12 and iron - materials vital for the treatment of anemia. Studies show that women who consume dates regularly experience 70% less anemia and drowsiness. I guess there isn’t anything that dates cannot handle.
Is It Safe to Eat Dates Every Day
I have mentioned different health benefits that dates can provide. But, actually, there are lots of others. For discovering much more benefits of dates, you can go through our article Health Benefits Of Dates: Why You Should Eat Them Regularly.
But does it mean that we can eat this sweet fruit every day? Actually, yes. If we consume 3-6 dates every day, it does not harm us; dates don’t have any side effects and won’t hurt our bodies. But as with every kind of food, dates also should be eaten in moderation. Actually, dates are very nutritious, and if we eat them too much, we will be at the risk of gaining fat.
So, dates are magic-fruit, but if they are consumed in moderation. Take this into consideration while including this fascinating fruit in your diet.
Recipes with Dates
And, in the end, as usual, let’s get introduced to some interesting and easy recipes which we can make using dates. These lovely and yummy recipes help us to try dates in different ways, so we don’t get tired of consuming them every day in the same way. They make our date diet a bit diverse.
Hamantaschen Cookies with Date Honey
This recipe is a perfect way to transfer tons of dates into the sweetest cookies. Let’s see what ingredients we need to prepare them. So, the recipe requires the following ingredients: an egg, a stick of unsalted butter, a bit less than a cup of sugar, 2 cups of flour, half a cup of honey date for filling, a teaspoon of orange zest, and 2 tablespoons of orange juice, baking powder and some salt.
Actually, we should prepare the date honey in advance for which we need 12 dates, a cup of hot water, some salt and a tablespoon of honey. And now, let’s pass on the preparation process to see how the magic is usually created.
Our first step should be taking a large bowl and mixing the egg and butter until the mixture becomes creamy. Then we should add orange zest, juice, and sugar to the mixture and continue beating with a mixer. The third step is taking another bowl and combining flour, baking powder, and salt.
Then combine together two separate boil mixtures and make a dough ball on the floured surface. When the dough is ready, wrap it in plastic and put it in the refrigerator to freeze it for about an hour.
While the dough is in the fridge, you can make the filling. Add dates in a bowl and add hot water. Let it for 30 minutes so that dates can be soaked. Then combine soaked dates, salt, and honey in the food processor and mix until you get a smooth mixture.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Then cut small circles from the dough and arrange it on the baking sheet. Add in the middle of each circle some filling and then fold them to get a triangular shape. Bake for 15 minutes and enjoy!
Charoset Truffles with Apple and Dates
I like this recipe most of all because it’s very simple, doesn’t require too many ingredients, and works great as a morning snack. So, to make these fascinating balls, we need 4 dates, a cup of boiling water, an apple, a pinch of salt, ¼ cup of sugar, 2 tablespoons of pear or other fruit juice (apple or pomegranate, whatever you prefer), half a cup of walnuts and twice as less shelled pistachios. And for rolling the balls, you will also need cinnamon.
Let’s start preparing the balls. First of all, we need to rehydrate the dates. For this purpose, we should put dates in a bowl and add the boiling water and let it for an hour. Then remove the dates from the bowl. Now it’s time to process the apple. We should peel it and slice it into small pieces.
Our next step is combining walnuts and pistachios in the food processor and giving them a few beats to make them smaller but not dusted. Then we should remove them from the processor, put dates in it, and process them until they become smooth. Then add the juice (1 tablespoon) and continue processing.
Add the nuts and pistachios to the food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate, then do the same with apples. Take the mixture from the food processor, wrap it in plastic, and put it in the refrigerator for half an hour. Now we should make a rolling mixture - mix cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.
After 30 minutes, take the mixture from the refrigerator and make balls while rolling them in cinnamon and sugar mixture. Put on the serving plate and enjoy.