Dates or palm fruit that have a Latin name phoenix dactilifera has been known since paleolithic era. Dates is a kind of palm that widely grown in the middle east and most people think of dates only live in the desert. But, it turns out that dates can also live in other countries that have high enough levels of drought. Now, this sweet fruit became the mainstay of agricultural commodities which sells by the Arabs, Africans and even China
Properties of Dates (Palm Fruit) and Health benefits
- Dates are a source of vitamin A, which is known to have antioxidant properties and is essential for eye health. Vitamin A is also needed to maintain healthy skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help protect against lung cancer and oral cavity.
- Dates are rich in vitamin K and vitamin B-complex, namely pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin. This vitamin helps the body metabolize carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Vitamin K is essential in blood clotting and bone metabolism.
- Bedouin Arabs, who eat dates on a regular basis, showed a very low incidence rate of cancer and heart disease. Dates are rich in fiber which prevents the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the intestine. Palm fiber content also helps protect the intestinal mucous membrane and bind with reduced exposure to chemicals that cause colon cancer.
- Dates contain antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to be anti-infectives, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic.
- As a dietary laxative (laxative food), date palm launched beneficial bowel movements and prevent constipation.
- Dates are a good source of iron. Iron is a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells that determine oxygen carrying capacity of blood.
- Calcium is an essential mineral in the formation of bones and teeth, and needed by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve impulse conduction.
- Magnesium is essential for bone growth.
- Potassium in dates is important components of cells and body fluids that help control heart rate and blood pressure, thus providing protection against coronary heart disease and stroke.
- Copper is required in the production of red blood cells.
- Manganese is used by the body as a supporting element for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.