Dates are considered as super-food since they are rich in fiber and minerals and provide the body with the necessary energy. If you consume them stuffed or plain, they will provide your body with many nutrients or you can also use dates syrup to sweeten your drinks.
Besides being delicious, dates are extremely beneficial for your health. Here is a list of 20 facts about dates that you did not know:
1. ″Date″ is a Greek word which is derived from ″daktylos″, meaning finger.
2. A cup of dates contains 48% of daily fiber requirements, 400 calories and 27% of the daily potassium needs.
3. Dates also provide the body with copper, zinc, calcium, iron, magnesium and other minerals which can help you to lower the risks of stroke and labor complications. They can also reduce high blood tension.
4. Dates contain polyphenols – mighty antioxidants that fight the free radicals, thus preventing various diseases.
5. The number of people allergic to this fruit is extremely low.
6. The shelf-life of dates is pretty long due to their high sugar and low water content.
7. Dates made the lives of Nomads easier in hot and dry regions, such as North Africa and the Middle East.
8. The tree and the fruit have other uses as well. Namely, the date palm is considered as the tree of life in the Middle East and a national symbol of Israel and Saudi Arabia.
9. Date seeds can be maintained in the dormant state even for decades until the right water and light conditions are provided for its growth.
10. According to some scholars, date (not apple) was the fruit in the Garden of Eden, mentioned in the Bible.
11. It is assumed that dates were cultivated for the first time 8,000 years ago in Iraq.
12. To produce the best quality fruit, date trees need plenty of water and a minimum of 100 days of 100ºF heat.
13. Muslims break the Ramadan fast in the evenings with buttermilk, dates or laban.
14. Even the hieroglyphics of the Ancient Egyptians reveal images of date palms trees.
15. It is assumed that 3% of the earth’s farming area is covered with date palms and 4 million tons a year are being produced.
16. The vast majority of dates in the US are grown in California’s Coachella Valley. The irrigation from the Colorado River and the high temperatures create ideal conditions for growing.
17. There are over 200 varieties of dates. The most expensive ones, as well as the ones that are the hardest to grow, are caramel-like, Medjool and large dates.
18. Although dates are high in sugar (93 g per cup), they have a low glycemic index.
19. Ancient Mesopotamians believed that dates are mighty aphrodisiacs. Also, this fruit was the symbol of Ishtar – (a goddess – prototype of Aphrodite and Venus).
20. It is believed that date palms were brought to Spain in 800 AD. Namely, Spanish explorers brought the seeds from North Africa to Cuba in the 1500s. Missionaries planted dates in Baja California in 1765, while the other types of dates were brought in California in the 1900s.
This versatile food should be the next thing to snack on instead of a candy bar. Unless you have blood sugar issues, make sure you consume this fruit on a regular basis to improve and maintain your overall health.