• Dates are a chewy, sweet fruit that you may have spotted more often on grocery store shelves in the last few weeks. That’s because dates are often eaten during Ramadan since they are a quick energy source and are an excellent way to break the fast. Despite being small in size, they are jam-packed with important nutrients and fibre, and have several other health benefits.  

    1. Highly nutritious: Dates have a high nutrition profile and are calorie-dense, making them a great addition to your diet. 
    2. Fibre-rich: Fibre is essential for maintaining digestive health. Consuming dates regularly can help prevent constipation and promote bowel movements. 
    3. High in antioxidants: Dates are rich in antioxidants, which can help reduce the risk of several chronic diseases like heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. 
    4. Promote brain health: Dates contain antioxidants that can help improve brain function. They can help lower inflammation markers in the brain, which reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 
    5. Reduce blood pressure: Dates have a low sodium content and are rich in potassium, which may help lower blood pressure. As a result, consuming dates regularly can reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases. 
    6. May assist with labour: Research has shown that consuming dates in the last few weeks of pregnancy can help reduce the need for induction and caesarean delivery. 
    7. An energy-booster: Dates are an excellent source of carbohydrates, which can provide an energy boost. Eat these fruits before a workout for more energy and better performance. 
    8. May improve bone health: Dates are rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, which can help improve bone health. Consuming dates regularly can help prevent bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. 

    Incorporating dates into your diet isn’t just delicious – you can also reap many health benefits. Another bonus is that they are so versatile – add them to your smoothies, salads, or eat them as a sweet snack. 

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    Written by Bianca Muller.

    Feature image: Getty Images