Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years. Read the full article of Pritish Kumar Halder, to understand different types of dates.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried. You can tell whether or not dates are dried based on their appearance. Wrinkled skin indicates they are dried, whereas smooth skin indicates freshness.
Depending on the variety, fresh dates are fairly small in size and range in color from bright red to bright yellow. Medjool and Deglet Noor dates are the most commonly consumed varieties.
Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses.
Since they’re dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins.
Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides the following nutrients.
Carbs: 75 grams
Fiber: 7 grams
Protein: 2 grams
Potassium: 20% of the RDI
Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
Copper: 18% of the RDI
Manganese: 15% of the RDI
Iron: 5% of the RDI
Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
High in Fiber
Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health.
With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake.
Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool.
In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates.
Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating.
For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food.
High in Disease-Fighting Antioxidants
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content.
Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates.
Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer.
Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration.
Phenolic acid: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
May Promote Natural Labor
Dates have been studied for their potential to promote and ease late-term labor in pregnant women.
Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labor. They may also be helpful for reducing labor time.
In one study, 69 women who consumed 6 dates per day for 4 weeks prior to their due date were 20% more likely to go into labor naturally and were in labor for significantly less time than those who did not eat them.
Another study of 154 pregnant women found that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not.
A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant women who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily starting the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labor for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates.
Although eating dates appears to help promote labor and reduce labor duration, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labor contractions during childbirth.
Additionally, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor.
Excellent Natural Sweetener
Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit.
For this reason, dates are very sweet and also have a subtle caramel-like taste. They make a great healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to the nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that they provide.
The best way to substitute dates for white sugar is to make date paste, as in this recipe. It is made by mixing dates with water in a blender. A rule of thumb is to replace sugar with date paste at a 1:1 ratio.
For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you’ll replace it with 1 cup of date paste.
It is important to note that although dates are high in fiber and nutrients, they are still fairly high in calories and best consumed in moderation.
Different Types of Dates Fruit
Size: Medjool dates are huge and have a fibrous texture.
Color: Also, it comes in a reddish-brown color.
Origins: Medjool dates are majorly cultivated in Morocco, Palestine, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia.
Taste: They are soft and sweet.
Size: Omani are one of the best varieties of dates which are generally large in size.
Color: Omani dates are dark brown in color.
Origin: As the name itself suggests that it originates from Oman, Middle East.
Taste: These are juicy and sweet in taste.
Size: Piarom dates are long, thin, and oval, which counts around 2 to 5 cm in size.
Color: Furthermore, they are semi-dried dates and have dark brown to black colored skin.
Origins: These are grown in the Persian Gulf and middle east areas.
Taste: Piarom has a unique sweet taste, which has some features of toffee and caramel.
Deglet Nour Dates
Size: Deglet nour dates are medium sized and narrow elongated oval shape.
Color: Further, the color of these dates is dark golden brown.
Origins: Its origin is oasis of Toga and neighboring areas of Baskar & Oued Righ in Algeria.
Taste: Deglet dates are soft, meaty, and sweet.
Size: Talking of different types of dates without mentioning Mazafati is not so fair. These are sized from 2.5 to 4 cm.
Color: These have soft dark brown colored flesh.
Origins: Moreover, mazafati dates are originated from Bam, a city in Kerman, Iran.
Taste: It has a soft taste of caramel, brown sugar, and chocolate.
Size: Barhi dates are small, 2 to 3-4 cm in length and diameter, and have around to oval shape.
Color: Barhi dates are yellow in color.
Origins: Its origin lies in Iraq.
Taste: Barhi is the sweetest and creamiest date, which also somewhat tastes like caramel, butterscotch, brown sugar, and syrup.
Size: Thoory dates are sized from medium to large and are oblong in shape.
Color: Also, Thoory date is among the types of khajur which has typical golden-brown flesh.
Origin: They are famous in Algeria.
Taste: These are pretty dry, semi-sweet, and have a peanut like nutty flavour.
Size: The size of ameri dates ranges from 12-22 grams and with an oval and elongated shape.
Color: However, they are light to dark brown colored.
Origins: Ameri dates have their origins in Iraq.
Taste: These are moderate sweet.