Sorry, this is a very late post. So many factors contributed to the lateness of this post. Electricity and Internet, I am looking at you. But anyway,
I decided to start a new series to post at least once a month. And that is the “eat more” series (working title). This series will talk about common foods in our locality and how they are so important for our health. Hence, we need to eat more of them, Hence the “eat more” working title.
So today, in the spirit of Ramadan, I will be writing on why we should eat more dates.
I noticed a date eating trend in Nigeria. Most Nigerians only take dates during Ramadan and dates are mostly consumed by Muslims. But, newsflash, dates do not have to be eaten only in Ramadan. They can be taken anytime. Also dates need not be ingested by Muslims alone. It is food for everyone, you know.
As small as they are, they pack a whole lot of healthy benefits. And you do not want to miss it.
Why should you eat (more) dates?
1. Dates are a great energy booster
Dates are sweet. They contain natural sugars. These sugars are responsible for providing energy. So when you take them, they will instantly boost your energy.
Hence, for the hungry and tired people, dates are good for you. For those who want to exercise, dates are good for you. You can take a few before you exercise, so that, you can do 100 push-ups instead of 90.
Just so you know, that’s why they are the perfect snack to take during Ramadan.
2. Dates have cancer preventing qualities
Yeah. Dates have been proven to prevent stomach cancers. They have lots of dietary fibre. This fibre usually rests on the membrane of the colon (a part of the stomach). When those cancer causing devils are roaming around in your stomach, they will be unable to come in contact with your colon, because of all the date fibres lying there. Hence, preventing colon cancers.
Side note: Dietary fibres are important for your health for many other reasons. Take more fibre.
3. Dates are great when you have anaemia
Anaemia occurs when there is a loss of blood. And I’m sure you know that blood is important. Hence, anaemia is not good. A common cause of anaemia is iron deficiency. Iron is necessary for the formation of red blood cells. Hence, Lesser iron = lesser amount of blood.
But guess what, dates can solve this aneamia issue, because they have lots of iron. When you are suffering from malaria, a common cause of iron deficient aneamia, take some dates. Also, pregnant women run the risk of being anemic, which is not good for them and their baby. So they could have some dates too.
Oooh, it just occurred to me that dates could be the perfect thing to buy for a sick child or a pregnant woman when visiting. Just saying.
4. Dates are really good for your heart
These small fruits know what to do to get your heart feeling healthier. And they do this in a number of ways. First, dates are plentiful in potassium, which is necessary for lowering high blood pressure. By lowering your blood pressure, your risk of heart disease and stroke is severely decreased. Secondly, dates reduce the level of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in your body. LDL cholesterol is a cause of hypertension, heart disease and heart attacks.
See? When they love your heart so much, how can you not fall in love and have a date or dates? (Hahaha, see what I did there?)
5. Dates help with your digestive problems
Have diarrhea? Take dates. Like I mentioned earlier, they have lots of potassium which helps with diarrhea. Have constipation? Take dates. They have lots of dietary fibres which help with constipation.
6. Dates have great nutritional value
Let me list the nutrients dates have. Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Thiamin, Folate, Iron, Potassium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Magnesium, Zinc, manganese, copper.
Phew. I’m sure you got tired of reading, you probably skipped it. That just goes to show that dates are awesome. They have lots of nutritional goodies that your body needs.
7. Dates taste great
Do not take dates in large amounts. They do have lots of sugar. Moderation is key, for everything in life really. Also, wash before you eat. Dried fruit is not automatically clean fruit.
Next time you see one “aboki” selling dates, I hope you stroll over, get some and enjoy.