There are lots of speculations if dates are healthy or not? Calling it healthy or not so healthy depends on whether you should include it in your diet for its health benefits or you can use it as a substitute for sugar incase you are trying to lose weight. Dates are the fruits of the date palm which can be eaten fresh or dried though both the forms are nutritious. It helps in lowering cholesterol and and has anti-oxidation properties that protect the body against free radicals.
Dates are high in fiber which relieves constipation and the high amount of carbohydrates in it provides high calories. The one drawback with dates is that it is high in glycemic index and contains a lot of sugar which can increase blood sugar levels. It is often substituted for sweets, candies or to control sweet craving as it is healthier than processed sugar and carries a lots of minerals and vitamins for the body to nourish with health benefits. But due to its high glycemic properties dates are associated with foods that can result in weight gain.
Dates have an average gylcemic index (GI) of 103, which is very high and not recommended for people on a weight loss program or suffering from high sugar levels. More and more health experts promote food that have low GI as the secret to long-term health reducing your risk of heart disease and diabetes and also beneficial for sustainable weight loss.Foods with GI index less than 55 are considered Low Glycemic Index food (GI < 55). Foods with GI index between 55 and 70 are considered intermediate (55< GI <70). High Glycemic Index foods are with GI index more than 70 (GI >70).
Besides its single but important drawback dates have many other health benefits. They are high in potassium which maintains blood pressure and maintains nerves and muscles.The magnesium in dates help relive muscles, fatigue, nerves and reduces tension. Dates are rich in calcium, iron, copper and manganese with B vitamins to better enzyme activity. All the nutrition of the dried fruit promote better health.
You can eat the fruit raw or use your culinary skills in making delicious combinations with in in your diet. You could include it with milk, fruits, salads or bread. Its sweet and can be eaten when we are overburdened with work and mind seems wandering as it relives stress and anxiety with instant energy.
You could include dates in your diet as they are small and filling in nature. Eating 10 gms of dates would provide 23 calories with lots of fiber along. It is fattening if you don’t check the portion and eat more than required as in the case of other foods also. But people who have sugar problems especially those with Type 2 diabetes should avoid eating dates as it is not good for their health.Author Information - this article is written by a wellness coach @ FitHo