The date fruits come from the Date Palm tree is called Phoenix dactylifera scientifically. The people have used the leaves, fruits, and stalk of date palm for thousands of years. Dates are sweet and available in different varieties, shapes, colors, and sizes. Almost 70% content of the dates is healthy sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Barhi, Dayri, Deglet Noor, Halawi, Medjool, and Zahidi are the official dates types used in the United States. The color of these varieties varies from black, golden-yellow to reddish-brown.
In the above, Medjool dates, including the black varieties, have potent antioxidants and essential minerals, vitamins, and nutrients.
A 2016 research paper in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology informed that Black dates have antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties.
Many researchers concluded that a date fruit and its syrup contain carotenoids, polyphenols, and tannins along with other essential bioactive contents beneficial for therapeutic conditions.
A study paper in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine featured that date palm fruits may enhance memory and slow down Alzheimer’s disease development. The polyphenols in these fruits can lower the chances of having Alzheimer’s.
The black date fruit is also found to regulate bowel movements, reduce stool ammonia levels, and induce positive changes in the microbiota, thereby preventing colon cancer.
Black Dates Fruit Description
Among multiple varieties, red and black dates are popular and mostly consumed. Black dates are typically oval to a cylindrical shape, have 3 to 7 cm length, and 2 to 3 cm width.
The young black dates are bright red to yellow color based on the variety and changed to black color after ripping. Every fruit has one seed that is 6 to 8 cm thick and 2 to 2.5 cm long. The thick pulp of the dates becomes sticky when ripe.
We dates are a source of fiber and iron, but they also contain tannin, which is clinically used as a cleanser in treating intestinal problems as it is astringent.
Usually, dates are consumed raw, dried, decoction, infusion, syrup, or paste.
The ripening process took place in four different steps, such Unripe, Crunchy, Soft, and Sundried.
The fruits remain on the tree until they reach the final stage, but the fruits are often harvested earlier for the perfect drying process. To keep the moisture in the dates, they need to be stored in a dry, cool, place, or refrigerator.
Black dates are more likely a caramel resin, which is chewier. The dried black dates have wrinkled outside, but the taste remains the same. They have a rich caramel taste and can be used in savory, salads, milkshakes, and ice cream. They also added to make bakery foods like cake, bread, and even cookies.
Are Black Dates Fattening?
Black dates are high sugar and carbohydrates than other popular fruits. For instance, an ounce of bananas has 24.9 kcal, 6.4 g carbohydrates, and 3.4 g sugar also, an ounce of papaya contains 10.9 kcal, 2.7 g carbohydrates, and 1.7 g sugar while an ounce of black dates boasts 77.5 kcal, 21 g carbohydrates, and 18.6 g sugar.
However, the high level of sugar and carbs in black dates do not cause weight gain. It depends on the consumption and how well you balance the daily recommended value of calories.
A 2016 review of a study published in Nutrients journal summarized that diet nutrient-rich fruits could help lose weight.
After studying the nutrients of fruits, reviews found that the fruits may contribute to avoiding obesity and weight gain despite carbs and sugar content. The fruits can positively influence gut flora, increase satiety, and thereby reduce calorie consumption.
Fruits, including black dates, have high water and fiber content that lowers the appetite. For your information, natural fruits do not have high sugar and carbs than the processed foods we usually prefer. So, fruits like black dates help weight loss.
Common Names of Black Dates
- Botanical Name: Phoenix dactylifera
- English Name: Black Dates
- Tamil Name: கருப்பு பேரிச்சை
- Malayalam Name: ഈന്തപ്പഴം
- Telugu Name: ఖర్జూరం
- Kannada Name: ದಿನಾಂಕಗಳು
- Hindi Name: खजूर फल
- Marathi Name: तारखा फळ
- Gujarati Name: તારીખો ફળ
- Punjabi Name: ਡੇਟ ਪਾਮ
- Bengali Name: খেজুর ফল
- Arabic Name: ثمار التمر
- Urdu Name: کھجوریں کجھور, کا درخت
15+ Health Benefits of Black Dates
Black dates are a great source of iron, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, and essential vitamins. The elemental fluorine in dates is beneficial in preventing teeth from decay. Another essential chemical compound called Selenium in dates can improve brain functions, heart functions, and thyroid glands, and over it, it enhances immunity.
Dates are also believed to be cancer-preventive fruits with their antioxidant properties. The protein found in dates holds almost 23 different amino acids, where some of these are not present in the most common fruits.
Black dates act as laxative food when soaked in water for a night and consumed the next day as syrup.
The uses of black dates are continuing, so let us see their significant health benefits in detail below.
1. Body Nutrients
Among different varieties, black dates have a high concentration of minerals and vitamins essential for the metabolism of the body, regulating body functions, producing red blood cells, and more. The black dates contain vitamins such as A, B1, B2, B3, and B5, while the minerals present in this fruit are Iron, calcium, copper, magnesium, and sulfur.
2. Zero Cholesterol
Black dates are free of cholesterol and have very little fat content that making them an ideal snack for losing weight and cholesterol levels in the blood.
3. Rich in Vitamins
Black dates are rich in B vitamins such as B1, B2, B3, and B5 along with Vitamin A1 and Vitamin C. This set of vitamins in this fruit keeps us healthy and increases our energy levels. Black dates also have natural sugars such as glucose, fructose, and sucrose, so no need to worry about fattening.
4. Rich in Proteins
We need an adequate amount of protein in our body to repair the body tissues and muscles. The production of essential hormones, chemicals, and enzymes in the body also requires protein. Luckily, we have black dates, which is a readily available yet healthy snack with an enormous amount of protein.
5. Helps Digestion
Dried black dates have soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, which increases the rate of good bacteria in the gut.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, found that black dates can prevent colon cancer with their source of fiber.
The insoluble fiber in black dates helps in easing digestion as it improves the passing food rate through the digestive tract. At the same time, the soluble fiber reduces cholesterol levels, particularly LDL cholesterol levels, which maintain the blood sugar levels on check.
Adding a high amount of fiber can reduce appetite to 5% and food consumption to 10%, according to Dieticians.
Though black dates are rich in sugar, the fiber content in the fruit slows down sugar absorption.
6. Energy Booster
The European Food Council published a study that black dates are a great source of carbohydrates and natural sugars that can energize us for a long time.
The sugar in black dates boosts stamina and energy. You can consume these nutritious fruits before a workout, avoiding the supplements made of caffeine and sleeping disorders.
People with Caffeine allergies can even drink a cup of tea, coffee, or other beverages, which may cause them rashes, swelling, and itching.
Though not all pre-workout supplements have caffeine, why do we have to take the risk when we have a healthy alternative? It is better to be preventive than to be sorry.
Undoubtedly, black dates are the great pre-workout food that you can entirely live on.
7. Heart Health
Black dates contain potent antioxidants that remove the free radicals, prevent oxidative stress, and thereby protect the heart. The antioxidants prevent arteries from clogging with plaque, which reduces the risks of various heart ailments. The antioxidants also speed up the removal of excess cholesterol from the artery cells.
Additionally, dates have isoflavones, which are a type of polyphenol that is found beneficial for treating or preventing cardiovascular diseases according to studies.
Again, sodium and potassium in dates help to keep the nervous system healthy and reduce risks of heart ailments like heart attack and strokes.
8. Brain Health
A 2016 study featured in Neural Regeneration Research found that dates are beneficial for the brain. The fruits enhance the ferulic acid, vanillic acid, caffeic acid, and antioxidants in the body, which in turn cut down the risks of aging diseases and cellular damage due to free radicals.
Dates slow down the senile plaque formation in the brain and reduce inflammation markers.
The high level of antioxidants, potassium, and low level of sodium in the dates hampers oxidative stress and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
The fruits with high potassium regulate the fluid balance, nerve signals, muscle contraction. It avoids Edema by preventing water retention.
9. Strengthen Bones
Black dates are filled with potassium, calcium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, selenium, and copper which benefits bone health. The weak bones may develop risks like osteoporosis and arthritis, where the bone gets thin.
A 2016 research published in PLOS ONE, calcium, and phosphorus in black dates may increase bone strength and mass when consumed regularly. They tested the mice by giving them a calcium and phosphorus-rich diet and found that bone mass and strength of subjects got increased than non-consumed mice.
10. Prevents Anemia
The iron in the blood not only strengthens the body but also helps in purifying the blood. The adequate iron content in the blood, prevents weakness, fatigue, and difficulty in breathing, which are the primary symptoms of iron deficiency. The fluorine in dates can protect our teeth and lessen plaque.
11. May Promotes Nature Labor
Black dates are tended to invoke cervix dilations and thus lower the chances of induced labor. The nutrient compound present in dates combined with oxytocin receptors was found to replicate the effects of oxytocin. Oxytocin is an essential hormone in the body that creates labor contractions during labor.
Dates are believed to have the ability to lessen late-term labor in expectant. However, we still need further research and studies over this effect of dates.
12. For Diabetes
According to medical studies, diabetic patients can be benefitted from high fiber content found in dates. They can eat 2 to 3 dates a day as long as there is a spike in their sugar levels in the blood. Anyhow, moderated consumption is always better.
13. Treats Allergies
One of the valuable benefits of black dates that most of us don’t know is their ability to treat allergies. The high level of sulfur content in dates is the reason behind it. If you are often prone to seasonal allergies, eat 2 to 3 dates a day to lessen the chances of being affected.
14. Helps Weight Gain
Looking too thin as a thread? Trying to gain weight? Black dates are here to help you healthily gain weight. Appreciate their natural sugars, vitamins, minerals, and proteins for this.
15. Treats Constipation
Constipation is related to stomach aches, a condition where a person feels difficulty passing stool. Irregular bowel movements, less consumption of water, and unhealthy food intake can cause constipation. The overheat in the body can also be the reason for this condition.
Dates are loaded with dietary fiber that can improve bowel movements and add bulk to stools.
16. Skin Benefits of Black Dates
Healthy and glowing skin with radiance is everyone’s need. An active lifestyle, healthy diet, and functioning digestion system are playing the roles here.
Most dermatologists recommend their patients add nuts, seeds, and dry fruits to their diet. Dates consumption can improve digestive health, which in turn makes your skin healthy.
Vitamin C and D are important nutrients in dates that help in brightening and slowing down aging and its signs like wrinkles, fine lines, etc. It improves skin elasticity, dryness, and makes the skin smooth.
The dates with anti-aging abilities improve skin tone by stopping melanin accumulation.
17. Hair Benefits of Black Dates
A healthy diet is not only crucial for body health but also for hair and scalp. Following a right and healthy eating can restore the strength and health of your hair.
The protein and essential vitamins in dates can gradually treat split ends and provide healthy hair on regular consumption.
The hair growth problems, hair density, volume, color, shine, and strength can be improved by eating two dates a day.
Nutrition Facts of Black Dates
A Service size of One ounce (28 grams) Black Dates have a below set of nutrition.
|Nutrition||Value / % DV|
Except for the above nutrients, black dates also have low levels of vitamin A, E, K, B complex vitamins, phosphorus, and calcium.
The black dates are rich in tannins, lutein, zeaxanthin, and a few other assorted polyphenols which expel free radicals from the body and cut down oxidative stress.
How to Select Black Dates
- When buying black dates, choose those that are evenly colored and plump.
- The dried dates with sticky skin may absorb dust and impurities, so make sure you buy safely packed dates from trustworthy brands.
- The date fruits, when dried, the density of sugar concentrations will be increased, and eventually form the little sugar crystals on the skin. So, if the dates have sugar crystal outside, avoid buying it as the fruit will be dry.
How to Store Black Dates
- The fresh dates in the refrigerator can give two weeks of shelf life, but the preserved dates can provide much more shelf life based on the preservation process the dates undergone.
- Always store the dates in a dry, and wide tightly sealed container and keep it away from moisture and direct sunlight.
Culinary Uses of Black Dates
- The raw black dates fruits are soft and chewy. Black dates are available in the market as raw and dried which can be eaten plain, stuffed in any cookies, dough, or cakes, or pitted.
- Black dates along with walnuts, almonds, lemon peel, tahini, or cream cheese are often used as stuffing for cakes and cookies.
- Finely chopped seedless black dates can be added in various sweet dishes and savory items such as puddings, cookies, or even salads to increase the iron intake.
- The processed and pasted black dates called Ajwa are used in spread and syrup.
- Some of the Islam countries use black dates as a non-alcoholic style of champagne for their religious functions, festivals, and any special occasions.
- Other than these, black dates are used as dates jam, date juice, and covered with chocolate as a delicious sweet or candy-like dish.
- Black dates are a healthy alternative for processed sugar and sweeteners. Most date varieties, including black dates, have been used in vegan brownies, energy bars, macaroons, and various desserts.
- Black dates can long to digest, so people with digestive problems should consult the doctor for the right dosage.
- If you are suffering from gastritis and colitis, you should limit the intake of dates and avoid before bed.
- Dates have a high potassium concentration, so the intake of a large amount of the fruit may cause hyperkalemia.
- Dates may increase asthma symptoms. A study shows 80% of people with asthmatic experienced mold allergies that are commonly found in dry fruits like dates.
Any food with proper directions, dosage, and moderation is safe. So, it is always better to consult a doctor or healthcare professional before adding anything new to your regular diet, especially if you are diagnosing any health ailments.