Date is a healthy and vitamin rich fruit enjoyed by all age groups. Historian assumes that its place of origin is from the land of Iraq. Dates have been an essential food of the Indus Valley and the Middle East for thousands of years. They are considered to have originated somewhere in Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from prehistoric Egypt to Mesopotamia, possibly dating back to 4000 BC. Researchers have also found archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia from 6000 BC. Hence, the origin of dates remains unknown because of its long cultivation history.
Date palm tree grows 70 to 75 feet (21 to 23 m) in height; it either grows singly or forms a clump with different stems from a single root system.
Throughout the centuries, the travelers and the traders have helped in spreading dates in parts of northern Africa, South West Asia, and Spain. The Spaniards introduced Dates into California and Mexico in 1765 AD.
There are numerous health benefits of dates that include healing heart problems, relief from constipation, intestinal disorders, diarrhea, anemia, abdominal cancer, and many other diseases. Dates are also very helpful in gaining weight. They are loaded with rich vitamins, fiber and minerals. They have a number of vitamins such as copper, iron, calcium, sulfur, phosphorous, manganese, potassium, and magnesium which are all extremely beneficial for health. Health specialist’s give advise that eating one date a day is necessary for a healthy and balanced diet.
The tremendous health benefits of dates have made them one of the best supplements for muscle development. People prefer to consume dates in different ways, for example mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yogurt or with bread or butter to make them even more delicious. During time of recovery from illness or injury, this paste is beneficial for both adults and children. Scientific studies have proofed that eating dates on a regular basis is beneficial for pregnant women and nursing mothers.
It has now been accepted that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer according to a latest modern medical survey. Muslims break their fast (iftar) by having dates and water according to the Islamic traditions. It really helps in avoiding overeating of food especially if you have broken your fast by eating dates. Feelings of hunger are repressed when the body begins to consume the high nutritional intake of the dates. Significant amounts of potassium, present in dates, help the nervous system at the time of breaking the fast.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) said: “Break your fast by eating dates as it is purifying.”
Eating Dates after fasting provide 5 health benefits:
- They don’t exhaust the fasting person since they are easy to digest.
- Eating Dates helps in reducing the feeling of hungriness of a fasting person and so he doesn’t indulge into excessive food eating, thereby it protects from digestion disorders.
- With the release of natural juices and digestive secretions, dates help the stomach to receive the intake of food after staying inactive throughout the day.
- Dates are loaded with sugary energy; hence the body is supplied with the most vital nutrients which is sugar, that is necessary as a nutrient for the nerves and brain cells.
- Dates help in protecting the fasting person from constipation as a consequence of changing meals times or having less fiber amounts in meals.