Almost everyone is fond of dates, their sweet flavour and gooey texture. Though this dry fruit can be eaten at any time of the year, it is best consumed in winters because of its warm tendency and nutrition. These are equally beneficial for summers as Muslim devotees have these during the holy festival of Ramzan. Its taste is unmatchable and so is its nutrition. The other form of dates that is loved a lot is- dry dates or what is popular as Chhuara. There are many health benefits of having dry dates regularly but with that comes certain restrictions too. In this article, we will shed light on the hidden benefits and side-effects of having dried dates, so keep reading.
Dried dates or chuara are dehydrated dates that look shriveled and hard. They are wholesome and nutritious as dates but they require extra effort to be eaten and probably this is why people avoid having them. But they do not know what they are missing out on by avoiding chhuara or dried dates. These have a longer shelf life and high fiber as compared to dates. Besides, there are many vitamins and minerals that you’ll get upon consuming dried dates daily. While searching for dried dates nutrition and benefits, we came upon this interesting fact that dried dates have been used for thousands of years! Our ancestors used to use dried dates to detox the body, reduce inflammation and induce labor. These are unverified claims though but we cannot undermine its benefits.
Dried Dates Nutrition
If you eat two medium-sized dried dates, you’ll get the following:
- Calories- 110
- Carbohydrates- 31g
- Fibre- 3g
- Protein- 1g
- Natural sugar- 27g
NOTE: Dried dates do not contain fat which is good but they are high in calories and sugar. People on a weight loss spree need to limit their intake but certainly not stop.
Dried dates contain high levels of polyphenols that are associated with many health benefits. From managing diabetes to prevent cancer to improve digestion, polyphenols are highly good for the body. Out of all the dried fruits, dried dates have the highest amount of polyphenols. Besides, dried dates or chuara also contain ample amounts of calcium, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium and iron.
Benefits of Dried Dates
Now that you know about the nutrients present in dried dates, let us tell you all the health benefits that they offer.
Good for Heart Health
If you are a heart patient or you have high cholesterol, you can have dry dates. As already mentioned above, dried dates have negligible fat content and they also don’t have cholesterol. Besides, they are found to be effective in controlling LDL aka bad cholesterol in the body. To boost heart health, dried dates contain high potassium and low sodium that helps in managing blood pressure and prevent fluctuating blood pressure.
Another benefit of consuming chuara is that it is great for digestion. It has anti-oxidative properties that kickstart the metabolism and boost digestive abilities. It is great for people who are trying to lose weight naturally. Another reason why dry dates are good for digestion is that they are loaded with fibre(soluble and insoluble both) that allows proper absorption of food and secrete digestive juices. But this doesn’t mean that you can have as many dates as you like, keep reading to know the side-effects of eating too many dates.
If you are someone who frequently deals with constipation and diarrhoea issues, you must have dried dates. The reason why is because they have fibre that allows easy digestion and defecation. The main reason why you may be feeling constipated is that you are lacking fibre in your diet. Dried dates not only have fibre but also act as a natural laxative that promotes bowel movements. You must have 2-3 dried dates daily to get relief in constipation. Along with that, you need to increase your fibre intake and have foods with high fibre. Limit processed and packaged food intake.
Did you know that dates are great sources of calcium? Being non-white, dates might not look like a suitable calcium source but it is certainly one of the best foods that have more calcium than dairy sources. This makes it great for bone health. Calcium manages bones and thus, its consumption strengthens bones and prevents their decline that leads to osteoporosis, dental problems and arthritis. It also helps in combating calcium deficiency.
If you are feeling low on energy, have a handful of dates to instantly charge you up. Dates have relatively higher natural sugar content both glucose and fructose. Keep them in your bag so that you can snack on them whenever you feel dull or less-energetic. But it is better to not overconsume them as excess sugar may cause digestive troubles upsetting your stomach. Have it as a snack.
Dried dates for good skin
Dried dates contain Vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid that is known to be potentially beneficial for the skin. Consuming chuara can also prevent the damage caused by free radicals apart from repairing them. Dried dates also contain antioxidants that help in maintaining skin health. It improves the skin’s texture and helps get youthful glowing skin.
The same vitamin B5 that provides skincare benefits is also associated with haircare benefits. Pantothenic acid is proven useful in maintaining scalp health thereby strengthening hair from the roots. If you consume dried dates daily, you’ll get rid of dryness, split ends, brittle strands, etc. common hair-related problems.
Are Dried Dates Good For You? Cons of Dried Dates
There are so many advantages of having dates but we cannot ignore the potential risks that are linked to date consumption. Despite being rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants, there are certain limitations that you should know about. Apart from the good nutrients that dried dates have, they also contain harmful levels of sulphites. This is a naturally-occurring chemical in foods that a lot of people are sensitive to. Thus, it may cause side-effects to them. If you ever come across any side-effect after consuming dates, consult a doctor immediately to find if you have sulphite intolerance. Meanwhile, find below some potential disadvantages of having dried dates.
As mentioned above, people who are allergic to sulphites may experience mild or severe allergic reactions. The most common signs of an allergy are itchy and red skin, eye sensitivity, pink eyes or conjunctivitis, red & watery eyes, runny nose, etc. These may vary from person to person but these allergies are experienced minutes after consuming dates.
High Sugar Content
If we look at the nutritional profile of dried dates, they are high in sugar content as compared to other essential nutrients. Dates have natural sugar but the drying or dehydration process makes them more sugary. This is not good for health. Diabetic people must consume dried dates carefully. It would be better if you stick to dates rather than dried dates to avert blood sugar increase.
Another con of dried dates is that it is high in calories which is not good for weight loss aspirants. They should avoid dried dates.
Dried dates are great for health as they offer some good nutrients but they aren’t good for one and all. They are nutritious but certain downfalls are also there. It is not a good option for diabetics and people who are trying to lose weight. Dates are better than dried dates when compared in terms of sugar and calorie content.
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