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Wowfactor360: Why you should eat dates : health benefits of dates

Thursday, 5 July 2018

Why you should eat dates : health benefits of dates

Dates, called dabino in Hausa, have been identified to have several health benefits.

The fruits are usually oblong, with varying sizes, colours, shapes, consistencies and quality. 

It is common to see traders selling different types and colours of dabino in Sokoto, Kano, Kaduna and other northern states of the country. 

 Fresh dabino appear in either golden yellow or deep purple but are dark brown with honey-like coatings when dry.

A nutritionist, Mrs Toyin Fayiga, said dates contain natural fibre and a lot of other nutrients like oil, calcium, magnesium and more. She said dates are easily digestible and contain simple sugar like glucose, fructose and dextrose which are sources of instant energy. 

Dates are also rich in digestible fibre and can be a good laxative, and effective in treatment of constipation.

The fruits are also said to have no cholesterol and low in fat, but the fibre in it binds to low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) in the gut and stops its absorption in the small intestine.

There are other uses of date fruits. Due to its high magnesium content, dates have anti-inflammatory properties and therefore good for chronic inflammatory conditions, like arthritis, and allergic reactions, among others.

Date fruits are also useful in the treatment of water retention, oedema, cystitis, and yeast infection (candidiasis).

The nutritionist noted that, so far, there are no known side effects or hazards associated with the use of date fruits. However, she advised that diabetic patients should avoid dates because of their high sugar content.

She added that dates can also be used for cooking, and are commonly used to prepare porridge in Libya. “It is also used to produce local drink among the Hausas like Kunu Aya (tiger nut drink) and are added as component to enhance taste. The seeds are also soaked and ground for animal feeds,” she said.

Miss Chidera Ezenwafor, also a nutritionist, said the fruit of the date palm tree comes with a lot of health benefits. Dates are a good source of various vitamins and minerals, energy, sugar, and fiber, she said.

According to her, it also contains calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and zinc. 

She said the fruits should be consumed because they lower cholesterol, improve bone health, strengthen the nervous system, improve skin, and promote digestion among others.

Miss Ezenwafor suggested that dates could be used as a quick snack as they  contain vitamins such as B1, B2, B3 and B5, as well as A1 and C. 

She said: “If you have a few dates every day, you won’t have to take vitamin supplements. Not only will it keep you healthy, there will be a noticeable change in your energy levels because dates contain natural sugars such as glucose, sucrose, and fructose, too.”



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