With the nip in the air settling into a familiar winter chill, it is time for our food preferences to swap for the season. Out with the summer salads, in with the steaming soups!
Dietician Dr. Charu Dua says, Dates (Khajoor) have always been one of the most nutrition-packed, naturally sweet fruits available in the market. Within moderation, consumption of dates can lead to many health benefits.
Benefits of eating dates:
- Healthy Heart: Dates are a great source of potassium, which in turns helps decreasing the risk of strokes. They also help in lowering the blood sugar and LDL level, thus aiding in the control of blood pressure and heart rate.
- Dates are a natural laxative and is a good source for dietary fiber, providing healthy bowel movements.
- Digestion: Dates improve digestion as they contain a high amount of protein. This protein present (with over 20 types of amino acids) is easily digestible, providing the body with much needed energy in less than half after consumption. When breaking a fast, dates are ideal as they are high in calories and decrease the urge to overeat.
- Acidity: Dates are alkaline thus reduces the acidity by leaving an alkaline residue after digestion. For those with acidity issues, eating a date first thing in the morning calms down the gastric juices for a while.
- Weight Gain: Dates help in a healthy yet sustained weight gain for those who are underweight. Those who are overweight can still eat dates but in moderation.
- Bone Health: Dates have a significant number of minerals in them which in turn help improving bone health. It helps staving off diseases like osteoporosis, which are painful and reduce the quality of life.
- Energy Booster: Dates are made of naturally occurring sugars such as fructose and glucose, which provide a short burst of energy. Dates are a healthy alternative to other high calorie, greasy snacks especially around the mid-afternoon slump, a time when we feel sluggish and lethargic.
- Pregnant and Breastfeeding women: Dates provide numerous health benefits for pregnant and breastfeeding women. Reduction in post-partum bleeding, strengthening of the uterine wall, reducing the need of induction of labor are to name a few.
- Protection of tooth enamel: The fluorine content in dates play a very important role in protecting the teeth from plaque & decay. It also helps strengthen the enamel
- Alcohol intoxication: Dates provide quick relief in situations of binge-drinking or over-consumption, by having a sobering effect. It can be used to avoid a hangover if eaten before sleeping.
In winter months, our body’s metabolism slows down, leading to a lowering of our internal temperature. To make up for this dip, our body craves ‘warm’ foods : high calorie packed nutrient reach food that, when digested, will help raise the body temperature.
Dates are one such example of ‘warm’ foods. Dates are more pocket-friendly during winters, as that’s their peak season and can be stored in any cool, dry place year-round. This ease of accessibility is yet another reason why date is a preferred super food for most people.
This winter, let’s boost up your heart and health by going steady with dates!