Dates couldn’t be sweeter (or better) for you! They have a ton of health benefits, from heart health to strengthening bones, and we’re all about them. The next time you’re craving something sweet, instead of going for candy, opt for dates instead. They’re just as sweet and WAY better for you. This natural treat is a delicious source of fiber, with high concentrations of potassium and vitamin A, among other vitamins and minerals. Here are the reasons you’ll want to add dates to your shopping cart ASAP.
1. Boost Energy
Dates are high in natural sugars, so if you need a quick burst of energy mid-day, instead of going for a second cup of coffee go for a handful of dates. Or, if you don’t like ’em plain, whip up some energy balls or oatmeal bars packed with dates to fight the mid-day slump.
2. Relieve Intoxication & Prevent a Hangover
Did you have one too many tropical rum cocktails on your beach vacation? Pop a few dates when you get home (or carry them with you while you’re out). The high concentration of fructose in dates is thought to help speed the metabolism of alcohol and could bring relief if you’re feeling the effects of one too many drinks. If you still end up with a hangover the next morning, try having them as a snack when you wake up. These other hangover remedies work, too.
3. Strengthen Bones
Most people know that getting enough sunlight and foods with vitamin D is vital for bone health, but the combination of minerals like magnesium and copper that are packed into dates makes them a superfood for strengthening bones, too. Whether you are looking to fight off existing osteoporosis or bulk up your bones as a preventative measure, dates could help.
4. Relieve Constipation
Another one of the benefits of dates is that they are high in soluble fiber, which promotes healthy and comfortable digestion. If you’re suffering from constipation, try incorporating dates into your diet and don’t forget to drink extra water.
5. Promote Heart Health
Consistently making heart-healthy dinners is one way to help your ticker, but dates are high in potassium, which is essential to keeping your heart health in tip-top shape, too.
6. Reduce Inflammation
Magnesium is a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and you can definitely get your share of it on dates! A study with over 3,700 participants showed that a diet rich in magnesium was associated with a lower concentration of markers of inflammation in post menopausal women.
7. Reverse Anemia
If you’re iron-deficient, dates are a great way to help you get back on track. A single serving contains about 1 mg of the necessary mineral. Give this dates couscous a try for a healthy, iron-rich meal. (It’s even vegan!)
8. Encourage Weight Gain
If you struggle to put on pounds, dates are a healthy way to increase your body weight. While they’re packed with nutrients, they’re also packed with calories. A serving of four dates clocks in just shy of 270 calories.
9. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth
If you’re the type of person who can never get enough sugar, dates are a great alternative to unhealthy treats. Keep a pack on hand to help curb your cravings for cookies, candies, and other sweet stuff.
10. Lower Cholesterol
If you’re looking for a way to bring your cholesterol down, dates are a good source of soluble fiber, which can help reduce cholesterol as part of a healthy diet. These natural foods can lower cholesterol, too.