Monday, April 21, 2008

Go for DATES!!


Dates are reported to be useful in the treatment of respiratory disorders, heart conditions, cancer (due to its high magnesium and calcium content), anemia, allergies, and constipation. People who eat them on a regular basis, show an extremely low incidence rate of cancer and heart disease.
Scientific studies have shown that eating dates are beneficial for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Dates contain certain stimulants which assist in the strengthening of the muscles of the womb which can lead to an easier delivery. The sugar content of dates is about 80% making it an ideal high energy food for nursing mothers. “Dates contain seven vitamins and eleven minerals whose importance as a dietary supplement was appreciated by the desert people who, for thousands of years, ate dates with goat or camel milk as a complete sustenance.”
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. Being easily digested, they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence.
The nicotinic content in dates is an excellent remedy for intestinal disturbances. Liberal use of dates keeps in check the growth of pathological organisms and helps to establish a colony of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels. They should be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into a fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect. Dates are also an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. In such cases, drinking water in which fresh dates have been rubbed or soaked will bring quick relief.
Besides, dates are an effective remedy for weak heart. Dates soaked overnight in water and crushed in the same water in the morning after removing the seeds should be taken at least twice a week in this condition. It will strengthen the heart.
However, as a precaution, dates require great care for selection. The sticky surface of the date attracts dust and impurities of the air to settle there. It is, therefore, advisable to purchase the best varieties in good packing condition and to wash them thoroughly before use.
Dates are a great source of dietary fiber. The American Cancer Society recommends that you consume 20-35 grams of dietary fiber a day. Dietary fiber comes in two forms – soluble and insoluble. Each serves a valuable function. Insoluble fiber increases the rate at which food moves through the digestive system. Soluble fiber may help control diabetes by decreasing elevated blood glucose levels. Soluble fiber also had been found to help lower serum cholesterol levels, particularly undesirable low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. According to researchers at the University of Scranton in Scranton Pennsylvania, they have the highest concentration of polyphenols among dried fruits. The findings of this research suggest that dried fruits should be a greater part of the diet as they are dense in phenol antioxidants and nutrients, most notably fiber.

A serving of power-packed dates contains 31 grams of carbohydrates, making them a powerhouse of energy. Carbohydrates include 3 grams of dietary fiber and 29 grams of naturally occurring sugars such as fructose, glucose and sucrose to provide quick energy and are readily used by the body. Dates are a perfect energy boosting snack. Dates are one of the best natural sources of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to maintain muscle contractions including the vital heart muscle. Potassium is needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to balance the body’s metabolism as well. Since potassium is not stored in the body, and much is lost in perspiration, it must be continually replenished. As you consume potassium you excrete sodium, helping to keep blood pressure down. As people age, their kidneys become less efficient at eliminating sodium. About a 400 mg increase in potassium intake has been associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of stroke. This roughly amounts to one additional serving daily of Dates. Dates also contain a variety of B-complex vitamins – thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid. These vitamins have a variety of functions that help maintain a healthy body – to metabolize carbohydrates and maintain blood glucose levels, fatty acids for energy, and they help make hemoglobin, the red and white blood cells. Dates also contain Magnesium which is essential for healthy bone development and for energy metabolism and Iron which is essential to red blood cell production. Red blood cells carry all the nutrients to cells throughout the body. In addition, Dates are fat and cholesterol free!

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