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Dates are a good source of dietary potassium and dietary fiber. They contain protein and trace elements including boron, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc. The primary vitamins in dates are the B vitamin family, with vitamin B-6 topping the list. Dates are also rich in vitamin C, K and A. Dates contain 20 different kinds of amino acids and are a great natural energy food due to their balance of natural sugars (glucose, fructose and sucrose) and carbohydrates.
One of the main reasons people avoid eating dates is the belief that they will raise their blood sugar levels, but studies have shown that belief to be erroneous. A study reported in the May 28, 2011 issue of “Nutrition Journal” found that date consumption tested on diabetics revealed no significant raise in blood sugar levels after the dates were eaten. While dates contain high amounts of natural sugars, they are actually a low-glycemic index food, making it a great sweetener alternative.
For this reason we like to use date paste as a liquid sweetener in recipes.
Dates are known to help build bone and muscle strength and have been used for thousands of years by athletes to improve physical endurance, agility, and stamina. Dates contain anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties which make it an excellent food for those who suffer with chronic infections and auto-immune disorders. They also help to control heart rate and blood pressure which offers protection against strokes and coronary heart diseases. Dates contain an easily digestible fiber that has been found to help prevent colon, prostate, lung, endometrial, breast, and pancreatic cancers. They are also known to help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and relieve constipation.
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