“Dates for days.” Spend one evening in the Choice kitchen and you’re guaranteed to hear our favorite mantra uttered at least once. When you refuse to add sugar, sugar alcohols, artificial sweeteners, or “natural flavors” to your product, you need to get creative when it comes to entering the nutrition bar industry. And that’s where dates come in.
Packed full of vital nutrients, the tasty little fruit has provided health benefits to people all over the world since approximately 6000 B.C. Here are four superpowers that dates provide.
1. A Stronger Heart
Bananas have typically gotten all the glory when it comes to potassium, but did you know that dates actually contain more potassium than those yellow fellows do? This is important for heart health because as WebMD notes, “potassium plays a role in every heartbeat. A hundred thousand times a day, it helps trigger your heart to squeeze blood through your body. It also helps your muscles to move, your nerves to work, and your kidneys to filter blood.”
Renowned nutrition, health, and natural beauty expert David Wolfe adds to this, writing on his website, “adding dates to one’s diet can lower LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol and keep the heart safe!”
2. A Stronger Brain
Studies, such as this one from JAMA Internal Medicine, find that sufficient vitamin B6 levels are associated with improved brain performance and better test scores. Dates, which nature graciously endowed with vitamin B6, provide a great, naturally occurring source of this brain boosting behemoth. And the taste certainly beats that of those vitamin B supplements.
3. Increased Energy
Like all fruit, dates contain naturally occurring sugars. And the fiber in dates keeps power up without the crash one typically experiences from refined energy bars and other sweet treats.
And don’t forget about your energy levels post-exercise. After a tough workout or long hike it’s important to eat real foods to begin the recovery process. As your body seeks to replenish its glycogen stores, dates can help you refuel.
4. Stronger Bone, Blood, and Immune System Health
Dates are rich in magnesium, manganese, and selenium. These fancy-sounding words may not mean much to most of us but as David Wolfe writes, “diets rich in selenium are known to prevent cancer. These minerals are also necessary for keeping our bones and blood strong and healthy.”
This only begins to scratch the surface of the many amazing health benefits of dates. To learn more, check out the references below.