- Dates are low on glycemic index
- Dates are a rich source of iron
- They contain potassium and are beneficial for high blood pressure control
If you look at the number of health benefits that dates can offer, you will be surprised. Not only is it a healthy sugar substitute, it is also a healthy fruit for diabetics, high blood pressure and heart patients. Dates have a rich nutrition profile. They are rich in fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and Vitamin B6. In one of her recent IGTVs, nutritionist Pooja Makhija elaborates on the many reasons to include dates in your diet.
Reasons to include dates in diet
Potassium in content in dates is one of the many reasons for their popularity. If your diet includes high amount of processed and packaged foods, then the potassium in dates is going to help in negating the effects of excess sodium in the body. Dates can help in maintaining the balance and prevent a spike in blood pressure, informs Makhija.
1. Dates make for an excellent sugar substitute and can be great for times you are craving desserts of sugary foods. Dates can satisfy the urge of something sweet, while also providing you with added nutrition, which is not the case with sugary foods.
2. Dates do contain natural sugar. On an average, a medium-sized date contains 6 gm sugar. But, it is also packed with fibre. This fibre slows down the release of sugar in blood stream, preventing any spikes in blood sugar levels.
3. Glycaemic index (GI) of dates is around 42, and this qualifies them to be low GI.
4. "A smarter way to consume dates would be to eat them in combination with proteins or fats," says Makhija in the video. You can eat dates with nuts and eat in times when your blood sugar levels are low. You can also snack on it to beat in-between meal hunger pangs.
5. Dates are a rich source of iron, antioxidants, polyphenols and B complex vitamins. They can give you a glowing skin and also improve digestion.
6. Dates are also beneficial for your bone health. Including them regularly in your diet can help in preventing osteoporosis too.
All in all, eating the juicy dates can help you in more ways than you can imagine. Add them to your smoothies, milk shakes or eat them raw. Just keep portion control in mind!
(Pooja Makhija is a nutritionist, dietitian and author)
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