MAMASEZZ  BLACK LIVES MATTER

 
Shop Now

What Are Dates, Are They Healthy, and How Do You Eat Them?

Quick Take

Dates are the cornerstone for many healthy plant-based dessert recipes because they're one of the most naturally sweet fruits in the world. But dates aren't just a healthy sweetener for treats; they pair nicely with savory dishes, too! Not to mention, eating dates is good for your health! Here's why dates are a must-have plant-based pantry item.

Before We Begin: Sweeten Your Morning With the MamaSezz Breakfast Smoothie

Kickstart your day with the ready-to-blend MamaSezz Breakfast Smoothie. Made with organic wild Maine blueberries, heart healthy beets, and naturally sweet dates. Order your MamaSezz Breakfast Smoothie now

On this page

What Are Dates?

The Health Benefits of Dates

Where To Find Dates in the Grocery Store

How Do You Eat Dates? (The Healthy Sweetener You Need In Your Life!)

What Are Dates?

History lesson! You may be new to dates, but they were the first fruit to be cultivated by humans and have been around for over 50 million years! They originate in Northern Africa and the Middle East, growing on trees called “date palms." This stone fruit can be eaten early in the fruit development stage where they are juicy and less sweet, or more commonly, towards the later stage of their ripeness where they are sticky, chewy, and sweet.

There are many types of dates but you'll most likely encounter Medjool dates or Deglet Noor dates in supermarkets here in the United States. Medjool dates are large, rich, chewy, and sticky. They're very sweet and have a caramel-like flavor. Deglet Noor dates are smaller than Medjool dates, with a firm flesh and more delicate flavor than Medjool dates.  

Are Dates Healthy? The Health Benefits of Dates

One of the reasons dates are so popular is because they're so wonderfully sweet; they're about about 80% sugar!, But are dates healthy, even with all that sugar? Yes! Dates are more than just a sweet natural treat. They pack quite a nutritional punch, alongside that natural sugar. 

1. Dates Are High in Fiber

Studies show that even though dates are one of the sweetest fruits, due to their fiber content there are no adverse effects on blood sugar or weight gain when consumed, even in mass quantities. 

2. Dates Are Loaded With Nutrients (Including Antioxidants!)

Just 3.5 ounces of dates contain 7 grams of fiber, 20% RDI of potassium, 14% RDI of magnesium, 18% RDI of copper, 15% RDI of Manganese, along with other important nutrients like iron and B6

Because dates are loaded with fiber and antioxidants, they are classified as anti-tumor, anti-cancer, and anti-inflammatory.

3. Dates Are Good For Your Gut Health

They also act as a prebiotic for healthy gut flora, which improves our mental health, heart health, skin health and digestive health. Those who ate 7 dates for 3 days found that they are more regular bowel movements, reduction of stool ammonia concentration, reduced genotoxicity, and less DNA damage.

4. Dates Can Make Giving Birth Easier

Yep! Dates can help to make childbirth easier. Pregnant women who consume dates every day for about one week leading up to the start of labor were fifty percent less likely to need synthetic oxytocin and had more successful deliveries.

Studies show that the use of dates can actually shorten labor by up to 6 hours!

In one study, group A was given synthetic oxytocin and group B was given dates. It was found that in women who experienced Postpartum Blood Loss, group B experienced significantly less blood loss (around a ¼ of a cup!).

There were no adverse effects to using dates and reduced the need to be induced by fifty percent from just eating 7 dates a day for a week leading up to birth.

Where to Find Dates in the Grocery Store

If you're new to dates, you may be wondering where you can purchase them. Good news: they're found in most major grocery stores and natural food stores.

At traditional grocery stores, head to the produce section and they're typically found near or next to the bananas in plastic containers. They may also be found in the bulk section. 

You can buy them pitted so you have one less meal prep item on your plate!

How Do You Eat Dates?

Straight Up or Stuffed with Nut Butter

Dates can be eaten as is! They make a great snack (just remember to remove the pits). They are fantastic stuffed with all-natural nut butter as an energy booster or even dessert.

Chopped Up and Tossed In Just About Anything

Chop dates into muffin batter, pancake batter, oatmeal, breads, cookies or even salads for a ooie-gooie sticky sweet burst of flavor! 

Use Dates as a Healthy Sweetener (2 Ways)

1. Date Syrup

Date syrup is a super easy and healthy sweetener you can make at home by blending soaked dates with a little water. Use it in your morning coffee, sweeten your non-dairy milk, pour over oatmeal or pancakes, or use in baked goods recipes. Store-bought date syrup is not always made with the whole fruit, so if you’re looking to get the most out of your sweetener, make it yourself. 

2. Date Sugar

Surprisingly enough, date sugar is just as healthy for you as whole dates! This healthy sweetener is made from dehydrated dates and can be used in place of granulated sugar in any situation. 

BONUS: Make This Easy Vegan Date Caramel!

Yep, you can make a healthy vegan caramel from dates. Whip up this date caramel recipe then add to anything you so choose! Or try any of these 10 decadent Medjool dates recipes next time your sweet tooth demands it. 

Key Takeaways

  • Dates can be eaten at any stage of ripeness, but are the sweetest when overly ripe (which is how you will find them in the grocery store)
  • Are dates healthy? You betcha! Dates are great for gut health, mental health, heart health, and even pregnancy thanks to their impressive nutritional profile.
  • Dates are versatile and can be used as a healthy sweetener in place of refined sugars.

 

 

By Caroline DiNicola Fawley

Caroline is a plant-based chef, recipe designer, and whole food plant-based nutrition educator, with a Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

 

What you should do now

  1. We have been where you are and we’ve helped thousands of people (just like you) transition to eating a plant based diet. If you are looking for a guide that can help you with some of the big questions, and dramatically reduce your stress, this FREE Ultimate Little Guide to Plant-Based Eating is a great place to start.
  2. If you're interested in Weight Loss, Download this fantastic FREE guide Ultimate (little) Guide to weight loss
  3. If you’d like to learn about plant-based living go to our MamaSezz Blog where you can read hundreds of “How To” articles. If you’d like to learn about plant-based cooking go to our Recipes Section for easy step by step favorites.
  4. If you enjoyed this article, then so will your friends, so why not share it on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Email




Also in Blog

Kitchen Hack: The 3 Best Ways to Freeze  Your MamaSezz Plant-Based Meals
Kitchen Hack: The 3 Best Ways to Freeze Your MamaSezz Plant-Based Meals

Did you know most MamaSezz dishes last in the fridge for 2 weeks and the freezer for up to 6 months!

Continue Reading

Is Kelp the Secret to Kickstarting Your Plant-Based Weight Loss Journey? (+ 4 Other Kelp Benefits)
Is Kelp the Secret to Kickstarting Your Plant-Based Weight Loss Journey? (+ 4 Other Kelp Benefits)

Is kelp the new cauliflower? Here's why you may want to hop on this food trend.

Continue Reading

The 6 Foods We Always Have in Our Freezer for Easy Plant-Based Dinners
The 6 Foods We Always Have in Our Freezer for Easy Plant-Based Dinners

Make plant-based mealtimes easy and cut back on food waste by keeping your freezer well stocked. | MamaSezz delivers hearty, delicious, ready to eat, whole food plant-based prepared meals to your door.

Continue Reading