History and Health Benefits of Dates

Health Benefits of Dates

A Date is a sweet fruit from the Date Palm (scientific name: Phoenix dactylifera). Originating in the desert oases of northern Africa and southwest Asia, Middle Eastern peoples have included dates as a part of their diet for centuries. The date is thought to be one of the world’s oldest cultivated fruits.
The date palm has been referenced to as a “tree of life,” probably due to its excellent health benefits as well as its high nutritional value.

History of Dates

As a staple of Middle Eastern countries, dates have been cultivated since ancient times, likely as early as 6000 BC. Date Palms produce bunches of oval drupes that are at least 3 cm long and 2 cm in diameter. These drupes are called dates.
Evidence from archeologists reveals that dates were likely first cultivated in ancient times in the eastern Arab region, later, spreading around northern Africa, Italy, Spain and South East Asia.
Spanish peoples introduced dates to the people of Mexico and California around 1765. The fruit has a large variety and more than 400 varieties are produced in the palm groves of Iran.
Today dates are cultivated in Arizona and southern California in the United States.
Dates are incorporated in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine and desserts, and are often eaten whole. Frequently they are found stuffed with sweet fillings after removing its seed.
Ramadan is celebrated during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and Muslims fast each day, from sunrise to sunset, in order to gain a higher level of spiritual enlightenment. The tradition of eating dates during Ramadan, in order to break the fast at the end of each day, spans the course of history back to the time of the Prophet Mohammed  sallallahu Alaihi Wa'Sallam (570-632 CE).
Naturally, a depletion of energy can be experienced as a result of fasting, and consuming dates is thought to be a gentle way in which to ease the body back into the act of eating. Dates, it is said, prevent metabolic, digestive, and other physical issues that may be caused by the practice of fasting.
Being a good Muslim we would be the most obedient by the guidances of the Al-Quran and Al-Hadith (The practice of the prophet muhammed sallallahu alaihi wa'sallam). The worth of dates had been mentioned more than twenty times in the Al-Quran. While Rasulllullah had preached his followers the important value of dates and to consume it regularly.

Allah  has says, the Creator, had blessed Maryam (Virgin Mary) at the time of the birth of Prophet Isa (Jesus). It was a prescription of dates to make the delivery easy, comfortable and perhaps with less pain.
Allah personally recommended the eating of dates as indicated in a beautiful passage of the Al-Qur'an, surah Maryam, verses 25-26: "And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you." (25) "So eat and drink and be glad, And if you see any human being, say: 'Verily! I have vowed a fast into the Most Gracious (Allah ) so I shall not speak to any human being this day". (26)

Allah s.w.t. makes dates very special. While the fruits is still hanging on the tree, there were neither an insect nor birds to peck and spoiled it. It is odorless and doesn't attract them at all. Therefore, only human beings can do the pollinating for it. Allah s.w.t also protected it from ants or flies when it has landed on earth. Perhaps it's only fit to be consumed by human being.
prophet muhammed (peace be upon him ) valued dated so much and highly recommended it to be given to the pregnant women as recorded in the following Hadiths:
"Feed your pregnant wife with dates, because when the pregnant woman eat dates, she would surely to give birth to a baby who is patience, well behaved and intelligent ".
"Feed those pregnant women with the dates before they give birth. Thus, the babies born would grow up to be strong and obedience persons (cleaner heart)".
He also encouraged his followers to consume dates with the following Hadiths:
"Homes without the dates, causes its resident to be unhealthy".
"Homes without dates is as good as a home without food".
"Avoid Hell! Even though by giving as charity with half of the dates".
This practice of the Prophet muhammed (peace be upon him), is recorded in the two genuine Hadiths collections of Bukhari and Muslim:
Abu Buradah reported from Abu Musa, who said: `I had a new-born baby; I took him to the Prophet Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings), who called him Ibrahim. The Prophet chewed a date, then he took it and rubbed the inside of the baby's mouth with it.'
The Sunnah (Those who obeyed the Al-Quran and Al-Hadith) also recommended dates to be served and eaten during the breaking of the fasting in Ramadhan. It contained a lot of sugar with less fat, and easily digestible. Therefore, it is most needed booster for the body after about twelve hours of fasting. It revitalized your energy almost instantly.

Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. These natural products contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health.

It is said that consumption of one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. Dates help in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer.

Health benefits of dates have made them the best nourishment for muscles development. People consume dates in several ways, like mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yoghurt or with bread or butter to make the food tasty and healthy.

This paste is beneficial for both adults and children, especially during the time of recovery. According to the modern medicine survey, it is known that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. It is also seen that many Muslims break their fast by eating dates and water according to their traditions.

Breaking fast with eating dates helps us to avoid overeating of the food after the fast. When the body absorbs the nutritional value of the dates, the feeling of hunger gets pacified.

Dates are termed as a crown of sweets and ideal food which easily balances and digests food. It gives extra energy to a tired human body within half an hour after taking it. Dates are considered to be the best diet for confinement of the women.

American Cancer Society recommends intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fibre in a day, supplied through dates. It is said that taking one date in a day will help you to maintain your healthy eyes for your lifetime. They are quiet effective in guarding the night blindness problems.

More Benefits of dates

*Constipation: Date is termed to be a laxative food. This is the reason that dates are beneficial for people suffering from constipation. For getting the laxative effect from dates, you need to soak dates for one full night in water. You should consume these soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get their actual advantages.

*Intestinal Disorders: The nicotinic content that is present in the dates is said to be beneficial for curing any kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to maintain a check on the growth of the pathological organisms and thus, helps in the rise of friendly bacteria in the intestines.

*Weight Gain: Dates are said to be a part of healthy diet. They consist of sugar, fats, proteins as well as many essential vitamins. If the dates are consumed with the paste of cucumber, one can easily come out from the problem of over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories. These calories alone are sufficient to meet the daily requirements of a human body.

*Healthy Heart: Dates are quite helpful in maintaining your heart in a healthy condition. When soaked for a night and crushed in the morning and consumed, they prove to be quite advantageous for weak hearts. They help in fortifying the heart, if taken twice in a week.

*Sexual Weakness: Dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina in the human body. A handful of dates, when soaked in fresh goat's milk for the night and then grinded in the same milk with the mixture of cardamom powder and honey, becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sex endurance and sterility caused due to functional disorders.

*Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium. Potassium is beneficial for controlling diarrhea. They are easily digestible, which helps to cope up with the problems of diarrhea.

*Intoxication: Dates are known as an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. Dates provide quick relief in the case of alcoholic intoxication. They should be rubbed and soaked overnight for getting more nutritious values from them.

*Abdominal Cancer: Dates are beneficial for curing abdominal cancer. They work as useful tonic for all age groups. They work as better as the medicines, and are natural and do not bear any side effects in the body. They can be easily digested and used for supplying extra and needed energy.

Although dates carry tremendous nutritional values, great care should be taken in their selection because they consists of sticky surface which attracts various impurities in them. Hence, you should consume only those dates that are processed and packed properly.

Make sure to wash them thoroughly before consuming. This will help remove the impurities present in them.

History of Dates