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by inKin
25 Aug

The Best Super Foods A-Z: D Is For Date

This sweet treat is more than just a healthy alternative to refined sugar – it’s a nutrient powerhouse too!

 

Looking for a natural way to please your sweet tooth? Take a cue from us and indulge in the date, a nutrient-packed superfood that will keep you reaching for more. Originally hailing from the Middle East, specifically ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, this ancient superfood is now available year-round and is the perfect substitute for sugar and butter in baking. There are so many ways to enjoy these plump treats: they can be munched au naturel as an afternoon snack or used in delicious desserts or creative dinners. We suggest you add them to your goats’ cheese salad (you can thank us later).

From the time they were discovered, these awesome fruits were renowned for their healing powers. And while we mainly love to eat them because they’re delicious, the fact they’re great to our bodies doesn’t hurt either!

 

Benefits

1. Mineral Content

Dates are valued for their mineral content, which includes the essential calcium and manganese, which improve bone density, as well as copper and magnesium, which is known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. Plus, dates are even richer than bananas in potassium, which aids with the proper workings of the heart and helps reduce blood pressure. It also helps you build muscles and maintain your fitness levels.

2. Ironman (or Woman)

Dates are also a brilliant source of plant-based iron, which is required to create blood, and is, therefore, essential for offsetting blood loss during the menstrual cycle and for preventing anemia.

3. Sugar Cravings, Be Gone!

Dates have a high natural sugar content, making them a healthy source of calories. They contain glucose, fructose, and sucrose, making them the ideal snack to boost your energy or improve your athletic performance.

4. Full of Fiber

Dates are packed with fiber, which we know is essential for healthy digestion and regular bowel movements. It even helps your body to clean the colon and acts like a sponge, absorbing harmful toxins and transporting them out of your system. Fiber also helps maintain a healthy heart by lowering cholesterol and helps to protect the colon from cancer-causing chemicals binding to it.

5. Pregnancy Pal

Researchers have found that eating dates in the last four weeks of pregnancy can reduce the need for induction of labor, and result in a smoother delivery. Shall we say, the perfect pregnancy craving?

6. Antioxidants

Dates are a great source of antioxidants, compounds that protect cells from the damaging effects of oxygen-free radicals which, in turn, reduces the risk of particular types of cancers, including colon, prostate, breast, lung, and pancreatic.

7. Skin Star

The vitamins C and D found in dates aid your skin's elasticity, keeping it smooth and youthful, and who doesn’t want that?

 

Recipe: Delicious Date Biscuit

Ingredients:

1/2 cup coconut oil

2 tbsp molasses

1 cup whole-spelt flour

1 cup desiccated coconut

1 cup pitted dates, chopped

1/4 cup chopped walnuts and pecans

1/3 cup honey

1 tsp baking powder

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp water

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 °C. Line one large baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Melt the coconut to form a liquid and add the molasses. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, honey, coconut, dates, walnuts, pecans, baking and cocoa powder. Mix well and add the coconut oil mixture and then water, combining well.
  4. Place heaped tablespoons of the mixture onto the lined trays and flatten slightly.
  5. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, until golden brown.

 

Photo Credit: Bigstockphoto

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