:Do you like dates? I think they have real superfood qualities and are absolutely delicious to boot. If you’re looking for ways to reduce added sugar but still keep some sweetness in your diet, then dates are pretty good for that.
In my family dates are eaten as a sweet treat to substitute candy or cookies. I’ve also used them to sweeten baked food as a natural substitute to added sugar. A few weeks ago I posted a recipe for Dark Chocolate Cake with Almonds which is gluten, sugar and dairy free. The sweetness comes from dried pitted dates and it’s a really yummy cake to bake.
Dates are grown on the date palm tree and have been grown since approximately 6000 B.C. Yes, you read it correctly, they’ve been around for thousands of years! Dates are one of the sweetest fruits around (and so they should be eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet) Although dates can be eaten fresh, the fruit is very often dried, resembling raisins or plums. But whether fresh or dry, the health benefits of dates are still just as plentiful. Here are just some of them:
- Promoting Digestive Health. Fiber is essential for promoting colon health and keeping us regular! The insoluble and soluble fiber found in dates help to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work at greater levels of efficiency.
- Boosting Heart Health. In addition to promoting colon health, fiber is also known to boost heart health.
- Anti-Inflammatory. Dates are rich in magnesium, a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.
- Reduced Blood Pressure. Magnesium has been shown to help lower blood pressure – and again, dates are full of the mineral. Additionally, potassium is another mineral in dates that has several functions within the body, aiding with the proper workings of the heart and helping reduce blood pressure.
ps. Dates are also sublime when paired with strong cheeses, a delicious combination!