SERVING SIZE: 2 whole
SPECIES: Phoenix dactylifera
Compare dates (dried) with these other fruits
How Can This Ayurvedic Food Make You Feel Great?
Dates - A Remedy for Obesity?Date sugars contain more complex carbohydrates than other fruits. These complex carbohydrates are heavier to digest, and because they release their energy more slowly into your body, curb your appetite longer than simple sugars. For this reason dates have been used to treat obesity; they satisfy the sweet craving and prevent binging on heavier, fattier foods like ice-cream. Too many dates, however, can make your stomach feel heavy and digestion sluggish. Since dates are high in sugar, they are contraindicated for diabetics.
Dates for Nursing MothersDates have been traditionally used by Muslim pregnant mothers to facilitate childbirth. The story goes that when the Virgin Mary was giving birth, she heard a voice telling her, "Shake the trunk of the palm tree towards thee: it will drop fresh, ripe dates upon thee. Eat, then, and drink, and be comforted." (Qur'an 19:25-26). Oxytocin helps the uterus contract and tones reproductive organs after birth. Oxytocin also stimulates the let down reflex for breastfeeding mothers and alleviates depression during breast feeding.
They are a demulcent (link to definition of demulcent) salve which pacifies infants, can relieve pain during teething, and reduces the heart rate. For this reason dates are also used to break the fast during Ramadan in Morocco. The sucrose (sugar) of the dates is responsible for its mild analgesic effect. Dates pureed into milk are a restorative male reproductive tonic.
A Muscle TonicDates are a tonic for the muscles and heart. Re-balancing electrolytes is essential to smooth muscle function. Muscle twitches or spasms are often a sign of electrolyte imbalance. Since dates are high in dietary potassium, they are helpful in re-balancing electrolytes and supporting good muscle function. Their Pitta pacifying effect on the liver helps maintain good vision and prevent night blindness and they are believed to counteract the effects of alcohol intoxication. Dates are high in tannins and useful for toning the digestive tract after diarrhea. A date and honey paste has been a traditional treatment of diarrhea and dysentery.
Vata people suffering from dryness should take care, however. Potassium rich foods tend be diuretic in nature. Dried fruits in general may exacerbate dehydration by absorbing fluids in the stomach. Vata people who tend towards dryness should sip water between bites and fully chew the date, reconstituting it in the mouth instead of the stomach.