Dates have been cultivated since about 6000 years BC. Archeological evidence reveals that the dates began to be cultivated in the eastern region of Arabia, which later evolved into the northern part of Africa, Italy, Spain and Southeast Asia.
In 1765, the Spaniards introduced dates to California and Mexico. Until now it has cultivated types Deglet Noor and Medjool dates in Arizona and southern California region United States. Date palms (Phoenix dactylifera) produce oval shaped fruit with a length of about 3 cm and 2 cm wide. The fruit is always used on many types of food the Middle East and the Mediterranean, and usually more often consumed as a whole.
Sources of Energy
Dates consist of fairly high sugar and are generally derived from the type of glucose and fructose. However, Deglet Noor varieties that grows in California containing sucrose (sugar). Type of sugar found in dates is the result of processing natural and does not harmful to health.
High sugar level makes this fruit is a source of instant energy to restore the lost energy during fasting and normalize blood sugar levels. That is why the palm is considered as an ideal fruit for breaking a dish or meal. Glass of water containing glucose, according to Dr. David Conning, Director General of the British Nutrition Foundation, will be absorbed by the body within 20-30 minutes.
But the sugar contained in dates absorbed within 40-45 minutes. This is due to the fibers contained inside. So that people who eat dates at meal time will be fresh and full longer.
Sources of Fibers
The next essential health benefits are a good source of dietary fiber. The American Cancer Society recommends eating 20-30 grams per day. Dietary fiber consists of two types of soluble dietary fiber and insoluble dietary fiber. Insoluble dietary fiber works to increase the volume of stool thus decreasing intestinal transit time and more easily removed.
The decrease stool transit time will decrease the contact time of mucosal cells in the colon with carcinogenic substances from feces. Soluble dietary fiber may help control diabetes by lowering blood sugar levels. Additionally soluble dietary fiber also acts to reduce levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.
Dates contain minerals that are beneficial to health. The function of minerals in general is to make more regular heart rate, to activate muscle contractions as well as to play a role in blood pressure. Dates are rich in potassium and low in sodium. Potassium plays a role in maintaining muscle contraction including heart muscle.
In addition, it also serves to maintain the nervous system and balance the body’s metabolism. Because potassium is not saved in the body and many lost through sweat, so it needs to be supplied from food. Furthermore, it also helps to lower blood pressure.
According to Drs. Louis Tobian, Jr., a High blood disease expert from the University of Minnesota USA, dates can help to lower blood pressure, and can provide additional strength in preventing strokes directly, however the condition of a person’s blood pressure.
The conclusion of the results of research is extra consumption of potassium can be keep artery walls remain elastic and function normally. This situation makes the blood vessels are not easily damaged by blood pressure. The results of the study recommended consuming about 400 mg of potassium to reduce the risk of stroke by 40 %. To meet these needs, we only need to consume about 65 grams or 5 pieces of dried dates. In addition to potassium, dates also contain essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, copper and phosphorus.
Source of Vitamins
Vitamins contained in fruit and dates, including vitamin A, thiamine (Vitamin B1), riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid (Vitamin B5 ). In addition, there is also vitamin C and vitamin E. Vitamin A serves to maintain function and prevent eye dryness and eye diseases. Vitamin B serves to calm the nervous system and relaxation of the heart as well as your mind becomes more carefree.
Source of Phytochemicals
Dates contain natural salicylates in low doses. Salicylates are known as aspirin raw materials and function to reduce pain and fever. Based on the experts expect the low-dose continuous salilisat in dates can also relieve headaches. Moreover dates contain some kind of hormone called potuchsin can shrink blood vessels in the uterus, thus it can prevent the occurrence of uterine bleeding. This food also contains a number of phenolic compounds and carotenoids that act as antioxidants.