Medjool dates are more than just a way to satisfy your sweet tooth--they are chocked full of health benefits, with an impressive nutrient profile that will have you wanting to eat more dates!We aren’t going to waste our breath telling you how delicious dates are. Between the naturally sweet caramel flavor and the satisfying consistency these fruits offer, you will be hard-pressed to find a person who isn’t #teamdates.
Unfortunately, many foods that are absolutely craveable and delish aren’t so great for us when it comes to supporting our health (we’re looking at you bacon and gummy worms). But dates are one of those rare foods that check both the yummy and healthy boxes, making eating well a breeze for date lovers everywhere.
Here are some reasons why dates are a good for you food, and not just something you can eat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Dates are packed with nutrients
From calcium to iron to magnesium, dates are chock-full of important nutrients, making them a nutrient-dense sweet treat that is a logical alternative to nutrient-void caramels and other candies.
And we aren’t talking about a teeny tiny amount of key nutrients either. One 3.5 ounce serving of dates provides:
- 20% of the RDI for potassium
- 18% of the RDI for copper
- 12% of the RDI for vitamin B6
- 15% of the RDI for manganese
We dare you to find a candy that has as impressive a nutrient profile😜
The Fiber In Dates Can Support A Healthy Gut
Fiber is not digested by the human body, and is instead eliminated through the process of digestion. Why is this important?
Having undigestible carbs can help promote satiety, reduce the risk of experiencing a blood sugar spike when consumed with other carbs, can help promote healthy bowel movements, and depending on the variety of the fiber, can support a healthy microbiome.
Adults require between 21-38 grams of fiber every day, depending on factors like gender and age. Adding dates into your diet can help you reach your quota in a super-simple, no-fuss way.
One 3.5 ounce serving of dates provides a whopping 7 grams of fiber, making them a powerhouse for this incredibly important nutrient.
The Antioxidants In Dates May Protect Your Body From Chronic Diseases
OK- eating dates won’t be a magic bullet to living a cancer-free and heart disease-free life, especially if you have a family history of these diseases or live an otherwise unhealthy lifestyle. But including antioxidant-rich foods, like dates, can give your body a boost of protection to combat oxidative stress --- a natural process that may be linked to certain chronic disease development.
The Micronutrients In Dates Support Bone Health
When it comes to bone health, milk is the show's shining star thanks to its combo of nutrients like calcium and magnesium. But did you know that dates contain calcium and magnesium too? While they don’t have these bone-building nutrients in the same quantity as milk, they naturally occur in these tiny fruits, helping people meet their needs of these oftentimes under-consumed nutrients.
The Bottom line
When you bite into a Medjool date, you might have trouble believing it is good for you, but they pack a big nutritional punch! Browse our yummy organic medjool date recipes for some creative ideas to incorporate dates in sweet and savory ways.
Written by: Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LDN, CLEC, CPT
Registered Dietician, Nutritionist, Women's Health Expert and Freelance Writer