Superfood Spotlight: Why You Should Add Dates to Your Plate

fruit-199563_1280If you haven’t tried dates, you are seriously missing out. These small, fruits have a caramel-like flavor and are just the ticket to satisfy any sweet tooth—and they offer some surprising health benefits. Here a just a few.

Cut Colon Cancer Risk – Eating dates can help increase bowel movement frequency and cut your colon cancer risk, according to researchers at the University of Reading in the UK.

Enhance Eye Health – Dates contain zeaxanthin and lutein—important dietary carotenoids—that protect the retinal area of your eyes against age-related macular degeneration.

Regulate Blood Pressure – Potassium-rich dates —a one ounce serving (about two dates) contains approximately 171mg., help regulate your body’s blood pressure.

Lower Triglycerides – Dates are often referred to as “sugar bombs” because of their high sugar content. This, of course, would be of major concern for those concerned about weight gain or diabetes.  But, according to Israeli researchers, date consumption can help decrease your triglyceride levels as much as 15% and are not shown to worsen blood sugar levels.

Hailing originally from the middle east region, dates have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years. There are a wide variety of dates available, but the two most common types to be found in the U.S. are: Medjool, large, soft and very sweet and Deglet Noor, smaller and much less sweet than the Medjool. Both are available in just about any grocery store and can also be ordered online. Try Nuts.com. Dates are versatile and can be enjoyed as a snack or, as a delicious addition to smoothies, salads, and baked goods, to name a few. To get started, try this amazing recipe for Chai Spiced Sweet Potato Cornbread Muffins by Talia Fuhrman. I am so hooked on these muffins that I know the recipe by heart!

To your good health!

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