A date is a fruit of the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) that is distinguished by its unique sweet taste and a fleshy pulp. It is a popular fruit that provides us with diverse beneficial nutrients and medicinal properties that protect our bodies from several ailments. Date belongs to the palm family of Palmae or Arecaceae and there are over 200 varieties of this fruit all over the world. The fruit can be consumed fresh, in dried form, semi-ripe or fully ripe. Types of date fruit include Munifi, Khodry, Ajwa, Khalas, Segae, Ruthana, Hilali, Sefri and Sukkary. This distinctive fruit offers medicinal benefits in diverse ways and it is remarkable for its anti-bacterial, gastroprotective, antimutagenic, antiulcer, immunostimulant, antimicrobial, immunomodulatory, nephroprotective, hepatoprotective, anticancer, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Date is a rich source of minerals, vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), C, nicotinic acid (niacin), carbohydrate, fat, protein, dietary fibre, fluorine, calcium, magnesium, cobalt, phosphorous, boron, selenium, sodium, manganese, copper, iron, potassium, zinc and fatty acids (oleic, palmitoleic, linolenic and linoleic acids). The date seed is a rich source of sulphur, pectin, aluminium, lead, chloride and cadmium.
Date Palm

20 Notable Benefits of Dates

Effects on the Reproductive System, Pregnancy and Lactation
Dates can be combined with cinnamon and milk then taken as an aphrodisiac for stimulating sexual urge. The fruit supports cervical dilatation and aids easy labour in women who consume it. Dates and its products are considered to be a powerful tonic for expectant and postpartum women. The common belief is that consuming dates by these categories of women pre and post delivery helps to tone and strengthen the uterine muscles. Dates help to activate the delivery process as well as help to prevent postdelivery bleeding due to its high constituents of constricting substances. The rich amount of threonine, potassium and glycine in dates helps to activate the production of prolactin (milk hormone). A minimal amount of oxytocin is found in dates thus can act as a galactagogue for stimulating the secretion of breast milk.
Anti-diabetic Benefits
Studies revealed that the intake of dates is beneficial in the glycaemic and lipid control of diabetic patients. Date fruit is a rich constituent of zinc, magnesium and manganese, thus stimulates the synthesis and secretion of insulin. The dietary fibre in date helps to regulate the glucose absorption and insulin secretion and decreased HbA1c. This suggests why high-fibre diets are recommended for diabetic patients. In folklore medicine, the date seed powder is a powerful medicine for treating diabetic patients.
Treatment of Sore Throat, Colds, Fever and Asthma
Decocted dates, dates paste, dates syrup or infused dates can be used for treating sore throat, colds, fever and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membranes). Dates paste produced from its powdered seeds can be taken to relieve malarial fever (ague). Date fruit can be decocted together with fenugreek and then used for treating bronchial asthma. These benefits can be attributed to the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of dates.
Nephroprotective and Hemolytic Activities
Due to the nephroprotective and diuretic properties of the date fruit, it is suitable for preventing the formation of renal calculi and can restore renal functions. For diuretic purposes, seven dates can be decocted and taken hot, twice daily for 15 days. Date extract helps to neutralize the hemolytic activity of Streptolysin O. and Streptococcal exotoxin.
Antianalgesic and Antipyretic Effects
Coffee produced from powdered date stones can be taken twice a day for relieving gout pains. Date pastes can be combined with margarine and used as an analgesic and antipyretic. This mixture can be externally applied to poisonous bites and abscesses to prevent poisonous effects. Date palm roots are effective for tackling toothache.
Treatment of Abdominal Problems
Due to the high amount of phenolic element in the date fruit, it is considered suitable for tackling abdominal issues. Thus, it can act as either an astringent or a cleansing agent in abdominal problems. Moreover, due to its laxative and antidysentery properties, some researchers report that a daily intake of seven dates soaked in water especially before going to bed can destroy Ascaris lumbricoides (giant intestinal roundworms). Water extracts of date fruit are useful for reducing the hyperacidity of the stomach.
Anti-microbial Activity
Dates contain anti-microbial properties thus suitable for preventing and treating bacterial diseases. A recent study revealed that the ethanol and acetone extracts of date can inhibit the growth of Gram positive and Gram negative bacteria for example; Klebsiella pneumonia, Alternaria sp, Escherichia coli, E. fecalis, Fusarium sp. and F. oxysporum.
Anti-oxidant Effects
The date leaf is an excellent source of natural antioxidant. Scientific studies have shown that the aqueous extracts of the date fruit contain antioxidant properties due to its high constituent of polyphenols, phenolics and carotenoids. Therefore, the date fruit is capable of neutralizing free radicals in the body while eventually inhibiting the onset of various types of diseases.
Anti-inflammatory Activity
Date fruit is anti-inflammatory in nature. Some studies have revealed that the methanolic extract of the date fruit is capable of reducing foot swelling and plasma fibrinogen. Besides, the date leaf is an excellent source of natural anti-inflammatory drugs.
Edible Purposes
Date fruits are very delicious and sweet thus consumed either as whole fruit, dried fruit or in smoothies. A date can serve as a food sweetener and can be used for producing candies, sweets, chocolates etc. Some people use dates as a special condiment for food preparation.
Boosts Immunity
Date fruit is an excellent source of elements such as Selenium, hydroxyl pope folic acid and dietary fibres. Its consumption helps to boost the body's immunity thereby preventing the onset of diseases such as cancer and heart diseases.
Effect of dates on infertility
Dates can be used for tackling infertility. Studies revealed that certain elements from date palm pollen extract (DPP) such as carotenoids, rutin, sterols and estrone can help to boost male fertility.
Treatment of Ophthalmic Disorders
The daily intake of date fruits and its decoction as an eye lotion is helpful for maintaining eye hygiene and for treating ophthalmic disorders such as night blindness.
Alleviates Potassium Deficiency
Being an excellent source of potassium with low sodium contents, date fruits are suitable for alleviating potassium deficiency.
Maintains Sodium−Potassium Balance
Due to the ability of dates to maintain the body's sodium−potassium balance, it is useful for tackling cardiac disorder especially after vomiting, diarrhoea or post-intake of diuretic drugs.
Aids Digestion
Due to the high dietary fibre content of the date fruit, its daily consumption can aid easy food digestion. Furthermore, kids suffering from sensitive stomachs can take the water extracts of this fruit to aid the digestion of milk.
Antihistaminic Properties
Date pastes contain antihistaminic properties thus useful for controlling allergies when externally applied on the skin. Date seeds can also be used for making soap that is capable of tackling skin allergies
Remedy for Dehydration
Date fruits can be decocted, mixed with table salt and consumed to tackle dehydration caused as a result of diarrhoea and vomiting.
Protects Against Teeth Decay
Date fruit is an excellent source of fluorine thus essential for protecting the teeth against decay.
Anti-tumour Effects
The date fruit is a rich source of beta D-glucan thus exhibits antitumour effects.

This post is for enlightenment purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for professional diagnostic and treatments. Remember to always consult your healthcare provider before making any health-related decisions or for counselling, guidance and treatment about a specific medical condition.
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