The surprising health benefits of the sugary date fruit

The cultivation of dates, the fruit of the date palm, began more than 5,000 years ago in regions of the Arabian Peninsular, Middle East, and North Africa. Dates have been praised from ancient times for their numerous health benefits in both religious texts and traditional medicine. There are approximately 20 varieties of dates, yet only four varieties were found to have significant health benefits: yellow Barhi, Deri, Medjool and Halawi.
Israeli Study: Dates are Heart Healthy
A recent date study by Prof. Michael Aviram and colleagues from Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology was published in the Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry.
The study found that dates improved triglyceride profiles, and lowered oxidative stress levels by “reducing blood triglycerides,” which “improves the quality” of blood cholesterol by reducing its oxidation.” What’s more, dates attach themselves help remove free radicals from the body.
The researchers concluded that the above benefits translate into a reduced risk for heart attacks, strokes, and vascular disease. His date study found that dates can slow and even reverse “atherosclerosis [accumulation of fatty plaque] in the coronary arteries.”
Blood Sugar and Glycemic Issues
Interestingly, despite dates containing tons of sugar (80% by weight), it seems that anyone can safely eat up to three dates a day without concerns about raising blood sugar levels.
However, Aviram warned that since dates do indeed have a lot of sugar, they are not recommended for diabetics, even though they do not raise blood sugar significantly. Surprisingly, a study published in the May 28, 2011 Nutrition Journal determined that moderate consumption of dates did not significantly raise the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetics.
Dates are generally considered a low-glycemic food. The glycemic index (GI) measures how quickly various foods increase blood sugar levels. Whole foods with high sugar content along with …
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