Date Fruit “Phoenix Dactylifera” : Everything You Need To Know


Date Fruit: (dates scientific name: Phoenix dactylifera) is a tropical monocotyledonous plant with an edible fruit with a thin skin and a sweet taste and hardcore. The fruits hang in large clusters from the branch, and the leaves are large. The height of the palm reaches 10 to 20 meters or more.

Dates Palm

What are date fruit?


Species Family Genus
P. dactylifera Arecaceae Phoenix

The date fruit species is widespread mainly in the northern hemisphere and Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries bordering the Persian Gulf and most of North Africa and the United States, and is also found in the southern hemisphere.

The unripe fruit of the date is first called “Pahak” (in Bushehr), and after turning yellow or red, it is called “Kharak” (and in Arabic, “Hababuk”).

Rutab is the pre-ripening stage of dates with more moisture and less sugar than fully ripe dates.
All parts of dates fruit are meaty and contain nutrients (date can eat even the seed). Date fruit has been in the human diet since ancient times and has been one of the humans’ oldest fruits.


The dates fruit family tree grows in tropical and subtropical regions, including Iran. Although its origins are mentioned in Mesopotamia, Saudi Arabia, and North Africa, scientific studies, it is known as P.H. Sivestris attributed to going to India. Archaeologists attribute the construction of the groves to 5,000 years ago because they got their name from clay tablets 50 centuries ago.

Palms and dates have been cultivated in Iran since ancient times and before the Achaemenid period. In Sassanid literature, including the book Bandheshan, the palm is mentioned.

Chinese sources refer to Iran as the land of date palms, known as Persian jujube and millennial jujube. At the end of the ninth century, date palms were taken from Iran to China and cultivated. Among European countries, Spain has a more extended history of date seed powder

Nutrition and Benefits

Dates are naturally rich in vitamins B6, A and K. These vitamins help to grow bones and improve eye health. The fiber in dates improves gut health and naturally lowers cholesterol levels. Dates may reduce the risk of colon and stomach cancers.

Other minerals in dates such as calcium, iron, potassium, protein, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and sulfur improve the general functioning of the body. These minerals are useful for metabolism and immune system function. Folate in dates is useful for pregnant women, and thiamine is beneficial for the nervous system.

To see all the dates benefits and its minerals, read the supplementary article “benefits of dates“.

Side Effects

Although dates have many properties, people are usually not aware of the side effects of consuming too many dates. This tropical treat is a popular snack; But its high consumption can cause many problems for human health.

Consuming too many dates can lead to abdominal problems, skin rashes, weight gain, high potassium (hyperkalemia) and “fructose intolerance” disease.

To see all the dates benefits and its minerals, read the supplementary article “side effects of dates“.

Videos of Date Fruit

How to Eat Fresh Dates Fruit?

How palm date trees are grown?

Amazing benefits of dates

Different Types

Types of dates are divided into two categories: fresh dates and dried (and semi-dried) dates. Each contains a different taste, size, and property.

Fresh date fruit or Wet date fruit:

Fresh dates fruit has higher moisture. Generally, these dates have a higher sweetness. Among the types of these dates, we can mention [kimia date – bam mazafati date – rutab barhi date – shahani date, etc. ] Due to the characteristics of this type, refrigeration is needed for transportation and storage and may not be found in all seasons. (This type is also known as soft dates)

Dried date fruit:

Moisture is more melancholy in this category. The sweetness of this date is lower than fresh dates. Among the types of these dates, we can mention [ Piarom date – Kabkab date – Rabbi date – Zahidi date – Sayer date – Lulu date, etc. ] Due to the characteristics of this type, refrigeration is not required for transportation and storage. (This type is also known as hard dates)

Dates can also include semi-fresh dates or semi-dried dates in the above category, and it is not necessary to consider two different types for it. [dried fruit dates] [dried fruit dates]

In this article, we tried to introduce you to the types of dates available in Iran, of course, there are other types of dates that are less known in other countries. To view this type of date and buy from sellers, follow the link. Wholesale Dates.


Dates are considered sweet fruits. But if we want to look more closely, some types are less sweet. Therefore, they are divided into two categories: very sweet and sweet.
Among its sweet varieties, we can mention Zahidi dates, and from very sweet, we can mention Mazafati dates.

Taste of dates


Cultivation of dates or the creation of palm groves is flourishing in the world’s tropical regions.


“Pajush” are the buds that grow on the stem or root of the plant.
In the past, farmers planted date kernels, which was not economically and temporally cost-effective. In a way that the degree of male and female growth was not known from the date kernel and people needed a limited number of male trees, a large number of male trees could grow unused and cause their pains, but the use of “Pajush” It solves this problem. Remember that for the “stump” to separate from the mother tree, and it must be three years old.
It is possible to catch “Pajush” in every season, but the heat of summer and cold of winter reduce this percentage, so early spring and autumn are better times to do so.

Cultivation of date tissue

In this case, a part of the young plant tissue of the palm tree is equipped in laboratory conditions and cultivated using stimulants. These seedlings need care for three years in a semi-enclosed and cared environment, and they produce about five years after planting.

This planting method has the following advantages:

  • It is possible to mass-produce it.
  • It is very suitable for export.
  • It has a higher advantage than “Pajush” because it is not infected with the virus.
  • It is possible to plant it in all seasons.

Fertile palm

In this case, the mature palm is uprooted and planted elsewhere.

Products made from date fruit

Dates can be consumed as fruit or processed and transformed into various forms. Tree wood, palm leaves, etc. can also be used, which we will mention below.
Date Seed: There is a hard kernel inside the date fruit. This core cannot be consumed without processing. By making changes, it becomes a powder and is used instead of coffee.

Read more: Date Seeds Benefits

Date Syrup: Just as dates have benefits, their syrup also has many benefits. Due to its abundance and naturalness, it is used in industries instead of sweeteners.

Read more: Date syrup Benefits

Chopped Date: Dates are cut into pieces and consumed with tea or coffee instead of sugar.

  • They make baskets from the leaves and branches of the palm tree.
  • They make bread from date seed: Date seed are turned into powder and then this powder is mixed with water and the dough obtained from it is turned into bread.
  • They also drink date seed powder instead of coffee: Date coffee drink tastes very similar to coffee. Many people are reluctant to drink coffee because of caffeine. This drink is a good alternative for these people.
  • Dates are used for food and as a fruit: Dates are found in dry, fresh and semi-dry varieties. This fruit is sweet and delicious and has many properties. This fruit can be eaten with almonds, pistachios and other nuts.
  • Dates are used as a sweetener in the confectionery industry.
  • Dates can be used with tea instead of sugar.
  • The people of the desert soak it in water for a few days and give it to their camels as nutritious food.

Pests of date fruit

To prevent date pests, it is necessary to pay attention to date preservation from the beginning of planting the product. Store dates after harvest is also important.

One of the most important pests of dates is Oractes elegans, Batrachedra amydraula.

You will see as soon:

  • Dates in different cultures and religions …..
  • Date production statistics in each country …..
  • video and image gallery about cultivate etc ….

Book Introduction

Date Palm Genetic Resources and Utilization: Volume 1 jameel M. Al-Khayri, ‎Shri Mohan Jain, ‎Dennis V. Johnson · 2015
This important 2-volume reference book is the first comprehensive resource reflecting the current global status and prospects of date palm cultivation by country. This volume covers Africa and the Americas.
Date Palm Genetic Resources and Utilization: Volume 2 Jameel M. Al-Khayri, ‎Shri Mohan Jain, ‎Dennis V. Johnson · 2015

In reality, the old practice should be updated by the international better practice to use plastic sheets beneath the date palm tree during harvest process to collect the harvested fruit bunches and keep fallen individual fruit free of …

Sustainable Pest Management in Date Palm: Current Status and Emerging Challenges Waqas Wakil, ‎Jose Romeno Faleiro, ‎Thomas A. Miller · 2015
The seasonal biology of E. ceratoniae is closely linked with the developmental stages of the date fruit (Nay and Perring 2008a). Carob moth does not feed on nonfruiting structures of dates, but they will infest the fruit of other hosts, …
Pests and Diseases of the Date Palm J. B. Carpenter, ‎H. S. Elmer · 1978

These conditions should be taken into account in planting and maintaining date orchards . wherever dates are grown . The economic importance of fruit rots varies greatly , since their incidence is governed by the occurrence of rain and …

Date Palm Biotechnology Shri Mohan Jain, ‎Jameel M. Al-Khayri, ‎Dennis V. Johnson · 2011 For instance, exogenous application of antioxidant substances such as alpha-tocopherol, enhanced the ability of date palm seedlings to tolerate environmental stress and improved growth performance (Awad et al. 2005).

Q&A about date fruit

How to store dates in the freezer?

Fresh and dried dates can be stored in the freezer for up to a year to keep them fresh. To freeze, place the dates in the freezer bag and vent. Leave some space for freezing dates. Then place in the coldest part of the freezer. When consuming, remove the dates 3 hours before. Melt the ice slowly or place in a bowl of warm water.

In general, due to the abundance of dates anytime and anywhere, it is better to eat dates fresh.

Is it necessary to wash or peel the dates before eating?

From a health point of view, it is necessary to wash dates like any other fruit before eating. There are all kinds of microorganisms and contaminants in groves.

Due to the dust phenomenon that has caused many problems in recent years in the western and southwestern regions of the country, washing dates before consumption has become more necessary, so it is recommended to wash dates thoroughly before consumption, but do not need to separate It does not peel it.

Why do some dates become sour?

Dates are rich in carbohydrates (sugars) and if the conditions for the growth of microorganisms are provided, soft dates, which have more moisture than their dried counterparts, will ferment quickly and get a sour taste and smell.

Relatively warm and humid air and the presence of oxygen are essential for the growth of microorganisms and the fermentation process, and if dates are stored at low temperatures such as refrigerators and in closed containers, their storage capacity will increase.




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  1. Phoenix dactylifera, commonly known as date or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family, Arecaceae, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit called dates. The species is widely cultivated across northern Africa, the Middle East, and South Asia, and is naturalized in many tropical and subtropical regions worldwide. P. dactylifera is the type species of genus Phoenix, which contains 12–19 species of wild date palms. Date trees reach up to 30 metres (100 feet) in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. Slow-growing, they can reach over 100 years of age when maintained properly. Date fruits (dates) are oval-cylindrical, 3 to 7 centimetres (1 to 3 inches) long, and about 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter, with colour ranging from dark brown to bright red or yellow, depending on variety. Containing 61–68 percent sugar by mass when dried, dates are very sweet and are enjoyed as desserts on their own or within confections. Dates have been cultivated in the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in Arabia from the 6th millennium BCE. The total annual world production of dates amounts to 8.5 million metric tons, countries of the Middle East and North Africa being the largest producers and consumers.
  2. Date trees reach up to 30 metres (100 feet) in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. Slow-growing, they can reach over 100 years of age when maintained properly.[7] The roots have pneumatodes.[10] The leaves are 4–6 m (13–20 ft) long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets. The leaflets are 30 centimetres (12 inches) long and 2 cm (1 in) wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6–10 m (20–33 ft). The date palm is dioecious, having separate male and female plants. They can be easily grown from seed, but only 50% of seedlings will be female and hence fruit-bearing, and dates from seedling plants are often smaller and of poorer quality. Most commercial plantations thus use cuttings of heavily cropping cultivars. Plants grown from cuttings will fruit 2–3 years earlier than seedling plants. Dates are naturally wind-pollinated, but in both traditional oasis horticulture and in the modern commercial orchards they are entirely pollinated manually. Natural pollination occurs with about an equal number of male and female plants. However, with assistance, one male can pollinate up to 100 females. Since the males are of value only as pollinators, they are usually pruned in favor of fruit-producing female plants. Some growers do not even maintain any male plants, as male flowers become available at local markets at pollination time. Manual pollination is done by skilled labourers on ladders, or by use of a wind machine. In some areas such as Iraq the pollinator climbs the tree using a special climbing tool that wraps around the tree trunk and the climber's back (called تبلية in Arabic) to keep him attached to the trunk while climbing. Date fruits are oval-cylindrical, 3–7 cm (1–3 in) long, and 2–3 cm (3⁄4–1+1⁄4 in) diameter, and when ripe, range from bright red to bright yellow in colour, depending on variety. Dates contain a single stone about 2–2.5 cm (3⁄4–1 in) long and 6–8 mm (1⁄4–5⁄16 in) thick. Three main cultivar groups exist: soft (e.g. 'Barhee', 'Halawy', 'Khadrawy', 'Medjool'); semi-dry (e.g. 'Dayri', 'Deglet Nour', 'Zahdi'), and dry (e.g. 'Thoory').
  3. In 2009, a team of researchers at the Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar published a draft version of the date palm genome (Khalas variety). The draft genome sequence was improved in 2019 with the release of a more complete genome sequence using small molecule real-time sequencing technology by a team from the New York University Abu Dhabi Center for Genomics and Systems Biology and the UAE University Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology in the United Arab Emirates. With the release of this improved genome assembly, the UAE researchers were able to map genes for fruit color and sugar content. The NYU Abu Dhabi researchers had also re-sequenced the genomes of several date varieties to develop the first single nucleotide polymorphism map of the date palm genome in 2015.
  4. The species name dactylifera 'date-bearing' is Latin, and is formed with the loanword dactylus in Latin from Greek daktylos (δάκτυλος), which means 'date' (also 'finger'), and with the native Latin fero, which means 'to bear'. The fruit is known as a date. The fruit's English name (through Old French, through Latin) comes from the Greek word for 'finger', δάκτυλος,[15] because of the fruit's elongated shape.
  5. The place of origin of the date palm is uncertain because of long cultivation. According to some sources it probably originated from the Fertile Crescent region straddling Egypt and Mesopotamia while others state that they are native to the Persian Gulf area or even western India. Fossil records show that the date palm has existed for at least 50 million years.
  6. A major palm pest, the red palm beetle (Rhynchophorus ferrugineus), currently poses a significant threat to date production in parts of the Middle East as well as to iconic landscape specimens throughout the Mediterranean world. Pinhas et al. 2008 uses piezoelectric sensors and speech recognition technology to detect R. ferrugineus. They achieved a 98% detection ratio on young P. dactylifera in very controlled laboratory conditions. Another significant insect pest is Ommatissus lybicus, sometimes called the "dubas bug", whose sap sucking results in sooty mould formation. In the 1920s, eleven healthy Medjool palms were transferred from Morocco to the United States where they were tended by members of the Chemehuevi tribe[which?] in a remote region of Nevada. Nine of these survived and in 1935, cultivars were transferred to the "U.S. Date Garden" in Indio, California. Eventually this stock was reintroduced to Africa and led to the U.S. production of dates in Yuma, Arizona, and Bard, California. As an invasive species Not all cities and countries have benefited with the date palms resilience and ease of growth. It has made the invasive species list in some parts of the United States, Canada and Australia but these references are to the related but inedible Canary Island date palm
  7. Dates are a traditional crop throughout the Middle East and north Africa. Dates (especially Medjool and Deglet Nour) are also cultivated in the southwestern United States, and in Sonora and Baja California in Mexico. Date palms can take 4 to 8 years after planting before they will bear fruit, and start producing viable yields for commercial harvest between 7 and 10 years. Mature date palms can produce 70–140 kilograms (150–300 pounds) of dates per harvest season. They do not all ripen at the same time so several harvests are required. To obtain fruit of marketable quality, the bunches of dates must be thinned and bagged or covered before ripening so that the remaining fruits grow larger and are protected from weather and animals, such as birds, that also like to eat them. Date palms require well-drained deep sandy loam soils with a pH of 8–11 (alkaline). The soil should have the ability to hold moisture and also be free of calcium carbonate. Dates have been cultivated in the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years, and there is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in Mehrgarh, a Neolithic civilization in western Pakistan, around 7000 BCE and in eastern Arabia between 5530 and 5320 calBC. Dates have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt. The ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine and ate dates at harvest.[citation needed] Evidence of cultivation is continually found throughout later civilizations in the Indus Valley, including the Harappan period from 2600 to 1900 BCE. One cultivar, the Judean date palm, is renowned for its long-lived orthodox seed, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2,000 years. The upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown. A genomic study from New York University Abu Dhabi Center for Genomics and Systems Biology showed that domesticated date palm varieties from North Africa, including well-known varieties such as Medjool and Deglet Nour, are a hybrid between Middle East date palms and the Cretan wild palm, P. theophrasti. Date palms appear in the archaeological record in North Africa about 2,800 years ago, suggesting that the hybrid was spread by the Minoans or Phoenicians. An article on date palm tree cultivation is contained in Ibn al-'Awwam's 12th-century agricultural work, Book on Agriculture.
  8. A large number of date cultivars and varieties emerged through history of its cultivation, but the exact number is difficult to assess. Hussain and El-Zeid (1975) have reported 400 varieties, while Nixon (1954) named around 250. Most of those are limited to a particular region, and only a few dozen have attained broader commercial importance. The most renowned cultivars worldwide include Deglet Noor, originally of Algeria; Yahidi and Hallawi of Iraq; Medjool of Morocco; Mazafati of Iran.
  9. Dry or soft dates are eaten out-of-hand, or may be pitted and stuffed with fillings such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, candied orange and lemon peel, tahini, marzipan or cream cheese. Pitted dates are also referred to as stoned dates. Partially dried pitted dates may be glazed with glucose syrup for use as a snack food. Dates can also be chopped and used in a range of sweet and savory dishes, from tajines (tagines) in Morocco to puddings, ka'ak (types of Arab cookies) and other dessert items. Date nut bread, a type of cake, is very popular in the United States, especially around holidays. Dates are also processed into cubes, paste called 'ajwa, spread, date syrup or "honey" called "dibs" or rub in Libya, powder (date sugar), vinegar or alcohol. Vinegar made from dates was a traditional product of the Middle East.Recent innovations include chocolate-covered dates and products such as sparkling date juice, used in some Islamic countries as a non-alcoholic version of champagne, for special occasions and religious times such as Ramadan. When Muslims break fast in the evening meal of Ramadan, it is traditional to eat a date first. Reflecting the maritime trading heritage of Britain, imported chopped dates are added to, or form the main basis of a variety of traditional dessert recipes including sticky toffee pudding, Christmas pudding and date and walnut loaf. They are particularly available to eat whole at Christmas time. Dates are one of the ingredients of HP Sauce, a popular British condiment. In Southeast Spain (where a large date plantation exists including UNESCO-protected Palmeral of Elche) dates (usually pitted with fried almond) are served wrapped in bacon and shallow fried. In Israel date syrup, termed silan, is used while cooking chicken and also for sweets and desserts, and as a honey substitute. Dates are one of the ingredients of jallab, a Middle-Eastern fruit syrup. In Pakistan, a viscous, thick syrup made from the ripe fruits is used as a coating for leather bags and pipes to prevent leaking.
  10. On average, dates contain 21% water, 75% carbohydrates (63% sugars and 8% dietary fiber), 2% protein, and less than 1% fat (table). In a 100-gram (3+1⁄2 oz) reference amount, dates supply 1,180 kilojoules (280 kilocalories) of food energy and are a moderate source (10-19% of the Daily Value) of pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and the dietary minerals magnesium, manganese, and potassium, with other micronutrients in low amounts (table). Glucose makes up about 55% of sugar content in dates, while fructose is about 45%, and sucrose is negligible. A 2011 study found that the glycemic index (GI) for five different varieties of date had a range of 46–55, while a 2002 report showed GI values of 31–50, results indicating dates are a relatively low GI food source.
  11. In the past, sticky dates were served using specialized small forks having two metal tines, called daddelgaffel in Scandinavia. Some designs were patented. These have generally been replaced by an inexpensive pale-colored knobbled plastic fork that resembles a date branch, which is traditionally included with numerous brands of prepackaged trays of dates (example), though this practice has declined in response to increased use of resealable packaging and calls for fewer single-use plastics.
  12. Date seeds are soaked and ground up for animal feed. Their oil is suitable for use in cosmetics and dermatological applications. The oil contains lauric acid (36%) and oleic acid (41%). Date palm seeds contain 0.56–5.4% lauric acid. They can also be processed chemically as a source of oxalic acid. Date seeds are also ground and used in the manner of coffee beans, or as an additive to coffee. Experimental studies have shown that feeding mice with the aqueous extract of date pits exhibit anti-genotoxic effects and reduce DNA damage induced by N-nitroso-N-methylurea.
  13. In North Africa, date palm leaves are commonly used for making huts. Mature leaves are also made into mats, screens, baskets, and fans. Processed leaves can be used for insulating board. Dried leaf petioles are a source of cellulose pulp, used for walking sticks, brooms, fishing floats, and fuel. Leaf sheaths are prized for their scent, and fibre from them is also used for rope, coarse cloth, and large hats.
  14. Young date leaves are cooked and eaten as a vegetable, as is the terminal bud or heart, though its removal kills the palm. The finely ground seeds are mixed with flour to make bread in times of scarcity. The flowers of the date palm are also edible. Traditionally the female flowers are the most available for sale and weigh 300–400 grams (10+1⁄2–14 oz). The flower buds are used in salad or ground with dried fish to make a condiment for bread.
  15. In Ancient Rome the palm fronds used in triumphal processions to symbolize victory were most likely those of P. dactylifera. The date palm was a popular garden plant in Roman peristyle gardens, though it would not bear fruit in the more temperate climate of Italy. It is recognizable in frescoes from Pompeii and elsewhere in Italy, including a garden scene from the House of the Wedding of Alexander. In later times, traders spread dates around southwest Asia, northern Africa, and Spain. Dates were introduced into California by the Spaniards by 1769, existing by then around Mission San Diego de Alcalá, and were introduced to Mexico as early as the 16th century.
  16. Dates are mentioned more than 50 times in the Bible and 20 times in the Quran. Date palms holds great significance in Abrahamic religions. The tree was heavily cultivated as a food source in ancient Israel where Judaism and subsequently Christianity developed. Date palm leaves are used for Palm Sunday in the Christian religion.
  17. Many Jewish scholars believe that the "honey" reference in Exodus chapter 3 to "a land flowing with milk and honey" is actually a reference to date "honey", and not honey from bees. In the Torah, palm trees are referenced as symbols of prosperity and triumph.[52] Psalm 92:12 states that "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree." Palm branches occurred as iconography in sculpture ornamenting the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, on Jewish coins, and in the sculpture of synagogues. They are also used as ornamentation in the Feast of the Tabernacles. Date palms are one of the seven species of native Israeli plants revered in Judaism. The date palm has historically been considered a symbol of Judea and the Jewish people. The leaves are used as a lulav in the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. They are also commonly used as the s'chach in the construction of a sukkah.
  18. In the Quran, Allah instructs Maryām (the Virgin Mary) to eat dates during labour pains when she gives birth to Isa (Jesus). In Islamic culture, dates and yogurt or milk are traditionally the first foods consumed for Iftar after the sun has set during Ramadan.
  19. A date is a stone fruit, meaning it has a single seed surrounded by an outer fleshy fruit (like peaches, mangoes, and olives). They're grown on date palm trees, so where you would usually invision coconuts, picture big bunches of hundreds of dates!
  20. Dates are a bit of mystery fruit. I first encountered them on a trip to Morocco where they were served with most meals. Almost like you would get a basket of bread at a restaurant in the U.S. But after a bout of food poisoning that knocked me out of the game for a week (unrelated to said dates), I blocked all memories of Moroccan food from my brain, dates included. But as I got deeper into the world of cooking, especially healthy cooking, I realized I needed to come to terms with my disdain for dates. Because they’re actually…pretty great.
  21. Great questions! A date is a stone fruit, meaning it has a single seed surrounded by an outer fleshy fruit (like peaches, mangoes, and olives). They’re grown on date palm trees, so where you would usually invision coconuts, picture big bunches of hundreds of dates! And they go way back. Like 50 million years back, according to fossils. Us humans quickly learned of their magic back in Mesopotamia, and the date has remained popular in that region (Iraq, Middle East, Northern Africa) ever since. Egypt is the largest producer of dates today, followed by just about every other Middle Eastern country. But of course, an ever-globalizing world means just about everyone can get their hands on some tasty dates nowadays. I’ve found them in the bulk foods section, with the produce, and bagged or boxed with other shelf-stable foods in many groceries. Choose dates that are shiny, unbroken, and not too hard. Don’t worry if they’re wrinkly, that’s normal!
  22. There are about a million and one varieties of dates grown around the world, but in the U.S. you’ll mostly find the plump and tender Medjool Dates. There’s also the slender Deglet Noor Date, supposedly the “Queen of Dates”.
  23. Store in an airtight container either in the fridge (up to a year) or at room temperature (a few months). How can they stay good for this long? Dates have the lowest moisture content of any whole fruit, only 30%, meaning they’re naturally dehydrated! As they age, the sugars in the date will gradually move to the surface, forming little sugar white spots. Fret not, these are not mold.
  24. date palm, (Phoenix dactylifera), tree of the palm family (Arecaceae) cultivated for its sweet edible fruits. The date palm has been prized from remotest antiquity and may have originated in what is now Iraq. The fruit has been the staple food and chief source of wealth in the irrigable deserts of North Africa and the Middle East. Spanish missionaries carried the tree to the New World in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Date palms are grown in the Canary Islands, northern Africa, the Middle East, Pakistan, India, Mexico, and the U.S. state of California.
  25. Dates have a long shelf life, and many varieties, including the common deglet noor, are often sold dried and processed. The dried fruit is more than 50 percent sugar by weight and contains about 2 percent each of protein, fat, and mineral matter. Other types of dates, such as the medjool, are eaten as fresh produce and gradually shrink and wrinkle as they age.
  26. The date palm grows about 23 metres (75 feet) tall. Its stem, strongly marked with the pruned stubs of old leaf bases, terminates in a crown of graceful, shining, pinnate leaves about 5 metres (16 feet) long. Floral spikes branch from the axils of leaves that emerged the previous year. Male and female flowers are borne on separate plants. Under cultivation the female flowers are artificially pollinated. The date is a one-seeded fruit, or drupe, usually oblong but varying much in shape, size, colour, quality, and consistency of flesh, according to the conditions of culture and the variety. More than 1,000 dates may appear on a single bunch weighing 8 kg (18 pounds) or more.
  27. The tree is propagated either from seeds or from suckers, offshoots that arise chiefly near the base of the stem in the early years of the life of the palm. Offshoots are used for commercial plantings. When offshoots are three to six years old and have formed roots of their own, they are removed and planted. Palms begin to bear fruit in 4 to 5 years and reach full bearing at 10 to 15 years, yielding 40 to 80 kg (90 to 180 pounds) or more each. Palms are known to live as long as 150 years, but their fruit production declines, and in commercial culture they are replaced at an earlier age.
  28. All parts of the date palm yield products of economic value. Its trunk furnishes timber; the midribs of the leaves supply material for crates and furniture; the leaflets, for basketry; the leaf bases, for fuel; the fruit stalks, for rope and fuel; the fibre, for cordage and packing material; and the seeds are sometimes ground and used as stock feed. Syrup, alcohol, vinegar, and a strong liquor are derived from the fruit. The sap is also used as a beverage, either fresh or fermented, but, because the method of extraction seriously injures the palm, only those trees that produce little fruit are used for sap. When a palm is cut down, the tender terminal bud is eaten as a salad.
  29. Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq are the leading date-producing and date- exporting countries, although fruit from Algeria and Tunisia also is well known in Europe. California is the major American producer. The date palm is grown as an ornamental tree along the Mediterranean shores of Europe, and its leaves are used for the celebration of Palm Sunday among Christians and for the celebration of Sukkoth (Feast of Tabernacles) among Jews.
  30. Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years. Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried. You can tell whether or not dates are dried based on their appearance. Wrinkled skin indicates they are dried, whereas smooth skin indicates freshness. Depending on the variety, fresh dates are fairly small in size and range in color from bright red to bright yellow. Commonly consumed varieties include Medjool and Deglet Noor dates. Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses. This article will discuss 8 health benefits of eating dates and how to incorporate them into your diet.
  31. Dates have an excellent nutrition profile. Since they’re dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs. Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of Medjool dates provides the following nutrients: Calories: 277 Carbs: 75 grams Fiber: 7 grams Protein: 2 grams Potassium: 15% DV Magnesium: 13% DV Copper: 40% DV Manganese: 13% DV Iron: 5% DV Vitamin B6: 15% DV Dates are also high in antioxidants, which may contribute to many of their health benefits
  32. Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health. With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake. Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool. In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates. Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating. For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food.
  33. Dates provide various antioxidants that have a number of health benefits, including a reduced risk of several diseases. Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease. Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content. Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates: Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer. Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration. Phenolic acid: Known for their anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acids may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease.
  34. Eating dates may help improve brain function. Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Additionally, other studies including animal studies have shown dates to be helpful for reducing the activity of amyloid beta proteins, which can form plaques in the brain. When plaques accumulate in the brain, they may disturb communication between brain cells, which can ultimately lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s disease. One animal study found that mice fed food mixed with dates had significantly better memory and learning ability, as well as less anxiety-related behaviors, compared to those that did not eat them. The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids. However, more human studies are needed to confirm the role of dates in brain health.
  35. Dates have been studied for their potential to promote and ease late-term labor in pregnant people. Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labor. They may also be helpful in reducing labor time. An older meta-analysis from 2011 looking at studies where pregnant people took dates prior to their due date found those who ate dates were in labor for less time than those who did not eat them, but also notes that the link between eating dates and a faster delivery needs to be researched further. A 2017 study of 154 pregnant people found that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not. A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant people who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily starting the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labor for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates. Although eating dates appears to help promote labor and reduce labor duration, more research is needed to confirm these effects. The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labor contractions during childbirth. Additionally, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor
  36. Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit . For this reason, dates are very sweet and also have a subtle caramel-like taste. They make a great healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to the nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants that they provide. The best way to substitute dates for white sugar is to make date paste, as in this recipe. It is made by mixing dates with water in a blender. A rule of thumb is to replace sugar with date paste at a 1:1 ratio. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you’ll replace it with 1 cup of date paste. It is important to note that although dates are high in fiber and nutrients, they are still fairly high in calories and best consumed in moderation.
  37. People claim dates have a few other health benefits that have not yet been extensively studied. Bone health: Dates contain several minerals, including phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium. All of these have been studied for their potential to prevent bone-related conditions like osteoporosis. Blood sugar control: Dates have the potential to help with blood sugar regulation due to their low glycemic index, fiber, and antioxidants. Thus, eating them may support diabetes management. Although these potential health benefits are promising, more human studies are needed before conclusions can be made.
  38. Dates are incredibly versatile and make a delicious snack. They are often paired with other foods, such as almonds, nut butter, or soft cheese. Dates are also very sticky, which makes them useful as a binder in baked goods, such as cookies and bars. You can also combine dates with nuts and seeds to make healthy snack bars or energy balls, as in this recipe. What’s more, you can use dates to sweeten up sauces, such as salad dressings and marinades, or blend them into smoothies and oatmeal. It is important to note that dates are high in calories and their sweet taste makes them easy to overeat. For this reason, they are best consumed in moderation.
  39. Dates are a healthy fruit to include in your diet. They are high in several nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants, all of which may provide health benefits ranging from improved digestion to a reduced risk of disease. There are several ways to add dates to your diet. One popular way to eat them is as a natural sweetener in various dishes. They also make a great snack. It’s easiest to find dates in their dried form, though these are higher in calories than fresh fruit so it is important to eat them in moderation. Dates are definitely worth adding to your diet, as they are both nutritious and delicious.

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