In a period of high demand on the human immune system like the COVID-19 era, there are fruits that are handy and useful to curb the the spread f the virus by boosting the immune system. Dates is one of such powerful fruits that are readily available.
Dates or date palm, is a flowering plant species in the palm family. It is usually cultivated for its edible sweet fruit.
The date fruit 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, in many tropical regions of the world.
When harvested, the date fruit is eaten fresh, or could be dried before consumption. Usually, when they are fresh, the skin is smooth, light yellow coloured, and soft to touch. When dry, the skin appears wrinkled,and dark brown. It is also hard to the touch.
In recent years, Dates have become quite popular, and so, they are added to meals in various ways. They are eaten as a snack and sometimes used as sweeteners in locally made drinks and cereals.
DID YOU KNOW?
According to Medical News Today,
*Dates are known for their high content of natural sugars.
* Dried dates have a higher calorie content when compared to the fresh fruit.
*Dates help Promote healthy bowel movement and control diarrhoea, a result of it’s high calcium content.
*They Strengthen the bones and provide energy for anaemic patients.
Dates are also helpful in:
*Reducing allergic reactions,
*Maintaining healthy weight,
*Boosting the nervous system; and
*Reducing the risk of stroke.
The high fibre content of dates is what makes it ease digestion and prevent constipation. The fruit is also high in carbohydrates which help to top up your energy reserves!
Another plus is that dates are a great source of iron, a mineral that helps your body to breathe and promotes the transportation of oxygen from the lungs to the organs.
What’s more, dates are excellent for sight; indeed, they contain zeaxanthin which is healthy for our vision and prevents its deterioration; and lutein, an essential component of the pigment contained in the macula, part of the eye.
Dates are rich in iron too. Iron is an essential mineral as it helps reduce the onset of anaemia. In fact, 100 grams of dates contains 0.90 grams of iron. Second, dates are a good source of potassium which can ward off strokes.
Eating dates is also a way to prevent arterial hypertension because they are low in sodium and high in potassium. They also have a positive effect on the heart as dates can reduce the accumulation of fat in the arteries.
The benefits of eating dates are enormous. They also boost the immune system, and so could said to be used to fight against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) as an immune booster.
Pictures: Jacinta Osagie
Story: Ene Ken-Yawe