Could you have imagined that a sweet dried fruit instead of adding unwanted calories in your body can actually help you to lose weight and achieve your desired look? Little surprising right? Well, you read that right. We are talking about dates, the sticky, sweet, super nutritious dried fruit that has taken the nutritional world by storm for its effective weight loss properties.
Due to its high sugar content, dates were often dismissed as weight loss companions, however, with an increase in research and studies on dates nowadays, dieticians and nutritionists worldwide recommend dates for weight loss. Got a little confused? Keep on reading the article to solve your queries then.
Nutritional facts about dates
Phoenix dactylifera or dates are the fruits of date palm trees which are natively found in the tropical regions of the world. These sweet treats are not only delicious to eat but also provide abundant nutrients and medicinal properties for the body.
A 100 gram (35 ounces) of dates provides:
- 282 calories
- 2.5 grams of proteins
- 75 grams carbohydrates
- 8 grams of fibre
- 64 grams of sugar
- Potassium- 14℅ DV (daily value)
- Copper- 23℅ DV
It also contains other nutrients like calcium, iron, magnesium, selenium, Vitamin B6, folate and other nutrients and micronutrients.
How dates benefit weight loss?
The relation between dates and weight loss is an argumental topic. Many dieticians used to believe that due to high carbohydrate and sugar content in dates, it can provide extra calories to the body. However, as already stated, with recent studies on dates, it was stated that it can actually help you to lose those extra unwanted fats from your body.
Some of the benefits of dates for weight loss are:
- Dates are high in fibre content. When ingested into the body, they slow down the absorption process in the stomach and help you to remain full for a long period of time. According to studies, it was also seen that dates produce short chains of fatty acids in the gut which enhances the gut health and ameliorate digestive ailments. Dates also help in trapping the fats and therefore prevents the absorption of fat. The feeling of fullness provided by dates helps us to stay away from binge eating and also keeps the unwanted calories at the bay.
- Did you know that all fats are not bad for your health? And one example of such healthy fat is unsaturated fatty acids. Dates are high in unsaturated fatty acids and these help in reducing inflammations in the body caused due to injury, swelling or by consumption of other unhealthy food items.
- When going for a weight loss program, both diet and exercises play an important role in it. And as per diet is concerned, during weight loss, proteins are extremely important for the body as it is required to build and repair the muscles. Dates are an excellent source of proteins and therefore it can provide you with the required nutrients when included in your daily diet.
- One of the biggest problems during weight loss is to control sugar cravings. Dates help you to solve that exact problem. They are extremely sweet and help you to satiate your sweet tooth completely. It also helps you to ward off other unhealthy sugar items cravings.
Other health benefits of dates
As you can already see that dates play a major role in weight loss, however, when included in your daily diet, it can also provide umpteenth health benefits for your body.
Some of the other health advantages of dates are:
- Removes toxins out of the system.
- Regulates blood glucose levels and helps in regulating cholesterol levels.
- Enhances your immune system.
- Dates are abundant in selenium and this nutrient is considered to have cancer-healing properties.
- Dates are rich in saponins, phenolics and flavonoids which stimulate insulin production and provide anti-diabetic properties in the system.
- Powerful antioxidants present in the dates protect the body from any damage caused due to free radicals in the system.
- Abundant in natural sugars, dates provide an instant energy boost.
- Boosts metabolism, improves digestion, prevents constipation and improves bowel movements.
- Dates help you to achieve radiant and youthful skin and revitalize damaged hair follicles.
How to include dates in your daily diet?
Dates can be eaten at any time during the day. Eat it during breakfast or as in-between snacks or you can even use it as a night-time snack.
The best way to eat the dates is to consume them whole but dates are a versatile ingredient and therefore you can also include them in various other ways.
Some of the popular ways to include dates are:
- Deseed the dates and add them to fruit salads and breakfast cereals.
- Considered as one of the most popular and delicious methods, add them to a glass of warm milk and chug it down. Also, did you know this combination is considered very effective for weight loss?
- You can also include dates in yoghurt, dips, chutney, cakes and other rice dishes.
Tips to keep in mind while including dates in your diet
- Dates help you in weight loss but consumption of them should be in moderation. Have 5-6 dates per day and do not have excess, as it can lead to weight gain.
- When purchasing dates from supermarkets, choose only from a trusted source. Store them in an airtight container in a refrigerator afterwards.
- Dates can increase body heat and therefore do not consume an excess of them and it can also increase your blood sugar levels.
- Do not consume dates:
- if you have irritable bowel syndrome
- just after a large meal
- if you are sensitive to dates and develop allergic reactions to it.
- when you have diarrhoea or loose-motions.
Now there you go, everything you need to know about dates and weight loss. As you can already see dates provide umpteenth health benefits for the body and also is extremely beneficial for your weight loss programs.
However, with that being said, consider having the dates in moderation as they are abundant in calories, carbohydrates and sugar and if taken in excess they can increase your weight instead. We also advise you to consult your dietician or nutritionist before including dates in your diet for better instructions and guidelines.