You and I know the mind-blowing health benefits that can be gained from eating dates, but did you know that having dates at a particular time can help you reap the maximum benefits out of it?
What is the best time to eat dates?
Research shows that the best time to eat dates is in the morning, preferably before or with breakfast. By eating dates in the morning, you can get the most health benefits out of it.
Why is morning the best time to eat dates?
Did you know that in the Middle East it is a popular belief that consuming dates in the morning, especially on an empty stomach will reverse the effects of all toxins in your body?
So why is morning the best time to eat dates?
1. Boosts your energy in the morning
If you are like me and have a sweet tooth first thing in the morning, then dates are the way to go.
Date fruits are rich in natural sugars like fructose. They are one of the most nutritious natural sweeteners and an excellent substitute for refined sugar.
Plus the natural sugars present in dates will help give you the perfect amount of energy boost in the morning for you to get going with the rest of the day.
2. Anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties
A 2016 study shows that dates have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties in them which can help you with healing stomach and intestinal disorders, fever and even external wounds!
Having dates in the morning can help your body to assimilate the maximum vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds from it.
3. High in Dietary Fibre
Dates contain around 8g of dietary fibre per 100g ( about 4 dates). The Indian Dietetic Association recommends consumption of at least 40g of dietary fibre daily.
Thus simply having 4 dates every day can fulfil 20% of your daily fibre requirement.
Its high fibre content also helps to keep your blood sugar levels in check throughout the day.
4. Acts as an antioxidant
Excess amount of free radicals in our bodies are one of the major problems faced by us today due to the lifestyles that we lead. These free radicals accumulate due to internal cell metabolisms or from external sources like pollution and medications.
Overload of these free radicals causes oxidative stress which may be the root cause for illnesses like cancer, heart diseases, arthritis, autoimmune diseases and many more.
Dates have antioxidant effects on our bodies. These antioxidants eliminate the free radicals from our body and thus having dates in the morning can help us start the day stress-free.
Anti-oxidants in dates also boost our immunity levels.
5. Anti-cancer effects
A 2014 study shows that dates can have anti-tumour and anti-cancer effects!
The study claims that you can prevent many life-threatening disorders just by having dates every day in the morning rather than taking the help of artificial synthetic drugs.
Another study done in 2015 proves that regular consumption of date fruits can reduce the risk of colon cancer.
6. Improves memory
A 2015 research shows that having dates regularly as a part of your diet will improve your memory power, promote better brain health and prevent memory-related disorders like Alzheimer’s.
Currently, there is no effective way to slow down the progression of the disease in Alzheimer’s patients and hence having dates in the morning will definitely prove to be beneficial.
7. Helps to fulfil your daily nutrient requirements
What better way to start the day than having a healthy and nutritious meal first thing in the morning!
And having just 4 to 5 dates can fulfil most of your nutrient requirements recommended for a day.
One serving of dates with your breakfast every morning will provide you with Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Niacin, Folate, Choline, Betaine, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium, Zinc, Copper and Manganese.
Now wonder dates are called the powerhouse of nutrients. So it is time to replace your daily supplements with dates.
8. Promotes better bone health
Calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium present in dates help improve your bone health and thus prevent brittle bones and osteoporosis.
9. Prevents Anaemia and regularizes menstrual cycles
When my haemoglobin levels are down, the first thing I do is start having 4 to 5 dates daily without fail. And within 1 or 2 months, I have seen a definite increase in my haemoglobin.
I cannot stress enough on how effective dates can be for all you women and girls who suffer from anaemia and menstrual irregularities.
This iron-rich fruit can be a help to increase your haemoglobin levels, cure anaemia and boost your immunity very effectively.
10. Beneficial during pregnancy
There are many studies showing that consumption of dates during pregnancy may be super beneficial for your health.
Having nutrient-rich breakfast is one of the best can help in the long run and this job can be easily done by having 4 to 5 dates with your breakfast.
A study done on pregnant women in 2017 shows that dates can even promote natural labour and reduce your labour time by mimicking oxytocin (a compound responsible for inducing contractions).
The best ways to include dates in your breakfast
So now how to include dates in your everyday breakfasts?
It is definitely easier than you thought. Here are some quick and easy ways to have dates with your breakfast:
1. Have 3 to 5 dates each morning as it is. Have these with some fruits and nuts to have an energetic and power-packed and fulfilling breakfast.
2. You may even chop up some dates and have it with your oatmeal or breakfast cereals. This will give you the right amount of sweetness to satisfy your morning food-cravings.
3. Another option would be to deseed a whole batch of dates and make a smooth paste out of it beforehand. Add this paste to your oatmeals, cereals or even a glass of milk to replace any other forms of sweeteners you may now be using.
4. For all you busy ladies and moms who do not have time in the mornings but still want to have a nutritious breakfast just like me, this is for you! Add 3 to 5 dates to your breakfast smoothies. If you do not have a powerful blender, you may consider deseeding and soaking the dates overnight and then adding it to your smoothie the next morning.
5. Now this one’s my favourite. On weekends, you can batch make dry fruit and date laddoos(balls) or dates energy/breakfast bars. When you are in a hurry in the morning, just have one or two of these and you are sorted for the next 2 to 3 hours. What better way to start your day than having such a nutritious breakfast in the morning which fulfils almost 50% of your daily mineral and vitamin requirements!
6. Dates can be an excellent binding ingredient for baking. So the next time you are in the mood for baking some breakfast muffins, bread or even cakes, replace all your refined sugar and other sweeteners with dates paste. I promise you won’t taste it there.
7. If you are one of those desserts-for-breakfast-on-weekends people, then you may even add dates paste to your puddings, tarts, kheers, truffles, milkshakes, pies, and many more. Click here for a few ideas.
How many calories are there in a date fruit?
There are about 60 calories in one date.
What is the best time to have dates for weight loss?
If you are looking to lose weight, it is best to have 2 to 3 dates every day in the morning right before or with your breakfast.
Can you eat dates at night?
Yes you can eat dates at night, but you can reap the maximum benefits out of it if you have it in the morning time.
Is it good to eat dates on an empty stomach?
Yes it is okay to eat dates on an empty stomach unless you are not overeating it.
How many dates should you eat in a day?
Since dates are high in calories and excess amount of dates can increase your blood sugar, it is better to limit to eating 3 to 5 dates per day.
Can you eat dates in summer?
Yes, it is okay to eat dates in summer but limit it to 2 to 3 per day as dates are known to increase the heat property in your body.
Is it okay to eat dates everyday?
Yes, having moderate quantity of dates everyday can be very beneficial for your health.
Do share with us any other ideas you might have to include dates as a part of your breakfast every morning!