One of the sweetest fruits is Date Palms or simply referred to as Dates. Palm trees are the oldest cultivated trees in recorded history. The date trees found in North Africa are said to have been grown since the past 8,000 years.
Dates are found to be very rich source for potassium. It is also found to be a very good source fo iron, niacin and vitamin B12. In addition, the fiber content in date fruit is relatively high.
Depending upon the moisture content in the dates, this fruit is broadly categorised in three ways – the soft dates, semisoft dates and dry dates. Predominantly, it is the semisoft variety that is marketed in many countries as fresh dates. A small portion of dried dates, having lesser or no moisture content, is also marketed across the world in fresh form. The rich potassium content and calories makes it a better fruit variety for consumption and health.
According to the experts, a half-cup of dates or approximately 12 pieces of dates of medium size contains as much 275 calories, the highest calorie content among the fruit varieties consumed in similar quantity. Dates are a very rich source for potassium as well. Twelve medium sized dates will provide as much as 650 micrograms of potassium, much more than a comparable amount of high-potassium foods such as oranges or bananas. Twelve dates also provide about 15% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowance or RDA that includes iron, niacin, and vitamin B12. The 12 dates also provide about 6 grams of fiber content to the body. The interesting aspect about dates is that it does not contain Vitamin C.
The sweetest fruit however has some drawbacks as well. The high sugar content in the fruit and the stickiness of the fruit with moisture content in it might promote tooth decay, if not attended to with care. It is for this very reason that brushing of teeth after eating dates is advised and recommended.
In addition to the tooth decay, dates might also trigger migraine headaches in some persons. The existence of tyramine in dates is a minor cause of concern for people undergoing treatment for depression. The tyramine content might interact with drugs used to treat depression and might result in increasing the blood-pressure levels to an alarming level that might be life-threatening at times.
However, the king of the desert or the sweet fruit has its own place of pride among the fruits that provide immense nutritional value to the consumers if taken in moderate quantities at periodic intervals.