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The Health Benefits of Dates or Chhuhara

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Dates are both sweet and nourishing!

Dates are both sweet and nourishing!

What Are Dates?

The Latin name for a date is Phoenix dactylifera. In India, fresh dates are called Khajoor while dried dates are called Chhuhara. They are known as the "bread of the desert."

The exact origin of the date palm is not clear. However, they have been cultivated in Egypt, Iran, and Pakistan since 4000 BC and in India and South Asia since 2000 BC.

They probably originated around Iraq but have been grown all over the Middle East for thousands of years. Around 1765 AD, they were introduced into Mexico and California in the United States.

Dates are the fruits of the date palm. They are oval-shaped with colours ranging from red to golden to bright yellow. They contain a single seed.

There are three main categories of dates:

  • Soft: Barhee, Halawy, etc.
  • Semi-dry: Dayri, Zahdi, etc.
  • Dry: Thoory and more

Dates ripen in four stages:

  1. Viz Kimri (unripe)
  2. Khlal (ripe, crunchy)
  3. Rutab (ripe, soft)
  4. Tamar (ripe, sundried).

The date palm begins to bear fruit four to eight years after it's first planted and produces fruit for 7 to 10 years. Each date palm produces between 80 to 120 kgs of dates per harvest. There are over 600 varieties of dates. The date palm grows in warm climates all over the world now.

Dates are available both fresh—the outer skin is sticky and waxy— and dried. Sometimes they are deseeded before being sold. Muslims have been enjoined by their holy book, The Quran, to break the Ramzan fast with dates as they are purifying according to prophet Muhammed.

Nutritional Benefits

  • Dates are easily digestible.
  • Since they contain simple sugars, they provide instant energy.
  • They are rich in dietary fibre and tannins.
  • They
  • They are an excellent source of phosphorus, iron, potassium, calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
  • They also contain B complex vitamins and vitamin K.

Health Benefits of Dates

BenefitNotes

Laxative properties due to fiber content

Eat three dates and drink hot water morning and night. If dates are hard, boil in milk.

Less likely to spike blood sugar levels

Fructose, not glucose, in dates is easily broken down and metabolized without insulin.

Strengthens the heart

Soak dates overnight in water two or three times a week. In the morning, blend and eat.

Reduces risk of abdominal cancer

High fiber content and polyphenols.

Manages cholesterol

Special fiber called Beta D glucan stops cholesterol absorption

Prevents obesity

Nutrient-packed, dates prevents hunger between meals.

More Benefits

  • Two-thirds of the dates' weight is natural sugar. A single date has 23 calories and 5 to 6 dates equal to one serving of fruit. Dates are fat-free, cholesterol- and sodium-free.
  • The American Cancer Society recommends eating 20 to 35 grams of fibre daily. Research suggests that dates supply fibre, as they are dense in nutrients and polyphenols as well.

Folk Remedy Uses

  • It is believed that consuming one date every day maintains eye health for life and also prevents night-blindness.
  • Dates can help reduce alcohol intoxication. Just drink water in which dates have been soaking for a few hours.
  • Dates work as an aphrodisiac. Soak 8 to 10 dates in goat milk at night. Next morning blend them together in the milk. Add a tsp honey and a pinch of cardamom powder and drink.
  • Dates are believed to alleviate depression and also to enrich breast milk.
  • Dates are useful for pregnant women as well as they may strengthen the uterine walls. They aid in easy delivery and reduce bleeding, too.
  • A paste made of honey and dates is useful in controlling diarrhoea and dysentery in children.
  • Dates counter body weakness. Eating seven dates will provide about 70 mg calcium, 35 mg phosphorus and 7 mg iron.
  • Two dates given to children at night will prevent bed-wetting.
  • In old people who have frequent urges of urinating, eating two dates daily or one date at night with milk will reduce this frequency.
  • For a voice that has gone hoarse, eat one date that has been boiled in milk and then drink the milk. Do this at bedtime. Ensure that you do not drink water for two hours after this. It makes the voice clear.
  • Dates are useful in relieving respiratory distress. As they are hot in nature they bring out phlegm and are beneficial to the chest and lungs. Boil two to three dates in milk until they are soft. Eat the dates and drink the milk.
  • Dates and milk help to increase weight. Soak two dates in milk. blend when soft. Drink this milk to increase weight and strength.
  • The seeds of dates cure styes. Grind the seed of one date with water and apply on the affected spot two to three times daily.
  • For headache relief, grind one date seed with water and apply it on the forehead for relief.
  • Taking two dates every day is beneficial in breaking kidney stone as well as relieving one of backache as well.

Uses of the Date Plant and Fruit

The entire date tree is very useful. All its parts are used in some form or the other.

The date palm is tapped for palm wine, jaggery and palm syrup. The young leaves are cooked as a vegetable. The flowers are also edible. Finely ground seeds are used to make bread by mixing it with flour.

Date seeds are also used as animal feed. The leaves find use in making huts, mats, baskets, fans etc. Date seed oil is used in soaps and cosmetics. The leaf sheaths are used for making ropes, rough cloth, hats etc. The fruit stalk is used as fuel.

Dates may be consumed as they are or stuffed with almonds, walnuts, cream cheese, and lemon peel. They can also be chopped and added to a variety of dishes. Date nut bread is a popular type of cake. Dates are also processed into spreads, syrups, paste, cubes, powder, vinegar, chutneys etc.

The recipe for date and walnut cake and tamarind dates chutney can be checked out in the recipe videos included in the article.

Date and Walnut Cake

Nutrition Facts About Dates per 100 Grams

PrincipleNutrient ValuePercent of USRDA

Energy

277 Kcal

14%

Carbohydrates

74.97 g

58%

Protein

1.81g

3%

Total Fat

0.15 g

<1%

Cholesterol

0 mg

0%

Dietary Fiber

6.7 g

18%

Folates

15 micro gm

4%

Niacin

1.610 mg

10%

Pantothenic acid

0.805 mg

16%

Pyridoxine

0.249 mg

19%

Riboflavin

0.060 mg

4.50%

Thiamin

0.050 mg

4%

Vitamin A

149 IU

5%

Vitamin C

0 mg

0%

Vitamin K

2.7 micro gm

2%

Sodium

1 mg

0%

Potassium

696 mg

16%

Calcium

64 mg

6.50%

Copper

0.362 mg

40%

Iron

0.90 mg

11%

Magnesium

54 mg

13%

Manganese

0.296 mg

13%

Phosphorus

62 mg

9%

Zinc

0.44 mg

4%

Beta Carotene

89 micro gm

--

Beta Crypto-xanthin

0 micro gm

--

Lutein-zeaxanthin

23 micro gm

--

Disclaimer

The information provided here is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or starting a new health regime.

Khajur Imli Chutney (Dates and Tamarind Chutney)

Warm Stuffed Dates Recipe

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 13, 2020:

Thanks for reading.

Salahuddin.sk on September 12, 2020:

Very thanks for very key information about Dates and their healthy benefit and their medicaly task as well as lots of use methodically.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 06, 2020:

Welcome Saurav

Saurav Bhagat on May 06, 2020:

Thank you for the informative blog post.

Sanjay on November 14, 2018:

what is difference in between chuharey and dates with benefits comparison.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on November 02, 2018:

You are welcome Disha.

Disha on October 31, 2018:

Thanks for sharing this great information thanku soo much

Mini on January 27, 2018:

Thanks for sharing this great information.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 21, 2017:

Glad you found the information useful jagwinderpal singh.

jagwinderpal singh ludhiana on July 21, 2017:

Thanks for all the benifits of dates you told us about. I will be using it in my daily diet

Munavvar Hussain on May 09, 2015:

Dates are wonderful for health. Its useful in many disease go for dates everyday..

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on February 24, 2015:

I love dates but they're just too sweet. I love the stuffed ones especially when the stuffing balances sweetness well.

Rota on September 06, 2014:

Dates are a staple for me. I eat 20 or 30 a day in smoothies or on their own. Great sweet snack.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on February 07, 2013:

GTF, thanks and I'll check out your hub now. Take care!

Claudia Mitchell on February 07, 2013:

Hi rajan - just wanted to let you know my hub has been posted with links to this one and many of your other fruit ones. Have a great day.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 11, 2013:

Thanks Sophie!

Sophie Newsome from New York on January 09, 2013:

I never knew dates had so many benefits. Great hub!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 09, 2013:

I'm sure you can use dates more frequently for better vision. Appreciate the read, votes, the 5 stars and share. Thanks.

C E Clark from North Texas on January 07, 2013:

I had no idea dates were good for healthy eyes and improving night vision, for treating diarrhea and constipation, and especially interesting is that they stop bed wetting in children and alleviate depression, and on and on it goes! Dates are simply amazing. I'm going to see if they help my night vision. I've always had bad night vision even in my 20s.

Excellent hub and information. Voted AUI, gave you 5 stars, and will share!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 05, 2013:

Thanks Sasha. It's always a pleasure to see you.

Sasha Kim on January 04, 2013:

I just LOVE dates ^_^ Thank you for all the fantastic information Rajan! Wonderful hub... voting a whole bunch ^_^

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 12, 2012:

@ vespawoolf - dates do taste different dried from fresh. I'm glad you appreciate all the goodness in dates. Wish they were more easily available in Peru but maybe the dried variety could be more readily available! Thanks for visiting.

@ Marlene - glad you like the information. Thanks for stopping by.

@ GTF - Nice to know you are fond of dates. appreciate your visit.

@ Sueswan - dates are as nutritious dried as fresh. Maybe you could give the dried ones a try if you do not like the fresh stuff. Thanks for visiting, voting and sharing.

Sueswan on December 12, 2012:

Hi Rajan

I love date squares but a long time ago I tried raw dates and didn't like them. After reading all their health benefits, I think I will give them a try again.

Voted up and awesome and sharing.

Claudia Mitchell on December 12, 2012:

Dates are the best thing! There is not much better than a fresh date. I had no idea the leaves could be used to make so many things. Thanks for providing some recipes.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on December 11, 2012:

The only reason I ever ate dates was to help cure constipation. Wow! I didn't know dates were so versatile with so much value. I think I'll start eating more dates.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 11, 2012:

Wow, dates really are a super food! I'm surprised they help with urinary incontinence and that diabetics can assimilate them. I think they make a great natural sweetener and wish we had easier access to them in Peru. It's interesting that in Indian the word used for fresh dates is different than that used for the dried. They are like a different fruit!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 10, 2012:

@ shining - thanks for the compliments and enjoy dates! Happy holidays!

@ sweetie - I remember drinking neera too; you know it was sold at the railway stations some years back.

@ Patricia - Glad you found this informative and thanks for dropping by.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 10, 2012:

I love dates in many ways. Eating them just as a date is grand. I had no idea there were so many other date parts that could be eaten. And I certainly did not know of all of the healthful properties. Thank you for sharing.

sweetie1 from India on December 10, 2012:

HI Rajan,

We used to go to Mount Abu when we were kids and there on the banks of Lake there , there were countless trees of dates. We would just throw stones and get the dates. Also I like to drink Neera, the dates water.

Shining Irish Eyes from Upstate, New York on December 10, 2012:

Rajan - I so enjoy knowing when you explain the benefits of a food item I absolutely love. Dates are one of my favorites and I use them when back Holiday treats.

They are a great alternative to an unhealthy sweet treat as well.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 10, 2012:

@ Rasma - Thanks for the visit and sharing.

@ Mike -Glad you now use dates regularly and thanks for finding it useful enough to bookmark and share. Appreciate the thoughtfulness, bro. You have a great day and happy holidays.

Mike Pugh from New York City on December 10, 2012:

I love eating dates, and had no clue of all the health benefits to them all, as my wife introduced me to eating them, and they are so sweet tasting and yummy too. We use dates in recipes for juicing as a natural sweetener and with nuts as well to make vegan bars.

So yup dates are good to us indeed, thanks Rajan for this useful hub here, I will also share as well as bookmark it for research purposes if need be in the future.

Thumbs up and out bro happy holidays.

Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on December 10, 2012:

Voted up and interesting. Thank for this informative hub on dates. I love them but don't eat them as much as I should. Passing this on.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 09, 2012:

@ Devika - thanks and I do hope you start consuming this healthy food more often. Glad to see you.

@ Peggy - I'll be checking this hub of yours, Peggy. Nice to know you use dates frequently. Thanks for reading and sharing the hub.

@ Kris - I agree tastes do change as we grow up and maybe this time with the added info you will find dates more agreeable. Always a pleasure to see you and thanks for dropping by.

Kris Heeter from Indiana on December 09, 2012:

I've been thinking I should try dates again. I had them once or twice as a child and did not like them but my tastes have changed and as you've shown, there are so many options now for incorporating dates in recipes. Thanks for a great article!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on December 09, 2012:

Hi Rajan,

This gets another 5 stars from me. I knew of some of the health benefits but certainly not all of them that you listed. We eat quite a bit of dried fruit but have generally used dates when baking. My date nut bar recipe looks a lot like the photo in that first video. It is an old family favorite recipe and I have even written a hub about it. The stuffed dates look good. Will have to consider using more dates in our diet. Up votes and sharing.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on December 09, 2012:

It makes me think it has been a while since I have had dates you have presented a helpful Hub to many people thanks

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 08, 2012:

@ Carol - We all have our favorite foods and the ones we do not relish but there are enough options to go around. I wish a date with dates may turn things around. Lol! Thanks for reading and sharing though.

@ Sandra - thanks for giving the hub a read and sharing it.

@ Aurelio - Well, a date with dates is not a bad idea after all. It sure will be healthy for the body. appreciate the comments, vote and visit.

@ Bill - Hi, its always a pleasure to have your comments my friend. There are enough of good healthy foods to partake so this one can be overlooked. You too have a nice day and a great weekend as well.

@ Dana - 1 0r 2 dates a day are all that is required to get all its benefits. So glad you do so. Thanks for visiting and commenting.

@ tlmsgaa - Thanks for stopping by and sharing it.

@ Louisa - thanks for visiting.

Louisa Rogers from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico on December 08, 2012:

I'm convinced! I'll eat more of them, along with figs, another favorite fruit. Thanks!

tlmcgaa70 from south dakota, usa on December 08, 2012:

wow...i have always loved dates but never knew all this about them...thank you for writing about them. voted up and more and definitely sharing

Dana Strang from Ohio on December 08, 2012:

WOW! I love dates. I usually eat one or two instead of having candy or other sweets. I also am an a high fiber diet and they fit in perfectly.... I am so glad to know about all these other health benefits. It is also exciting ot see the many ways to enjoy dates. I never thought of cooking them or stuffing them. WHAT A GREAT ARTICLE!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 08, 2012:

Rajan my friend, I can't even look at a date without getting sick to my stomach. I'm sorry, but I may not be able to follow your suggestions this time. Great information, and your research is detailed as always, but my stomach just won't put up with this one. :) Great job, Rajan, and enjoy your weekend.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on December 08, 2012:

And I thought you were going to talk about the health benefits of dating! Just kidding, Rajan. Excellent hub as usual and I do enjoy the candied dates, although presumably turning them into a sweet probably removes many of the benefits you mention. I'm going to try the constipation aid that you suggested. Voting this Up and Useful.

Sandra Busby from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA on December 08, 2012:

Another one of my favorites. Voted up and shared.

carol stanley from Arizona on December 08, 2012:

I never knew there were so many nutrients in dates. It has never been one of my favorites, however so many healthful ingredients..Does going on a date work the same? HAHA. Anyway a great job as always so I feel I must share and vote UP.

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