Have you ever had a craving for something sweet, but pull back because of all those calories? If you find yourself feeling tired and pining for something sweet, dates may be the ideal midday snack for you. These sticky, dried fruits are full of natural sugars that’ll spruce you up almost immediately.
The date fruit has been around for thousands of years. Rich in flavonoids (1), it has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. It also has numerous therapeutic uses. Dates are prominent traditional crops in Iraq, Iran, Arabia, and north Africa west to Morocco. Some varieties of dates available in the market are Dayri, Amber, Khadrawi, Medjool, Barhi, and Zahidi dates. No wonder greeting a guest with Dates is a tradition in many middle-eastern states. Here are some of the best benefits of dates for weight loss. Let’s have a look into them.
- How Do Dates Aid Weight Loss
- Eating How Many Dates Helps You Lose Weight
- Best Time To Eat Dates For Weight Loss
- Benefits Of Dates For Weight Loss
- How To Use Dates For Weight Loss – Ways To Incorporate Dates Into Your Diet
How Do Dates Aid Weight Loss:
Yes! Dates can help shed those unwanted kilos from your body. They are an excellent source of proteins that assist us in staying fit and even keep our muscles active. They are rich in dietary fibre and essential fatty acids that aid weight loss. Dates have antioxidants (2) that have free radical scavenging properties.
Eating How Many Dates Helps You Lose Weight:
Dates are rich in micronutrients (3) such as iron, fibre, magnesium, and potassium. They can satisfy your craving for a sweet or take it as a snack with tea or coffee. It is okay to eat about four to six dates throughout the day. Dates are super-helpful in shedding those kilos by consuming in moderation.
Best Time to Eat Dates for Weight Loss:
The best time to consume dates is for breakfast. Start your day with a diet inclusive of dates. They are rich in dietary fibre and have high satiety esteem, and are low in fat too. Devouring a couple of dates in the morning alongside warm water checks undesirable eating, forestalls unfortunate dietary patterns, and works towards diminishing weight.
Benefits of Dates for Weight Loss:
To ascertain and take a stand on the function of dates in weight loss, let us consider its characteristics, pro, and cons of using dates for weight loss and other benefits of dates.
Characteristics of Dates:
Date trees typically reach about 21–23 meters in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. Dates (Kajoor) are oval-cylindrical, 3 to 7 centimetres long, and about 2.5 centimetres in diameter, ranging from bright red to bright yellow (4), depending on the variety. Dates can be termed as Drupe, wherein the fleshy part of the fruit engulfs the shell-like seed. The fresh fruit when unripe is reddish yellow that eventually darkens as the dates ripen and turn entirely dark brown when dried. Dates in the form of grains are more beneficial for weight loss than in a dried way. It is popularly known as khajoor, hajj, and Medjool as well.
Pros of Dates for Weight Loss:
1. Provides Instant Energy:
Most of the calories in the dates are from carbs. It is a medium-density energy food. Fresh dates are preferred to the dried ones as the fresh ones give more power and fewer calories. While the nature of the dry ones is concentrated, they contribute more calories along with the energy. Proper amounts of glucose, fructose, and sucrose in dates can provide you with instant energy. So, if you feel dull or there’s a drop in your blood sugar levels, have 2-4 dates.
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2. High in Fibre:
Do you want to shed weight? Then you have to optimise your digestion as it directly affects the weight. Dates have the right quantity of dietary fibre that makes us feel full. So eating dates will help you load your body with enough fibre. The fibre in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control and have a low glycemic index (GI) (5). It also slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating. The fibre in dates is beneficial in preventing constipation and blood sugar control.
3. Excellent Source of Vitamins:
Rich with vitamins and minerals, dates go about as the perfect morning mineral and vitamin supplement. Each serving of dates has vitamins A, B6, B12, C, and K and other nutrients. It is one of the best sources for iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. It contains all B complex vitamins and an abundant amount of Phyto-supplements like carotenoids and flavonoids in abundance. For all those who use costly vitamin tablets. Try and enjoy a few dates.
4. Rich in Proteins:
Looking to load up on proteins? Add some dates to your diet that may help. When we want to lose weight, we tend to eat foods that are low in calories, but sometimes vital nutrition get amiss. As dates are highly nutritious, it is highly advisable to incorporate dates in the diet as they will take care of proteins. Dates are also abundant in protein, and they are tough to digest. The transition time for proteins in the large intestine is longer, which makes you feel fuller for longer.
5. Cuts Down on Sugar Cravings:
We all have the experience of going on a diet to lose weight. It would excellent if there was a way to have a cheat day every day and also lose weight. Sounds unbelievable. But no! By including dates in your weight loss regime get rid of the cravings as their sugary taste helps in satiating the cravings. They are naturally sweet; therefore, you can enjoy a few dates and toss away sugary foods to lose weight efficiently.
6. It is a Healthy Replacement for Artificial Sweeteners:
A lot of people have a sweet tooth, so to cut down on the sugar content in the food, they add artificial sweeteners. Dates are a powerhouse sweetener. For instance, while preparing laddoos, dates are more efficient instead of artificial sweeteners (6) or sugar. Dates give the same amount of sweetness without adding extra calories. Not only are they naturally high in sugar and fibre, but their sweetness also has a distinct caramel-like flavour that is not possible to replicate. Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit.
7. High Unsaturated Fatty Acid Content:
High amounts of unsaturated fatty acid in dates, helps reduce inflammation. With all the facilities and the workstyle has made us inactive, and the consumption of unhealthy food can cause increased inflammation (7), increasing the chances of weight gain. Not all fats are bad. The unsaturated fatty acids found in dates help reduce inflammation. The difficulty is, inflammation is often related to obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes, liver disease, etc. Since dates have the right amount of unsaturated fatty acids, by consuming them, you can reduce inflammation, thereby lowering your chances of gaining weight.
Cons of Dates for Weight Loss:
- The flip side to eating dates is that consuming them in high amounts may result in weight gain. Therefore, a person who wants to lose weight, either has to eat moderately or has to be highly active to burn the calories that these dates give.
- If you have a delicate stomach, dates sometimes can cause loose motions.
- It is essential to know that although dates are high in fibre and nutrients, they are still reasonably high in calories and best consumed in moderation.
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Other Benefits of Dates:
1. Enhances Complexion and Adds Glow:
People on a weight loss diet often lose weight, and in the process, your face becomes dull and dark. The vitamins C and D present in dates works on your skin’s elasticity and also keeps your skin smooth. Dates also provide anti-ageing benefits and prevent the accumulation of melanin (8) in your body.
2. Good for Vision:
Dates possess vitamin A that helps protect the surface of the eye (cornea), which is essential for good vision. Vitamin A is excellent for curing night blindness and also enhances vision. People with regular intake of dates are known to have good eyesight.
4. Lowers Cholesterol:
Dates are excellent for reducing the bad cholesterol, thus helping in keeping the heart fitter and stronger. Dates have different minerals that help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol, thereby making them the ideal heart protectants.
5. Have A Good Shelf Life:
Storage becomes a big issue when we have to travel and don’t want to skip our diet regimen. Dried dates can be stored well and consumed as and when required. With dates, their storage is never an issue as dates do not get spoilt quickly. Dates are available in large varieties, and they not only take care of the sweet tooth but are also beneficial for weight loss. The next time you get a craving, do keep a packet of dates at home and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty.
How to Use Dates for Weight Loss – Ways to Incorporate Dates Into Your Diet:
- To reap the maximum benefits, eat deseeded dates along with other nuts and dry fruits.
- Sliced dates can be mixed with other fruits and make a tasty salad to enjoy its flavour.
- You can altogether avoid white sugar by making a date paste. In this recipe, mix dates with water in a blender to make a smooth paste. A rule of thumb is to replace the sugar with a 1: 1 ratio of date paste. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you replace it with 1 cup of date paste.
- Milk and dates are trendy combinations in promoting weight loss.
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Drop processed snacks from your routine and add dates to your diet and reap all the benefits. It is best to eat these fruits before your daily exercise routine so that your body can use extra sugar for energy. To conclude, nutrition from dates can help to lose weight. So, get yourself a pack of dates and lose the excess flab to look gorgeous.