Dates are enjoyed by Muslims throughout the year, but even more so during the Holy month of Ramadan, when many Muslims break their fast by eating dates, as was the practice of the Prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him). In the Holy Koran, dates and date palms have been mentioned 20 times.
Modern science has proven that dates are filled with important vitamins, fats, proteins and sugar. They are also a great source of natural fiber.These nutritional powerhouses are packed with calcium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium.
Dates are also easy to digest and the natural sugar content gives your energy levels a boost. Low blood sugar levels often give you a false feeling of hunger. By eating dates, you raise these low blood sugar levels safely and effectively, thus reducing the hunger pangs. In this way dates reduce your desire to overeat.
Arabs usually eat dates with milk and yogurt, or bread, butter and fish. This combination of protein from the milk, fish or yogurt and the vitamins, fats, fiber and sugar from the dates make for a perfectly healthy and balanced meal.
Dates have been proven to be effective in preventing abdominal cancer and they also contain stimulants that strengthen the muscles of the uterus during the final trimester of pregnancy. This helps to make the birth process easier and reduces the amount of postpartum bleeding as well. In fact, Mary, mother of Jesus, ate dates when she was in labor and after the birth of her baby as well. This is documented in the Koran.
The consumption of dates by nursing mothers is also encouraged not only for all the nutrients it adds to the breast milk, but also because it contains many nutrients known to alleviate depression, which is quite common after childbirth.
Dates are surprisingly rich in calcium, which helps to strengthen bones and also effective in preventing night blindness.
There are many other ailments for which dates have been used as a natural and safe cure, such as hyperactivity, nervousness and heart problems.
The Prophet Mohamed’s (peace be upon him) wife, Ayesha (peace be upon her) was too skinny and wanted to gain a bit of weight. She did this by eating dates with fresh cucumbers.
In the early Islamic Era, dates served as nourishment for the Muslim Warriors in the battlefield. They used to carry the dates in special leather bags which hung from their sides. Dates are an excellent source of quick energy and also provide nutrients for the muscle, making it the ideal food for a warrior.
If you haven’t ever tasted a date, I would encourage you to give it a try. Dates are easily available just about anywhere, and the taste of a fresh, plump, juicy date is hard to beat. For those with a sweet tooth, the date is the perfect, healthy and nutritious substitute for that bar of chocolate. So go ahead and indulge. It can only do you good.