27 July 2014

Have a date with some dates

Research shows that dates (Phoenix dactylifera L. Arecaceae), which are often sold in the supermarkets before the fasting month of Ramadhan, might be a superfood. 

2002 study on dates found that they are could be quite potent in preventing the mutations which could lead to cancer. Another study, this time published in 2009, tested healthy subjects who ate 100g of dates every day for four weeks. 

The research found that despite their sugar content, the Hallawi and Medjool dates consumed did not affect their blood sugar levels. Researchers also concluded that dates would help to prevent plaque from building up in arteries. Hallawi dates were found to contain different antioxidants from Medjool dates and seemed more potent in their health-giving effects, pointing to different date varieties providing different levels of benefits.

Date pits also have their uses. A 2012 study made on date pit extract also found that the extract - which was fed to the mice - also inhibited mutations. Another 2014 study on date pit extract, tested on rats, reported that date pit extract has promising indications for raising chemicals in the body that promote 'good' cholesterol.