Dates are probably one of the most versatile dry fruits to keep in the kitchen. Packed with essential nutrients, this sweet, sticky fruit has long been a healthy alternative to sugar. While most of us may know what dates are good for, did you know that there are actually several dates benefits for skin?
There is a common misconception that due to the high sugar content in dates, they shouldn’t be eaten often but this is not true. Dates are high in natural sugars that keep your energy levels up, without the crash that usually follows when you eat processed sugar. You can read more about dried fruits: debunking the sugar myth.Before we discuss dates benefits for skin, let’s talk numbers. Here are some nutritional facts about dates.
Nutritional Value of Dates
An average date (8gms) provides you with 23 calories, 6g of carbohydrates, 0.2g of protein and 0g of fat. Here is a nutrition chart with 1 serving of dates for reference. (1 serving = 4 dates)
Nutrition per Serving
Besides these nutrients, there are also several other essential minerals and vitamins in dates. There are 6 essential B vitamins in dates like folate and pantothenic acid that can help fight infection and support cell health. Dates also have a high concentration of antioxidants that prevent inflammation and cell damage.
Advantages of Eating Dates
Don’t be fooled by the misleading amount of calories in a single serving of dates. There are several advantages of eating dates and contrary to popular belief, they can actually be beneficial for weight loss. Let's look at some advantages of eating dates and how they can help your body.
1. Dates for Bone Health
There are several bone health benefits of eating dates daily as the dry fruit is rich in both, calcium and iron- two important minerals that boost bone strength.
2. Low Glycemic Index
Although dates may be high in calorific value and natural sugars, this dry fruit has a low glycemic index. The Glycemic index is a measure of how quickly a food can cause a spike in blood sugar levels. Since dates are low on this scale, they can be safe to eat even for people with diabetes. However, we recommend consulting your doctor just to be sure.
3. Good Source of Protein
As you can see from the table above, dates are high in protein, making them essential for your daily diet; particularly if you are a vegetarian. Another important source of protein for vegetarians is eating different types of nuts, particularly almonds, pistachios and cashews.
4. High in Fibre
Fibre is essential for your overall health as it boosts your digestion and prevents irregular bowels and constipation. However, most of us do not get enough fibre from our daily diet. Dates are naturally high in fibre and one of the most important benefits of eating dates daily is that it can increase your fibre intake.
5. Quick and Portable Snack
We often tend to associate quick snacks with unhealthy food, but this doesn’t always have to be true. Dates make an excellent snack because the sugar and carbohydrates can immediately satiate you and make you feel full, without having to gorge on unhealthy munchies. You can read more about other healthy snacks for weight loss here.
Besides these, a major advantage of eating dates is its many skincare benefits, making dates one of the best dry fruits for skin health!
Dates Benefits for Skin
We often associate sweet, sugary foods with acne and overall bad skin health. But dates doesn’t belong to this category. In fact, there are several benefits of eating dates for skin.
Here are a few-
- Dates are an excellent source of both, vitamin C and D. These vitamins in dates help boost collagen production in the body and therefore improve your skin elasticity. Wondering what this really means? Well, collagen is a protein that forms one of the main building blocks for your skin, bones and hair. When there is a boost in collagen production, your skin looks healthier, plumper and is able to regenerate faster. Dates provide your body with vitamins that help produce collagen, therefore making it one of the best dry fruits for skin.
- One of the most vital dates benefits for skin is its richness in antioxidants. While antioxidants help with cell damage, they are especially beneficial for the skin. Dates are rich in a particular antioxidant- tannins that help with overall skin inflammation. The nutrients in dates can improve your skin’s subcutaneous tissues and therefore give you smoother and softer skin. As the antioxidants in dates prevent cell damage, one of the most important dates benefits for skin is its anti-ageing effects.
- The presence of pantothenic acid in dates can further improve the skin and give you a natural glow. Pantothenic acid is also known as vitamin B5 and has been shown to improve your skin barrier function and thereby reduce acne breakouts. So another major benefit of eating dates for skin is its ability to calm your skin and prevent inflammation.
- Vitamin C is an important component in preventing food and skin allergies. During allergy season, doctors often recommend eating foods high in vitamin C like tomatoes, citrus fruits and dates.
Adding Dates to Your Daily Diet
So now that you know the many dates benefits for skin, let’s discuss how you can incorporate this tasty food into your diet seamlessly!
1. Add it to your breakfast
Eating soaked dates benefits your body by giving you essential nutrients and taste to your breakfast. Simply add pitted dates to your cooked oats for a naturally sweet flavour along with other toppings like fresh fruits, nuts and any nut butter of your choice. If you are looking for a premium online store for all your health food needs, try Happilo.
2. Replace Sugar in Your Indian Desserts
Sugar is the culprit for several health-related problems but avoiding sweet treats altogether is far too hard. Instead, skip the extra calories by adding dates instead of sugar to your dessert recipes. If you are looking for some recipes, here are some easy Indian sweets to make at home, the next time you are craving a sweet treat. Adding soaked dates benefits your recipes as it blends more seamlessly and doesn’t leave any chunks.
3. Granola Bars
As dates have a sweet and sticky flavour, they work well in granola and protein bars as it hold the rest of your dry ingredients together. While you can opt for granola bars that are made with dates, we recommend making your own with just a few simple ingredients like almonds, cashews, walnuts, dates, and seeds. Which seeds should you eat? You can read more about the superpowers of seeds for weight loss!
4. Salads and Appetizers
Dates work extremely well in salads as they have a syrupy and fruity taste that works well with the savoury taste of most salad dressings- particularly vinegarettes. Dates also work well with cheese, making them an excellent addition to your next cheese board.
5. Dates Syrup
A refrigerator staple to make out of dates is a simple dates syrup that you can use to sweeten anything you like. Simply soak dates in boiling water for 2 hours and blend with water to form a thick and sticky syrup. Adding soaked dates benefits the syrup as it blends smoother and allows for better consistency.
So the overall consensus is that there are several dates benefits for skin and we all should get on board with incorporating them into our daily diets. But have you ever wondered- ‘ how many dates should I eat a day, how should I eat them and can I even eat dates every single day?’ Are these questions running through your mind? Don’t worry, we are here to answer all of them in the next section!