dates health benefits superfood natural sweeteners

What you need to know: This sweet treat is more than just a happy alternative to refined sugar – it’s a nutrient powerhouse too! Found growing on the date palm tree, dates are an important traditional crop that has been grown since the days of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. They are valued for their mineral content, containing the essential minerals calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium, and enough potassium to meet your daily requirements. Dates are also an excellent source of plant-based iron. Iron is a key mineral needed to build blood, and therefore is essential for offsetting blood loss during the menstrual cycle and for preventing anemia.

Why you should try it: Dates are a pure source of glucose, fructose and sucrose, which is why they are the ideal snack to boost your energy or improve your athletic performance. Composed largely of dietary fiber, dates have been shown to help lower cholesterol, relieve constipation and may even prevent the occurrence of colon cancer. Researchers have also found that the consumption of dates in the last four weeks of pregnancy significantly reduce the need for induction and augmentation of labor, and resulted in a smoother delivery outcome. Shall we say, the perfect pregnancy craving?

Let’s get together: There are so many ways to enjoy these delicious little fruits. They are the secret ingredient in mind-blowing raw desserts, that special something in many Persian dishes, and are the ideal culinary compliment for a fresh goat cheese salad. Want a simpler option? Slice one open and stuff raw nut butter inside. Top with cacao nibs – die, and go to heaven. A liquid date elixir? Try Pressed Juicery’s seasonal sweet green brazil nut drink, or Chocolate Coffee both sweetened with dates. Nothing satisfies quite like date-sweetened nut milk.

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