4 Health Benefits of Consuming Medjool Dates, According to Dietitian
Medjool dates are a crown jewel of the produce aisle. Native to Morocco and once reserved as a delicacy for Moroccan royalty and their guests, the "king of dates" comes from the date palm tree and is grown in warm regions of the United States, as well as parts of the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia. They have been dubbed "nature's candy" for having a semi-soft flesh that is similar in texture and taste to delicious, chewy caramel.
"Medjool dates are known for their sweetness, making them an excellent snack or substitute for white sugar in recipes. They additionally provide an antioxidant and fiber boost," says Claudia Thompson, PhD, RD, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for Zenwise.
Read on to learn more about the benefits of this sweet superfruit.
Medjool Date Health Benefits
They pile on the potassium.
According to Thompson, a 3.5 ounce serving of Medjool dates provides 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of potassium. "Potassium is one of the most essential minerals present in the human body. It regulates fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals," she notes. "When potassium degrees are low, it impacts major bodily functions, leading to low energy levels, muscle cramps, and both physical and mental fatigue."
Medjool dates contain fiber.
That same 3.5 ounce serving packs 7 grams of fiber, which Thompson says is crucial in helping regulate the digestive system and maintaining normal bowel health. "The daily recommended dietary fiber intake is 25 to 30 grams for helping clean out bacteria and buildup in the intestines and decrease unhealthy cholesterol levels," she explains, noting that adding a digestive enzyme may help with gas or bloating that can arise from an increase in fiber.
They pack magnesium and copper.
Magnesium makes up 14 percent of a typical Medjool date, which Thompson points out is an important mineral for the human body and brain. "It regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure," she says. "It's also crucial for protein synthesis in the body."
Medjool dates contribute to iron absorption.
Thompson additionally notes that the average Medjool date contains about 18 percent copper, which helps ensure your body gets enough iron. "Copper is essential for the human body because it contributes to iron absorption, and together these minerals function to allow the body to form red blood cells," she says. "Copper additionally helps our bodies maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function."
Originally published: Yahoo Lifestyle