Date Palm: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?


DATE PALM: Benefits, Side Effects, Uses, Dosage, Warnings?

Fresh or dried , the dates are a good source of dietary fiber . Their high content of carbohydrates actually fruits high energy , perfect for sports intense. Furthermore, they contain a high concentration of antioxidants .

Benefits of dates

Fresh Medjool dates
Although few studies have been conducted specifically on dates , several epidemiological studies have shown that high consumption of fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease 15,23 , certain cancers 16,24 and other diseases chronic 3-6,17,18,22,25 . The presence of antioxidants and fibers in fruits and vegetables could play a role in protection.
Carbohydrate, dates are a food of choice to facilitate muscular work. Since carbohydrates are a good fuel for the muscles, dates can be useful during exercise, especially during prolonged exercise, such as walking walking or biking, skiing, etc..
What's the date?
Dried, sweeter Dates?
Dates are especially marketed and consumed dry, that is to say partially dehydrated. They contain only 15% to 20% water, 65% compared to 70% for fresh dates. Dried date contains much sugar (carbohydrates) a fresh date, but equal weight, dried dates contain a little more than fresh dates. Dried dates are sometimes coated with syrup so they retain some moisture, thereby increasing their sugar content.

Fresh dates contain a high concentration of antioxidants , mainly carotenoids and phenolic compounds 1,2,13,14 . Antioxidants protect body cells from damage caused by free radicals . Dried dates contain less than fresh dates, since a certain amount is lost during dehydration 1 .

Dietary fiber
Dates consist 57% insoluble fiber and 43% of soluble fiber . Insoluble fiber play an important role in intestinal regularity and preventing constipation 7 . By retaining water in the colon, they are the volume and increase stool weight, which reduces the transit time and facilitates disposal. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated that the soluble fiber plays a role in the reduction of cholesterol levels as well as the normalization of glucose and insulin. Therefore, they can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease 8,19,20 .

A 25 g portion of dates (3 fruits) provides 2 g of fiber, which is from 5% to 8% of the recommended amount of daily fiber 7 . Dried dates are a better source of food as raisins, dried apricots and prunes fibers, but they are less rich in fiber than dried figs 13 .

Glycemic index dried dates ranging from moderate to high 9.21 . This index is used to classify foods according to their effect on blood glucose . The glycemic index of dates is variable, since their chemical composition (sugar, types of sugar, fiber, etc..) Is influenced by different factors, such as variety, soil composition and maturity of fruit. Although the clinical utility of the concept of the glycemic index does not unanimous 10 , the Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes often consume more foods low glycemic index , and less often foods glycemic index moderate or high 11 .

Vitamins and minerals key

Classification of sources of nutrients

Vitamins: their functions, the best sources

Minerals: their functions, the best sources

The date is a source of copper .
Choking hazard to young children
Young children can choke by eating hard foods, smooth or round 12 . The dried hard dates and even those contained in the cookies have some risks. They have the same size as the esophagus (the tube that leads the food to the stomach) of a young child and they can get stuck in the throat and block the trachea (the tube that leads air to the lungs) 7 . So be very careful!


Health Profile
Research and scientific review under the direction of Louise Corneau, RD, MSc, nutritionist, Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods (INAF), Université Laval.
(December 2010)

top To access other recipes, you can visit the website of recipes, which provides among other things, the following recipes: date paste, date recipes , stuffed Dates

The Arabs say there is many uses for dates as there are days in the year. Here are a few:

For appetizers original, stuff them with cream cheese, or olives. Then roll them in cream cheese, then in chopped nuts.
Spreads. chopped Dates and creamy cheese. Chopped dates and orange marmalade. Chopped dates, peanut butter vinaigrette equally.
Stuff the pita bread with salad tabbouleh decorated with pieces of dates.
with dates
Add finely chopped dates in a vinaigrette . Let stand at least 2 hours before serving on a salad of your choice. Or embed them in a salad dressing made ​​with yogurt, vegetable oil, buttermilk and concentrated orange juice. Use a blender.
In salads with fruits, vegetables or mixed like this: grapefruit, avocado slices, red pepper strips, watercress, chicken breast and dates. Or serve simply with fresh pineapple, the grated coconut and fresh mint leaves.
Smoothie . Use a blender yogurt, dates, orange juice concentrate, banana, crushed ice and serve. Or try mixing yogurt, pineapple juice concentrate, dates and coconut.
Soymilk hit. Combine dates, soy milk, natural vanilla extract and grated coconut.
Prepare a pudding feeding with dates, rice and milk.
Serve them as treats , simply by farcissant walnut or almond paste. Before filling, they are generally enclosed in a water-soaked orange blossom fabric and rubbed, which gives them a nice sheen and a delicate flavor. For a change, stuff the maple butter.
Add them to preparations breads , nut breads, cakes, muffins, biscuits, or make traditional date squares and oatmeal.
Dates may replace all or part of mangoes in the classic recipe of chutney . Another recipe of chutney: dates, raisins, coconut, spearmint, pepper, cumin, lime juice.
Carrot Soup with dates. Sauté garlic, onion and celery. Add chicken broth, grated carrots and spices (curry, cumin, grated ginger, coriander seeds, pepper) and cook until carrots are tender. Add pitted and chopped, and cook until they have softened dates. Use a blender and serve the soup garnished with a dollop of crème fraîche or soft goat cheese
In couscous or tagines . For example, the Moroccan tajine consists of cubes of lamb caught in the shoulder and cooked with onions, garlic, cinnamon, saffron, salt, pepper and olive oil. The dish is garnished with dates stuffed with nuts and soaked a few minutes in water orange blossom prior to being immersed in a hot syrup.
Pasta . Mix spinach or arugula with thinly sliced ​​goat cheese, nuts, dry roasted, chopped dates, chopped garlic, lemon juice and olive oil. Let stand for half an hour. Use this mixture over short pasta.
Poultry stuffing. Combine chopped dates, cooked couscous, green onions, coriander seeds and cumin, salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Or dates and apricots, chopped, cooked wild rice, apples, onions and celery chopped thyme and rosemary. Or dates, pine nuts, breadcrumbs, milk and eggs. As dates, raisins, potatoes, eggs, cheese and nutmeg.
Lentils and rice. Sauté onions for ten minutes in the pan. Add broth, lentils, rice (half-baked case of brown rice) as well as carrots, celery, red pepper, garlic and dates. Season with spices of your choice, bake half an hour and serve this delicious vegetarian garnished with chopped parsley.
Cook a fish en papillote with chopped dates, butter, thyme and rosemary.
Chicken rice and dates. Fry pieces of dates in butter, add chicken strips. Cook for a few minutes and serve with rice cooked in chicken broth seasoned with cloves. Garnish with almonds and dry roasted, and sesame seeds.
Selection and conservation
But we find increasingly affordable fresh dates.

Can be obtained, Arab, Jewish and Indian grocery stores, the date syrup, as well as the sugar date .

The syrup contains dates dried and ground. It can be used in the same way as maple syrup: on pancakes, waffles, French toast, yogurt, or freeze poultry. Mixed with tahini, it is a great spread.

The sugar date of the slurry is concentrated and, in the manner of sugar maple sap. In addition, companies offer all these products on the Internet. Can be replaced by refined sugar date in any dish sugar. It should however be borne in mind that it does not dissolve, which in some cases can be a handicap.

Soak the dry dates in water a few hours to rehydrate. You can also eat as is taking care to go under water. This will remove the syrup made from sugar which they are often coated to conserve some moisture.

Refrigerator . Put fresh dates in an airtight container because they readily absorb odors.

Dried or dehydrated , dates will keep for 6 to 12 months, depending on the variety. Keep in a cool, dry place away from light and heat, to preserve mold.

The story of the date
Common name: date.
Scientific Name: Phoenix dactylifera.
Family: Arecaceae (synonym: palmaceae).

The term " date "appeared in the French language XIII th century. It comes from the Latin dactylus , which was borrowed from the Greek typists , whose meaning is "finger", alluding to the shape of the fruit.

Phoenix , Latin name of the tree is either "Phoenicia", or "Phoenix", the mythical bird of the Egyptians. From this word, we created " phéniciculture "," phéniciculteur "etc..

With coconut and oil palm, the date palm is the palm most cultivated in the world. Native basin of the Euphrates, which are established the oldest civilizations of Eurasia, it is cultivated there for 6 000-8 000 years, which would make it one of the earliest domesticated fruit trees. From its place of origin, it spread westward across North Africa and east to India. Some argue that without the date palm, the development of Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations would not have been possible, and expansion of the human race in the arid parts of the Old World would have been much smaller.

The date is one of the few plants that can survive in the inhospitable climate of the desert (very hot during the day, cold at night). Fruit provided a concentrated energy source important for nomads : 1 kilo of dried dates providing approximately 3,000 calories. With an average consumption of 200 kg per capita per year, the date was for these people a staple, which is adjoignait milk, yogurt, cheese or butter to balance the ration. Even today, the Middle East and the Middle East, and North Africa, although the power will be diversified, the date continues to play an important role. Nearly 90% of the production is consumed locally.

In addition to providing fruit, the date palm has had many other uses. The trunk was used to build houses, dense base palms in furniture, boxes, crates, cages and many other utilitarian objects, as well as firewood. Fibers allowed to make ropes. Leaflets (small sheets forming large compound leaf) were used for making hats, fans, baskets. Finally, the nuclei were used as animal feed and as jewelry. The date thus allowed the people of the desert, isolated from the rest of the world, live in relative autarky. This tree met the majority of their basic needs , hence the almost mystical veneration date palm has been. His palms were used in many religious rituals, some of which still exist today, such as Palm Sunday for Catholics and Sukkot among the Jews.

However, with the development of transport systems of XX th century, it became possible to connect the various desert oasis to sell products manufactured elsewhere. The plastic has replaced wood, palm and date palm leaflets that were used in the manufacture of everyday objects. The palm is now mainly cultivated for its fruit.
World production of dates , which hovers around 7 million tonnes per year, has more than doubled since the 1980s. This places the date the 5 th largest fruit products in the most arid and semi-arid, after citrus, mango, banana and pineapple. It is good first among the dried fruit before grapes, figs and prunes. We performed in over 30 countries, the most important being Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Pakistan and Algeria.

In addition to the fruit, which is harvested at three different stages of growth (fresh, semi-dry and dry), it uses the "honey" of dates (the pressed fruit juice), sugar and date sugar sap and the terminal bud of the palm and the heart of the tree. It also produces a sap with alcohol and coffee substitute with roasted and ground kernels.

Ecology and Environment
In the oases of the Sahara and pre-Saharan regions, the genetic heritage of the date palm is exceptional. Nothing in Algeria was inventoried more than 940 varieties. This reflects the huge selection work carried out by the phéniciculteurs over the centuries to maintain a high number of varieties. These have very different characteristics both in their degree of resistance to climatic, disease and insects, by shape, color, flavor and texture of fruit. Experts believe that genetic diversity is a natural rampart against the degradation factors of the oasis ecosystem.

However, this genetic diversity is fragile and preservation of many varieties is currently threatened, mainly because of trade issues. In order to satisfy the market demand for quality fruit, the phéniculteurs turn to a few varieties of high commercial value. They thus abandoning those with reduced interest in this regard, but play an important role in ecosystem management.

A vast project was established in order to preserve the genetic resources of date palm . It was created by the Ministries of Agriculture of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, with the collaboration of the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute. It is funded by the United Nations Development Programme and the Global Environment. As part of a participatory approach involving all stakeholders, working to select and multiply the most endangered varieties. The aim is to develop alternative markets to develop products and by-products of species of dates that are little or not cultivated on a commercial scale (wood, palm leaves, sap and unsaleable to integrate animal molded fruits).

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