Building healthy eating habits can be tough if you’ve got a sweet tooth, but fortunately, naturally-sweet options like fruit can serve as satisfying substitutes. One great option for a healthy sweet treat are dates. These little sugar bombs are nature’s candy, but with way more nutritional benefits. Here are seven ways they’re good for your health.
- They’re nutrient-rich. Unlike other sugary options, a serving of dates (about 3) has five grams of fiber, a gram of protein, and no fat. They also offer nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin K, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and manganese.
- They have antioxidants. Antioxidants are great for mitigating oxidative stress and dates have lots including carotenoids, polyphenols, tannins, and sterols. Plus, they even have antifungal properties.
- They’re a dessert with no added sugar. Like other dried fruits, dates get all their sweetness naturally with no added sugar!
- They’re good for digestive health. Three dates provide nearly 20 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake. Much like prunes, dates can help regulate your digestive system for healthier bowel movements.
- They support blood and heart health. Older studies have linked dates to lowered cholesterol and blood fat levels for better heart health and lowered risk of type 2 diabetes.
- They could offer brain protection. One study found that dates could be a potential additional therapeutic option against Alzheimer’s disease.
- They can help ease labor. Dates have been shown to shorten the active phase of labor and improve the bishop score, which measures the readiness of the cervix for vaginal labor.
If you want to incorporate dates into your diet, they make a great addition to oatmeal, smoothies, and baked goods, or even just on their own.