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Dates are a great source of dietary fiber, two or three times the fibre found in green vegetables such as broccoli and cabbage. Soluble fiber may help control diabetes by reducing blood glucose levels, helps lower serum cholesterol levels, particularly undesirable low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. The predominant type of fibre in dates is soluble fibre which has the capacity to dissolve in water, and forms a gel-like substance within the gut. Dates are rich in the type of soluble fibre known as pectin, one effect of which is to slow the speed at which food leaves the stomach, an action which is believed to help put a brake on the appetite.
The fibre content of dates also seems to help temper the speed with which they liberate their sugar into the bloodstream. Despite their intense sugariness, studies reveal that dates give relatively slow and sustained release of energy into the system - an effect which will helps to maintain energy levels are keep an over-active appetite at bay.
Dates have the highest concentration of polyphenols among dried fruits which should be a greater part of the diet as they are dense in phenol antioxidants and nutrients, most notably fiber.
Dates are one of the best natural sources of potassium. Potassium is an essential mineral your body needs to maintain muscle contractions including the vital heart muscle. Potassium is needed to maintain a healthy nervous system and to balance the body’s metabolism as well. Potassium is not stored in the body, and much is lost in perspiration - it must be continually replenished. As you consume potassium you excrete sodium, helping to keep blood pressure down. As people age, their kidneys become less efficient at eliminating sodium. About a 400 mg increase in potassium intake has been associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of stroke.
Dates contain a variety of B-complex vitamins - thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6 and pantothenic acid. These B-vitamins have a variety of roles that help maintain a healthy body. They help in converting food into energy and maintaining blood glucose levels, fatty acids for energy, and they help make hemoglobin, the red and white blood cells. Dates also contain Magnesium, essential for healthy bone development and for energy metabolism and Iron which is essential to red blood cell production (red blood cells carry all the nutrients to cells throughout the body) boron and calcium (both of which help maintain strong bones), selenium (cancer-protective properties) and zinc (helps maintain a healthy immune system). In addition, Dates are fat and cholesterol free!