Haha! No, I didn’t mean dates as in dinner and a movie! I meant dates as in the sweet chewy fruit of the date palm tree!
Snacking on a few dates is a perfect healthier antidote to the massive sweet tooth that I have! MASSIVE! I grew up in a household where we bought tubs of ice cream every summer from the local ValuMart and ate a giant bowl each day. I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with the occasional bowl of ice cream, but if you feel that hankering for sweets coming on and want a better option that might even lower blood pressure naturally, read on!
There are hundreds of varieties of dates! My personal favorite is the Medjool date which has a soft texture with a sweet and caramel-like flavor. There’s SO much I want to say about dates but since this is my first post about it, let’s start with 1) How dates might lower blood pressure naturally, 2) What to keep in mind, 3) Fun facts!
Dates May Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
Dates are a good source of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. These important minerals play a big part in blood pressure regulation. They help to:
- Relax blood vessels, which can lower blood pressure
- Remove excess sodium through urine, which can lower blood pressure
- Regulate when blood vessels should tighten or relax
Dates have Many Health Benefits Beyond Lowering Blood Pressure
- Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), which can lower heart disease risk
- Fiber helps to regulate blood sugar levels, improve digestion
- Antioxidants may reduce triglycerides (a fat found in your blood), which can lower heart disease risk
I could go on for days, but I’m sure you have things to do so, I’ll leave some articles in the reference section at the bottom of this page if you are looking for more details!
What to Keep in Mind
As I’ve mentioned many times before: moderation is key. Dates can be a part of a well-balanced heart healthy diet. Eating hundreds of them to try and lower blood pressure (OK I’m exaggerating! Heh) is definitely not a good idea.
- Dates are high in calories so eat them sparingly and be mindful if weight gain is a concern
- Foods high in potassium may not be appropriate for certain health conditions such as those with kidney disease. Please check with your doctor!
- Dried foods often have sulfites added to help preservation. Avoid if you have an allergy or sensitivity to sulfites! You can look for dates without sulfites but then be sure to follow the directions on the box for proper storage. I keep mine in an airtight container in the fridge since I prefer not to eat the sulfites.
Fun Facts about Dates
- Dates are the oldest cultivated fruit in the world, possibly have been consumed for 50 million years as seen in fossil research! WHOA!
- Medjool dates specifically must be harvested by hand because of how delicate they are. That’s a lot of work that goes into getting that date to you! Thank you so much date harvesters!
- One mature date tree can grow up to 10,000 dates in one growing season alone. WOW!
How do you like to enjoy dates? What’s your favorite type of date? Would love to hear your experience!
Categories: Food and Diet