Superfood: Dates

Truly mother nature’s candy this deceivingly and somewhat overlooked fruit in the U.S. is a favorite Middle Eastern culinary staple used for both savory and sweet dishes alike and is always a crowd-pleaser.  They are believed to have originated around Iraq, and have been cultivated since prehistoric Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make wine and the delicious fruit at harvest, what we now know was autumn.

Apart from being able to make date wine with these little guys dates are great braised in stews, chopped up in desserts, used a sugar alternative/binding agent or stuffed with cream cheese or almonds as a mid-afternoon snack. Oh, and don’t feel guilty about snacking on them as dates contain 20–70 calories each, depending on size of course.

Their health benefits include being low in fat and are a great source of fiber and potassium, making them a great post-workout snack. Potassium is an essential electrolyte; helping to control your fluid levels and can help lower your blood pressure. It also makes your body less sensitive to sodium, so you’re less likely to suffer a large spike in blood pressure after a sodium-rich meal. Consuming potassium also benefits your nervous system, as your nerves rely on potassium to communicate with each other.

 

Source: SF Gate

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