Dates are commonly known by the people in India as Chhuhara or Khajur which has been used for years for eating and medicinal purposes. It was first originated in the regions of Persian Gulf which has now been widely cultivated in many countries such as Australia, Madeira, North Africa, Islands, Spain, Cape Verde, Sahel region of Africa, Afghanistan, Mauritius, India, Pakistan, US, China, Fiji, northern Mexico, Leeward Islands, Italy, Cayman Islands and etc.
Because of its lots of health and medicinal benefits is has been used for year as a most favorite and staple food items in many countries lime Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Arabia, Iran and etc. It is found in various types such as Hayany, Khadrawy, Barhi, Monastery Date, Maktoom, Medjool, Sayer, Thoory, Deglet Noor, Halawy, Khastawi, Saidy, Zahdi and so many.
Benefits of Dates (Chhuhara or Khajur)
Date or Chhuhara is very beneficial for the health as it is loaded with the healthy nutrients which have ability to cure, protect and prevent body from various health disorders like diarrhea, constipation, intestinal disorders, anemia, heart problems, abdominal cancer, sexual dysfunction, and so many. It is a good home remedy for gaining weight as well as losing weight.
It is counted as the balanced and healthy food gifted by the nature to nourish whole human fraternity. It has its own significance and importance in many cultures in India and eaten on a day after fasting to get full nourishment and relief for the digestive system. Some of its nutritional health benefits are mentioned below:
Benefits of Dates for Digestive System
Cures Chronic Constipation
- Because of its laxative nature it provides a lot of help in curing chronic constipation. It provides instant relief if soaked dates are eaten in the morning regularly.
Promotes Healthy Bowel Movements
- Chhuhara contains high level of soluble fibers which promotes the healthy bowel movements and eases the passage of food all through the intestinal tract.
Maintains Electrolytes Balance
- Well ripe dates have good amount of potassium which plays very effective role in controlling the diarrhea by regulating the electrolytes balance in the body.
Improves Digestive System Functioning
- Nicotine found in it helps in curing various intestinal disorders such as inhibiting growth of pathogenic bacteria, promotes growth of intestinal friendly bacteria, solves indigestion problem by stimulating proper food digestion and so many.
Reduces Risk of Abdominal Cancer
- Eating date reduces the risk abdominal cancer as it helps in regularizing the digestive system activities.
Prevents from Colon Cancer
- Its high level of insoluble and soluble dietary fibers acts as laxative and protects colon mucous membrane from the colon cancer.
Treats Digestives Disorders
- Eating dry dates on regular basis helps in treating various digestives disorders including gas formation, acidity, bloating, stomach ulcers, hemorrhoids, heart burn and colitis.
Benefits of Dates for Bones, Teeth and Joints
Makes Bone and Teeth Healthy
- Chhuhara provides bone, teeth and joints proper nourishment for the healthy growth and development.
Prevents from Bone Diseases
- It is a super food which strengthens bones and prevents from all the painful and degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis, osteoporosis and etc.
Provides all Required Minerals to Bone
- Its availability of minerals like selenium, calcium, manganese, copper, phosphorus and magnesium makes it able to nourish bones if eaten on regular basis.
Prevents from Tooth Decay
- Its high level of fluorine mineral helps in slowing down the tooth decay problems and etc.
Strengthens Tooth Enamel
- Fluorine found in dates also prevents from the plaque formation of the teeth by strengthening the tooth enamel.
Benefits of Dates for Weight Gain
High Calorie Food
- Chhuhara helps in gaining weight among lean and weak people if eaten regularly because of its availability of high level of sugar, carbohydrate, protein, essential vitamins and etc which are mostly required to improve weight.
- It also helps in keeping weight managed if it is eaten with cucumber paste.
Boosts Energy Level
- Date contains high amount of natural sugars including glucose, fructose, and sucrose thus boosts the body energy level and removes weakness.
Benefits of Dates for Nervous System
Boosts Nervous System Health
- Chhuhara is a vitamin rich natural food boosts the health of nervous system by stimulating the proper functionality.
Improves Mind Concentration Level
- It is rich source of potassium which is mostly required by the body to promote the healthy nervous system as it helps in improving the concentration, speed and alertness of the memory.
Benefits of Dates for Heart
Keeps Heart Healthy
- Date is very healthy for the heart too if eaten some soaked Chhuhara on regular basis.
Reduces Risk of Heart Disorders
- It helps in strengthening the weak hearts functioning as it is rich source of potassium which involves in reducing the risk of heart disorders like hypertension, stroke, heart failure and etc.
Reduces Cholesterol Level
- It helps in reducing the level of bad cholesterol in the blood thus prevents from heart attacks, atherosclerosis and etc.
Benefits of Dates for Diabetics
Food of Low-Glycemic Index
- As date contains high amounts of natural sugars, it is a food of low-glycemic index and does not involve in rising the blood sugar level thus little amount is safe for the diabetics.
Benefits of Dates for Skin
Repair Damaged Cells
- Date is the natural source of B group vitamins especially B5 which is very beneficial for the growth of skin cells as well as repair of damaged cells due to free radicals.
Treats Dry Skin
- Its vitamin A content keeps skin healthy and soft by treating the dry skin problems and removing dead skin cells.
Regenerates New Skin Cells
- Chhuhara helps in regenerating new skin cells to make skin fresh, healthy, youthful and glowing.
Delays Early Ageing
- Its antioxidant nature prevents skin from free radicals, UV rays and early aging and make skin firm and toned.
Improves Skin Texture
- It helps in improving skin texture and makes skin smooth and fair skin if consumed regularly.
Provides Natural Glow to Skin
- Date face pack (paste of fresh dates, lemon juice or orange juice) can be applied to the face skin for 10 to15 mins to get fresh and glowing look.
Benefits of Dates for Hair
Prevents from Hair Problems
- Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 found in dates prevents from number of hair problems including hair loss, brittle hair, split ends, and etc.
Nourishes Hair Roots
- It provides better nourishment to the hair roots and scalp and prevents from excessive hair fall, dryness and etc.
Makes Hair Strong
- Chhuhara makes hair stronger, silky and shiny by providing full nourishment to the hair.
Benefits of Dates for Kids
Promotes Proper Growth and Development
- As kids are growing age and need more healthy and essential nutrients for proper growth and development of their bones, teeth, skin, hair, memory, brain and other body systems thus it is good to give them some soaked dates on daily basis.
- It is good for the lean and weak kids to gain weight in natural way.
Enhances Memory Level
- Chhuhara helps in enhancing their memory and concentration level.
Benefits of Dates for Men
Enhances Body Stamina
- Date contains natural aphrodisiac property and helps in removing the sexual weaknesses among men by energizing the body and enhancing the sexual stamina if some dates (soaked in fresh goat milk over night) are eaten on daily basis. It can be taken whole with milk by grinding in the juicer.
- To enhance flavor and taste honey and cardamom powder can also be added.
Natural Tonic for Men
- Chhuhara is a natural and powerful tonic for all men in order to enhance their sexual endurance as well as cure sterility and other sexual disorders.
Improves Sperm Count
- It contains some natural compounds called flavonoids and estradiols which are very helpful in increasing the sperm count, motility, stimulating proper growth of testes means size and weight.
Benefits of Dates for Women during Pregnancy
Improves Hemoglobin Count
- It is very effective during whole pregnancy because of its richness of iron which is required by the body to maintain normal count of hemoglobin.
- Chhuhara helps in curing anemia among women during pregnancy by fulfilling the lack of iron as well as removes feeling of fatigue, weakness and sluggishness.
Keeps Body Fresh and Energetic
- It enhances the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood by increasing the number of red blood cells thus keeps body fresh and energetic as well as provide better oxygen level to the fetus.
- Date helps in improving uterus muscles contraction and smoothing the baby passage during delivery time as well as prevents from excessive bleeding after childbirth.
Benefits of Dates Juice
Date juice can be prepared at home by mixing some soaked dates into milk. Mix both into blender and enjoy drinking it into a glass. Some of its health benefits are mentioned below:
Nourishes Skin and Hair
- Date is a good nourishment drink to the skin and hair, provide better texture, smoothness and softness to the skin and hair.
Stimulates Uterine Muscle Contraction
- Consuming date juice is very good to process natural birth as it stimulates contraction of uterus muscles.
Prevents from Cancer and Ageing
- It is rich in lots of antioxidants and flavonoids thus prevent from cancer and early aging.
Good Remedy to Gain Weight
- Chhuhara is good and cheap natural home remedy to easily gain more weight as it is rich source of sugar and carbohydrates.
- It solves the problem of constipation as it contains insoluble dietary fibers as laxative.
Contains Essential Nutrients for Bone and Teeth
- It is good for the bones and teeth because of being source of calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron and copper.
Other Health Benefits of Dates
Prevents from Infection
- Date prevents from the infections and disorders of various other body organs such as ear, eye, nose, and throat.
Prevents from Eye Disorders
- It prevents from the night blindness, low eyesight and etc by regulating the eye functioning in order to maintain the proper eye sight.
Reduces Bad Effects of Alcoholic Intoxication
- It is a best home remedy to reduce the effects of alcoholic intoxication and provides quick relief.
Prevents from various Problems
- Chhuhara contains polyphenolic antioxidants called tannin which is anti-inflammatory, anti-infective and anti-hemorrhagic in nature thus prevents from various infections, inflammations and excess bleeding.
Maintains Eye Vision
- Vitamin-A found in it has antioxidant property and good for proper eye vision thus prevents body from early ageing and eye disorders including age-related macular degeneration.
Prevents from Free Radicals
- It contains some powerful antioxidants and flavonoids including beta-carotene, lutein and zea-xanthin which have strong ability to protect body cells from the harmful side effects of free radicals.
Protects from Cancer
- It provides strong protection from various body organs cancers such as breast, colon, prostate, endometrial, uterine, lung, pancreatic and etc.
Makes Digestion Process Easy
- It contains adequate amount of B group vitamins which act as cofactors in many metabolic functions such as digestion of protein, carbohydrate and fats whereas vitamin K act as a blood coagulant factor and bone metabolism.
Reduces Risk of Seasonal Problems
- Chhuhara contains all the essential amino acids thus provides better nourishment to the body and prevents from seasonal health problems.
Improves strength of Heart and Uterine Muscles
- It helps in improving the muscle strength such as heart muscles, uterus muscles and etc.
Reduces Risk of many Diseases
- High level of magnesium found in it reduces the risk of diabetes, osteoporosis, depression, hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.
Prevents from Long Term Illness
- Magnesium mineral available in it prevents pregnant women, athletes and people undergoing strenuous physical exercises from long term illness.
Loaded with Powerful Antioxidants
- It has high concentrations of powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and carotenoids protects from chronic disorders like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurological ailments including Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss and etc.
Prevents form Seasonal Allergies
- It helps in preventing people very sensitive to the seasonal allergies as it contains organic sulfur which reduces sensitivity.
Regulates Acidity of Blood
- Date contains some alkaline salts which help in regulating the acidity of blood and prevents from gout, gall bladder inflammations, renal stones, hypertension, piles and etc.
Nutritional Benefits of Dates / Chhuhara / Khajur per 100 g
(Source: USDA Nutrient data base)
Energy: 277 Kcal
Carbohydrate: 74.97 g
Sugar: 63.35 g
Water: 20.53 g
Total Fat: 0.15 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.036 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.019 g
Saturated Fat: 0.032 g
Dietary Fibers: 6.7 g
Folates: 15 µg
Niacin: 1.610 mg
Pantothenic acid: 0.805 mg
Pyridoxine: 0.249 mg
Riboflavin: 0.060 mg
Thiamine: 0.050 mg
Vitamin A: 149 IU
Vitamin K: 2.7 µg
Vitamin C: 0.4 mg
Vitamin E: 0.05 mg
Sodium: 1 mg
Potassium: 696 mg
Calcium: 64 mg
Copper: 0.362 mg
Iron: 0.90 mg
Magnesium: 54 mg
Manganese: 0.296 mg
Phosphorus: 62 mg
Zinc: 0.44 mg
Beta-Carotene: 89 µg
Lutein-zeaxanthin: 23 µg
How to Select and Store
Date or Chhuhara is widely available in the market in packed container all over the year. Select fresh, smooth skinned, dark colored and heavy weight dates packed in the air tight container from the market. Avoid buying bruised, unripe, bad smelling or having hardened sugar crystals on its surface and opened packet of dates from the market. Well dried and ripe dates can be stored at room temperature for months if placed in the air-seal container at dry and cool place. Avoid placing dates near strongly smelling things like garlic as it has tendency to absorb smell of others. Avoid buying dates having artificial sugar coating and stored using inorganic chemicals.
How to Enjoy
It can be enjoyed eating whole dates, sliced, powdered, soaked, mixed with milk, sprinkled to another recipes, with other dry fruits like walnuts, cashews, almonds, pista, cream cheese, fruit salad, desserts, juice, jallab (mixture of dates, rose water and grape molasses) and etc. It can be added to the homemade breads, muffins, cakes, cookies, biscuits and etc.
Precautions, Side Effects and Disadvantages
Eating dates need some precautions because of some serious side effects and disadvantages to the health which are mentioned below:
- Dates are high calorie food which may gain weight if consumed in high amount thus should be eaten carefully by the weight conscious people and heart or diabetic patients.
- Excess consumption of Chhuhara increases the risk of type-2 diabetes.
- Some people have fructose intolerance or fructose mal absorption may develop some serious symptoms like gas formation, bloating, diarrhea and etc.
- Mouth should be washed properly with water after eating dates to reduce the chance of teeth decay.
- It is safe for kids and pregnant women however in case of cross-hypersensitivity to the birch family pollen, it may cause health problem.
How Many Dates/Chhuhara to Eat a Day
Eating dates on regular basis is good to health but best to be in limit as over eating may cause serious health disorders. Eating 3 to 4 dates on daily basis is good for the normal and healthy person however a person suffering from any health disorder must consult his doctor, physician or health practitioner to get prevented from side effects.
Find the Benefits of other Dry Fruits