Dates resemble shriveled, brown elongated grapes. This sweet fruit comes from the palm tree; and while dates grow in the United States, they are native to the Middle East. Date fruits provide a range of nutritional benefits, including minerals and fiber, that are good for your health.
High in Fiber
Dates are a good option for introducing more fiber into your diet by way of a tasty, sweet package. A three-date serving of this fruit provides you with 4.8 grams of fiber. This quantity contributes to the recommended daily intake of fiber, which stands at 21 to 25 grams for women and 30 to 38 grams for men. The fiber in dates is good for filling your belly, which may help reduce calorie intake and facilitate weight loss. In addition, fiber is useful for preventing diarrhea and constipation.
Three dates contain 501 milligrams of potassium, a mineral that acts as an electrolyte -- a compound that controls the balance of water in your body as well as the acidity of your blood. Adults require 2,000 milligrams of potassium each day, so the amount in a serving of dates accounts for roughly a fourth of the needed quantity. Your heart and muscles need potassium to function correctly, and the potassium in dates also plays a role in digestion.
Eat three dates, and you date in 0.3 milligrams of copper. Considered an essential trace mineral -- a necessary mineral in your diet even though you do not require a large quantity of it -- copper is one of the elements that makes up your red blood cells; the copper in this fruit also influences the health of your blood vessels, bones and immune system. Adults need 900 micrograms per day, or roughly 0.9 micrograms.
A serving of three dates has 0.2 milligrams of manganese. The 1.8 to 2.3 milligrams of this mineral you require daily contributes to the function of your brain and nerves, and it also helps your body manufacture sex hormones and blood-clotting factors. Even though you do not require a great quantity of manganese, not consuming enough may negatively influence fertility, so eating dates when you are trying to get pregnant may assist in conception.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Dates, Medjoolrel="nofollow"
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Potassium; March 2009rel="nofollow"
- MedlinePlus; Electrolytes; August 2009rel="nofollow"
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Copper in Diet; March 2009rel="nofollow"
- University of Maryland Medical Center; Manganese; June 2009rel="nofollow"
- George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.