Friday, November 08, 2019

Date palm fruit nutrient content and health benefits

Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L) belongs to the family Arecaceae that includes 200 genera; genus Phoenix contains 12 of the 1500 species that belong to the date palm family.

Its major components are carbohydrates (mainly sucrose, glucose, and fructose), whoosh may constitute to about 70%. Dates are a good source of fiber and contain many important vitamins and minerals, including significant amounts of calcium, iron, fluorine, and selenium and low in sodium.

The flesh of dates contains 20% moisture, between 50 and 67% sugar, 2.5%, 2%protein and less than 2% each of fat, minerals and pectic substances.

Recent studies have shown that dates and their aqueous extracts have demonstrated the free radical scavenging activity, inhibition of free radical-mediated macromolecular damages, antimutagenic, and immuno-modulatory activities.

Sugars in dates are the most important constituents as they provide a rich source of energy to humans. Reducing sugars, such as glucose, are readily absorbed during digestion and lead to rapid elevation of blood sugars. As fructose is twice as sweet as glucose, it induces a feeling of satiety and may also reduce the total calorie intake compared to fat-rich foods.

The fiber found in dates comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber has been shown to help control diabetes by decreasing high blood sugar as well as lowering high cholesterol, specifically low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Insoluble fiber increases the body’s ability and rate at which food is processed through the digestive system.

Selenium is a coenzyme for the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, and therefore, has a role in the protection of body tissues against oxidative stress, maintenance of defenses against infection, and the modulation of growth and development.

Dates are usually taken as such or with Arabian coffee, milk, or yoghurt. In the processed form, they are consumed as paste, syrup, pickles, jams, jellies, and are used in many bakery or confectionary products together with chocolate, coconut, honey, vinegar, and others.

Date palm fruit nutrient content and health benefits


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