Dates: The thumb-sized powerhouses

Dates

Don’t you love Ramadan?

The month of fasting, prayer, charity, and dates?

Edible ones, of course. 😉

This blessed month, when the small, sweet fruit seems to be everywhere, let’s take a moment to see how something so small can be so beneficial.

Breaking the fast with dates is a well-known Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم  :

عَنْ أَنَسِ بْنِ مَالِكٍ، قَالَ ‏ “‏ كَانَ النَّبِيُّ صلى الله عليه وسلم يُفْطِرُ قَبْلَ أَنْ يُصَلِّيَ عَلَى رُطَبَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ رُطَبَاتٌ فَتُمَيْرَاتٍ فَإِنْ لَمْ تَكُنْ تُمَيْرَاتٌ حَسَا حَسَوَاتٍ مِنْ مَاءٍ ‏”‏ ‏.

‏Anas bin Malik narrated:

“The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم would break the fast with fresh dates before performing Salat. If there were no fresh dates then (he would break the fast) with dried dates, and if there were no dried dates then he would take a few sips of water.”

(Graded Hasan, Jami` at-Tirmidhi 696)

Dates are also one of the fruits mentioned in the Quran, one more than one occasion:

In : سورة الرحمن

وَالْأَرْضَ وَضَعَهَا لِلْأَنَامِ- 11

And the earth He laid [out] for the creatures.

 

فِيهَا فَاكِهَةٌ وَالنَّخْلُ ذَاتُ الْأَكْمَامِ- 12

Therein is fruit and palm trees having sheaths [of dates].

 

In سورة مريم, Allah instructs Maryam عليها السلام  to shake a palm tree just after she has given birth to baby Isa عليه السلام:

وَهُزِّي إِلَيْكِ بِجِذْعِ النَّخْلَةِ تُسَاقِطْ عَلَيْكِ رُطَبًا جَنِيًّا- 25

“And shake the trunk of date-palm towards you, it will let fall fresh ripe-dates upon you.”

 

I’ve always wondered why Allah ordered dates to be eaten during this weak, sensitive stage.

While I did know that dates were good for you, I had no idea that they were this beneficial! Here are some incredible benefits that this tiny fruit packs:

  1. Pregnancy, birth, and ante-natal care

Perhaps this answers my question? Dates have been proven to contribute to healthy pregnancies and deliveries in so many amazing ways that I’m struggling to summarize them here! They also contribute to the health of the mother after birth. You can read more here.

 

  1. Reduced blood pressure

Dates contain magnesium and potassium, both of which help lower blood pressure.

 

  1. Magnesium

This mineral has mind-boggling benefits. Aside from lowering blood pressure it can effectively reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and other inflammation-related health ailments.

 

  1. Boosting Brain Health

Dates contain vitamin B6, associated with better brain performance and better test scores. (eat these before exams! 😀 )

 

  1. Healthy digestion

The fibre found in dates helps to clean out the gastrointestinal system, allowing the colon to work more efficiently. Some other benefits relating to fiber and colon health are reduced risks of colitis, colon cancer, and hemorrhoids.

 

  1. Iftar time!

Everyone’s favourite time of the day 😀

Breaking fast by eating dates helps avoid overeating of food after the fast is finished. When the body begins to absorb the high nutritional value of the dates, feelings of hunger are pacified. It can significantly boost energy levels in people within half an hour of consuming it, thanks to our sugary friends glucose and fructose.

These are just a few nutritional benefits that this tiny fruit has, along with many, many others which you’ll find plenty about online.

It’s a shame that we often forget to thank Allah, Who has given us this gift which is small in size yet big in nutrition.

 

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, nor does the above information belong to me. I’ve taken facts from studies you can find here and here. If you need specific medical advice, please consult your doctor.

Have a happy, healthy Ramadan.

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