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The Power Of Dates (No, We Don’t Mean Saturday Night Outings)
Dates have been thought to possess an almost magical, healing power since at least biblical times. Yet, it is only now that science can confirm what our ancestors believed.
If you look at the typical nutritional label of most dates, they appear to have tons of sugar, something most of us are trying to get less of, not more of, in our diets. But is this true? Are dates really just a nice name for candy?
Once you look at dates for what they really are, you will see that they are a superfood with tremendous value.
It’s interesting to note that in the Koran, Allah tells the Virgin Mary to eat dates before she gives birth. We might want to just toss this off as “superstitious bunk” but if you take a look, you will find that a research study published in 2011 in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that women who consumed dates during the last month of their pregnancy had improved cervical dilation, less damage to the membranes, more natural, spontaneous labor, had shorter labor times, and required the use of fewer pain relieving drugs.
Thanks to modern day research, we can confirm what the ancients believed was fact.
Dates are related to the palm tree family, right up there with red palm and coconuts. These are some of the oldest cultivated plants known to man. In fact, these plants are so old, we are not even sure of their point of origin! They provide us with life-sustaining nutrition, often in areas that otherwise have little in the way of edible plant life.
The scientific analysis of dates reveals that they are densely packed with many amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. We should note that dates are not only sources of energy for the body, but that they are also loaded with biologically valuable information. Natural foods contain hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of important biomolecules, which modulate the expression of the thousands of genes in the body, which in turn affect our microbiome.
You have surely heard the old saying “Let your food be your medicine.” This is sage advice when you consider that food is capable, right down to a molecular level, of positively affecting a wide range of biological pathways in the body. Food from the earth works in ways that drugs, no matter how good they may be, will never replicate. Our bodies know the difference between synthetic vitamins and natural vitamins. How much more can healthy, natural food affect our bodies?
Basically, this means that certain foods, such as dates, should be considered more than just a little fruit that is half fructose, half glucose with vitamins blah blah blah, and this and that mineral. Rather, we should start to think of natural foods as having gene-regulatory energy that can perform numerous therapeutic processes once consumed.
So right about now you are looking at a date and thinking, really? All that in this little package? Friends, this is absolutely true. In fact, if you research dates in the National Library of Medicine’s database called MEDLINE, you will see that there are at least 19 specific modes of positive, and beneficial action, along with therapeutic roles, or preventative measures, in at least 40 health conditions that we currently know about.
That is a whole lot of healing and preventative measures for one tiny little sweet tasting fruit.
Especially when you consider that most of the drugs on the market today, even the super money making, blockbusting drugs, are only made to treat one condition and have one therapeutic mode of action. To top it off, most drugs have, on average, 75 adverse side effects.
And dates? Not a single side effect known to man-kind for at least 3,000 years.
The fact that the FDA lists most foods, including dates, as simply FOOD, and not DRUGS, should not delude you into thinking that your food is not medicine. Natural foods are just as powerful, if not more so, than any pharmaceutical drug either over the counter or prescription strength.
So let your food be your medicine. Eat healthy. Drink healthy. Have some dates!