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Medjool dates are a crown jewel of the produce aisle. Native to Morocco and once reserved as a delicacy for Moroccan royalty and their guests
Medjool dates are a variety of dates enjoyed for their natural sweetness. They’re larger, darker, and more caramel-like in taste than other common types.
Native to Morocco, Medjool dates are just one of hundreds of varieties of dates, but they’re the only one known as “the fruit of kings.” With a sweet, caramel taste and chewy texture, Medjool dates were originally eaten by royalty and thought to fend off fatigue.
Medjool dates are now grown in warm climates globally, and research shows these ancient energy-boosting claims may be true. They’re also high in vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to other health benefits.
Dates are available at most supermarkets and are easy to include in your diet. They're great as a snack and their natural sweetness makes them a good substitute for sugar in the kitchen.
Medjool dates are also an excellent source of phytonutrients, plant compounds that may have health benefits. Studies have shown they can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, and improve hormone regulation.
Medjool dates are a great way to sweeten up your diet while adding vitamins and minerals.
Sweet snacks often have little nutritional value and are loaded with “empty calories” from sugar and fat. But Medjool dates’ high fiber content helps you to feel fuller for longer, which can aid in weight management goals.
Medjool dates are still high in calories, however, so too many can be a bad thing.
Research has found that Medjool dates can offer additional health benefits:
Medjool dates’ soluble fiber content lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol. Fiber binds with this cholesterol and prevents its absorption into your bloodstream. This keeps cholesterol’s fatty deposits from building up in your arteries, which reduces the risk of heart disease.
Studies have shown that soluble fiber may also help control blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure.
Research has found that the antioxidants in Medjool dates may reduce triglycerides, a fat found in your blood. High levels of triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease.
1. They Pile on the Potassium:
According to Thompson, a 3.5 ounce serving of Medjool dates provides 20 percent of the recommended daily intake of potassium. "Potassium is one of the most essential minerals present in the human body. It regulates fluid balance, muscle contractions, and nerve signals," she notes. "When potassium levels are low, it impacts major bodily functions, leading to low energy levels, muscle cramps, and both physical and mental fatigue."
2. Medjool Dates Contain Fiber:
That same 3.5 ounce serving packs 7 grams of fiber, which Thompson says is crucial in helping regulate the digestive system and maintaining normal bowel health. "The daily recommended dietary fiber intake is 25 to 30 grams for helping clean out bacteria and buildup in the intestines and lower unhealthy cholesterol levels," she explains, noting that adding a digestive enzyme may help with gas or bloating that can arise from an increase in fiber.
Magnesium makes up 14 percent of a typical Medjool date, which Thompson points out is an important mineral for the human body and brain. "It regulates muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure," she says. "It's also crucial for protein synthesis in the body."
Thompson also notes that the average Medjool date contains about 18 percent copper, which helps ensure your body gets enough iron. "Copper is essential for the human body because it contributes to iron absorption, and together these minerals function to allow the body to form red blood cells," she says. "Copper also helps our bodies maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function."
You can also benefit from an antioxidant boost by adding Medjool dates to your diet. "Antioxidants help eliminate radicals from cells and DNA, and reduce the damage caused by oxidation," according to Thompson. "Diets high in antioxidants may also reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers."
Last, but certainly not least, Medjool dates contain vitamin B6, which benefits the central nervous system and metabolism. "Vitamin B6 in the body functions to convert food into energy and helps to produce serotonin and dopamine," Thompson says. "Vitamin B6 is one of eight key B vitamins that are crucial in supporting proper cell function. When Vitamin B6 levels fall, people react with skin rashes, weakened immune systems, low energy levels, and more."