Tis the Season for Tasty Dates

Dates

Trying to get your sweet tooth back under control after the holiday? Try the incredible date!

I usually eat fruit to ease myself off candy, cookies and other sweets, but in the winter there is a lack of good produce. Luckily there is a fruit called a date that dries so well it lasts a long time.  Winter is the season when you can readily find dates in your local grocery store.

Dates grow on palm trees found in the Middle East. They eventually made their way through Africa, Spain and Italy, eventually landing in Mexico and California. The Egyptians called them the “tree of life” and modelled large columns in their architecture after them. Dates are so high in natural sugar they were used as sweeteners like we use sugar today.  They ground them up into flour, used them in cakes and also made wine out of them. They are still so popular in their native land that 80% of the world’s dates grown are actually eaten right where the tree is. Only 20% make it to our tables.

Why am I willing to eat a fruit high in natural sugar? I look at it as a stepping stone with benefits. It’s difficult to go cold turkey after you eat so many sweets, you may need something to gradually work to other fruits. I found a great looking box at my local store and immediately started rationing one or two a day. Once I’m done with my box of dates, I’ll move on to another less sugary fruit, and then back to my normal routine.

Here are the benefits of eating dates over candy or baked goods:

  • High Fiber
  • Very low in fat
  • No Cholesterol
  • Low sodium

And good amounts of

  • Protein
  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Iron
  • Other minerals

Dates are considered a healthy snack that improves your digestive system and is good for your heart.  How’s that for a stepping stone to eliminating processed sugar?!