If I asked you to eat something that is 70% sugar a few times week, you would think Wally has lost his mind. After all, I am constantly asking you to get the sugar out of your diet. However, Mother Nature likes to throw us a curve ball every so often. That’s why I also say “Never say never”.
We all know the perils of sugar. We have discussed the negative health effects of excessive sugar intake, more times than I remember, and we will continue to hammer that message home. Although sugar is necessary for life and can come from healthy sources, when it comes from the wrong source or is in excess, it causes a cascade of long term, acute, and damaging effects to our health.
We also know that artificial sweeteners are even worse for our body. Most are excitotoxins (causing symptoms similar to MS and Parkinson’s disease), and others destroy our good gut flora. One sweetener is even made from the poop of e-coli bacteria. Yes! You have been eating poop from e-coli bacteria, when you eat this particular artificial sweetener.
So, what could we use for sweetening our foods in a healthy way?
DATES!! The wonderful middle eastern fruit. It could be one of the most perfect foods on the planet! There are many varieties of dates. They are actually called date palm fruit. The most common varieties are ‘Amir Hajj’, ‘Saidy’, ‘Khadrawy’ and ‘Medjool’. They are popular for their rich taste, flavor, and superior quality. The most common found in the US, are Medjool dates.
Although Dates are more than 70% sugar, they actually lower cholesterol and triglycerides, all while not raising blood sugar levels. It’s amazing that dates can contain so much sugar, yet, not have a negative affect on blood sugar levels. Every person is different, so dates may effect your blood sugar differently than other people. Because dates are so rich in sugar, don’t over consume them. A little goes a long way. Dates are a rich source of fiber which helps reduce the blood sugar impact of the natural sugar in dates. However, remember that even as healthy as dates are we can have to much of a good thing. I would limit intake to two or 3 per day unless exercising. they are a great source of energy and antioxidants of you exercise.
Companies have tried to copy the effects of dates powerful compounds, but can’t. This is because the healing properties only work by having the supporting nutrients and phytonutrients found in the date. A study published by Bio-Med Research International, discusses the use of one of the antioxidants contained in dates (anthocyanins), for medical purposes.
An excerpt from the study;
- “There are at least four primary obstacles that have impeded the formulation, by medical professionals, of robust dietary or prescriptive guidelines on consumption of anthocyanins. Probably the most complicated piece of the puzzle is that, in terms of biological activity in the human body, an anthocyanin pigment is (almost) never acting independently. Typically, anthocyanins and other flavonoid components, or anthocyanins and other nonflavonoid phytochemicals, are interacting together in order to provide full potency. Interactions between phytochemicals within a plant are a key evolutionary strategy for the host plant.” https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2004/673916/abs/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1082894/
Dates are rich in many nutrients including the B vitamins; thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid, choline, and vitamins A and K. Dates are also a good sources of minerals like phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, manganese, and iron. Dates are rich in a particular group of antioxidants called anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are much more bio-available than other flavonoid antioxidants.
Dates have an amazing array of health benefits. Much of it could be due to the combination of the many vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients like the antioxidants it possess. Date’s health benefits can be verified through many publicized studies.
Some of the health benefits from eating dates are:
- Improved digestion
- Improved elimination
- Improved immune function
- Antibacterial properties
- Better blood sugar and diabetes management
- Lower cholesterol
- Lower triglycerides
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Reduced risk of arterial disease
- Reduced risk of some cancers
- Improved detoxification
- Help prevent anemia
- Reduce the risk of stroke
Dates offer many health benefits, add rich flavor to meals and are a great snack!!
Wally Bishop C.N.C., I.N.H.C.
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3112406/ (diabetes)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22214443 (medicinal food)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/ (anti-cancer-anti-inflammatory-)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12850886 (the perfect food)
- http://www.mdpi.com/1422-0067/16/12/26210/pdf (anti-Cancer)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19681613 (lowers cholesterol and triglycerides)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27023514 (anti-bacterial e-coli-staph))
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4473134/ (improves gut flora and colon health)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26952177 (antibacterial)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21280989 (helps with labor and pregnancy)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22211184 (Benefits of anthocyanins in cardiovascular disease)
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