You have most likely seen the rise of dates as the sweetener of choice in many "health food" products, but for what reason? Is it a fad? Or is there actual substance to this delicious dried fruit?
Dates are said to have originated in what is now Iraq. As soon as explorers discovered the fruit, plants were quickly transported around the around, the be eaten as a delicacy by well to do families and the royal society. They were even used as currency in some parts of the world!
These days, dates are available all over the world and science has been researching their effects on everything from assisting with late-stage pregnancy and delivery to testicular torsion (ouch!) and anti-cancer properties.
Dates have been found to be nutrient-dense and high in antioxidants. By using dates, date powder or date syrup as a sweetener, you will receive the same high power antioxidants as blackstrap molasses, without the strong taste.
They have also been found to contain a high amount of prebiotic dietary fibre and a particular antioxidant called phytonutrients that our "good" gut bacteria love to eat! This has lead to dates being studied for their effects on colon health and their anti-tumour properties. One such study observed that just adding the phytonutrients portion of the dates reduced tumour formation by half and the use of the full date rendered tumour formation nearly non-existent. This may be due in part to the increased growth of the beneficial bacteria.
The increased growth of beneficial bacteria has also been hypothesised to be useful in the prevention of stomach cancer.
Looking for a flatter tummy? The high dietary fibre found in dates will help move things along in your bowel, increasing your bowel movement frequency and therefore ensuring you don't have any stored matter in there that can cause your belly to look bigger.
And if you're looking for a delicious way to get some dates into your day, why not try adding a pack or two of our Nut & Seed Protein Balls to your next order? They'll help you feel fuller for longer while making your insides more beautiful and cancer free :)