Dates are one of the oldest cultivated fruits in the world. Palm trees have grown along ancient rivers for thousands of years. This fruit have been part of the daily diet of the people of the Babylonian civilization in 8000 years ago. Now days, dates are still the main ingredient in the food basket of the people of the Middle East and North Africa. Dates also play an important role in the cultural heritage of Middle Eastern nations.
In this article, we try to make you more familiar with this useful and diverse fruit. If you want to increase your information about this valuable fruit,
stay until the end of the article and read it!!
Dates are a fruit that has been in human life for centuries.
Archaeological evidence of date palm cultivation is available in the Mehrgarah (Neolithic civilization in the current region of West Pakistan) around 7000 to 8000 BC, as well as in eastern Saudi Arabia between years 5320 and 5530. The place of date cultivation in ancient times was from Mesopotamia to Egypt.
The palm tree is engraved on the seals of Assyrian civilization along with images of gods, humans and animals. In the lithographs related to this civilization and the Babylonian civilization, there is a role of palm many times. This shows the sacredness of this fruit in the civilizations of Mesopotamia.
Dates are scientifically known as phoenix dactylifera. The name goes back to the coastal region between Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea (The current location of Phoenician).
The date palm is known as the Phoenix tree or Phoenician tree and has been a symbol of this civilization and its image can be seen in Phoenician coin. Based on the available archaeological evidence, it has been determined that the date was taken to North Africa by the Phoenicians and Minoans.
Over time, the date trade expanded to southwest Asia, North Africa, and Spain. In 1765, dates were imported to Mexico by the Spanish. In the early twentieth century, for the first time the palm tree was taken to southern California and due to the arid and tropical climate of this region
Many groves were quickly established in this state and dates became one of the most important agricultural products in the region.
What is a date? (Learn more about dates !!)
Dates are one of the fruits with kernels.
This means that it has a kernel surrounded by a foreign fleshy fruit (such as mango and peach).
The interesting thing about dates is that the name of the tree and the name of the fruit are different. The dates tree is called a palm tree. Dates are tropical fruits and have been cultivated in Mesopotamia for more than 8000 years.
The plant palm has two bases and the male and female flowers are located separately on separate bases and Pollination is done by insect.
The date palm can grow up to 70 foot. Date fruits are in form of large clusters at a height of over 70 foot.
After 4 to 5 years from planting, the palm is ready to bear fruit and reaches full fruiting at 10 to 15 years of age, so that each cluster of dates will bear fruit about 40 to 80 kg per year.
The lifespan of a palm tree is estimated to be 150 years, but over time its fruiting power decreases.
There are more than 1000 types of dates in the world, the most important of which are Mazafati, Rabbi, Sayer, Zahidi, Piarom, Medjool and Deglet Noor. The color of date fruit varies from honey yellow to bold brown.
Stages of date growth
Dates go through 4 stages: immature, astringent, semi-dry (soft) and dry to become an edible fruit.
Date fruit usually remain on the tree until fully ripe. But sometimes to prevent over-drying, they are picked from the tree ahead of time.
One of the factors affecting the health of dates is that they do not need to use synthetic or chemical materials to dry them.
Unlike other dried fruits available in stores, date fruits are not completely without water and must be stored in a cool place to retain their moisture. The remarkable thing about dates is that no preservatives are used to preserve them.
Dates contain natural sugar and it is interesting to know that dried dates have more calories than fresh dates. The high calories and abundant nutrients in dates have caused the consumption of this fruit by Muslims during Ramazan and the time of Iftar (Time to break the fast) is very high.
Why are dates good for health?
When you look at the nutrition label of a date package, one thing that certainly attracts attention is the high amount of sugar in it. Are they harmful As the information in these labels shows, or are they a healthy snack?
If we examine this question based on the available scientific information about dates, will know that not only is dates not a harmful fruit but it is also very valuable from the point of view of nutritional science. As mentioned earlier, dates are high in calories and most of these calories come from carbohydrates. In addition, dates contain vitamins and minerals and a high volume of fiber.
Here are some properties of dates (In a separate article we will discuss the full properties of this valuable fruit).
Because dates are free of cholesterol and naturally have very little fat, adding dates to your daily diet can help control blood cholesterol.
Dates contain selenium, manganese, copper and magnesium and for this reason, its consumption is very effective in bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
Rich source of antioxidants:
Dates are rich in antioxidants and when compared to other dried fruits, we can safely say that it ranks first in this group.
Dates contain carotenoids, flavonoids and phenolic acids, all three of which are antioxidants, and they play an important role in the health of the heart and cells of the body. Eating dates reduces the risk of cancer.
Nervous system booster:
The presence of high potassium and a low amount of sodium in dates has caused to ensure nervous health by consuming it. Foods high in potassium make it easier for nerve cells to communicate. The low amount of sodium in dates also reduces the risk of high blood pressure.
But because dates are a rich source of essential vitamins that body needs,
By consuming sufficient amounts of dates in the daily diet, the need for vitamins B1, B2, B3 and B5 can be easily eliminated.
Prevent premature aging
using dates in the daily diet is suitable for people who suffer from skin problems. Vitamins C and D in dates keep skin smooth by increasing its elasticity. Consumption of dates prevents the accumulation of melanin in the body and prevents premature aging.
The best ways to store dates for a long time
Dates can be stored in the refrigerator for more than a year and at room temperature for several months. Dates with 27% moisture are in the group of dried fruits, and over time, dates nectar comes out of the it, and its taste is sour and unusable.
The following methods can be used to preserve the taste of dates in small quantities:
– Storing dates in container without air
– Storing semi-dry dates in packaged glass containers
– Storing soft dates in the refrigerator
The following methods are used to store dates in high quantities and for a long time:
Put the dates in the freezer bag and then put them in the deepest part of the freezer. For consuming frozen dates, they must be taken out of the freezer 3 hours before consumption. With this method, dates can be stored for up to 3 years.
Buy high quality dates with completely hygienic packaging from Kourosh Foods 😊
If you are interested in buying dates (a very nutritious and valuable fruit), You can easily order your desired date by referring to the products section. Make the best choice in buying your dates by contacting our consultants.