From helping you feel full to giving you boosts of energy, dates are a powerhouse of nutrients.
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In the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims practice the sunna (prophet Muhammad’s [PBUH] way of life and legal precedent) of eating sweet tidbits first before continuing to eat the rest of the food. And specifically, those tidbits are usually dates.
When one of you breaks his fast, let him break it with dates for they are blessed. If they are not found, let him break it with water for it is pure.Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)
Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhī 695
Yes, we chose dates because of sunna, but why dates specifically??
Especially during Ramadan, dates help you feel full and provide a source of quick energy.
Here are a few advantages of eating dates during Ramadan.
Dates help you feel full by prolonging the time it spends in the stomach, according to Turkish nutrition and dietetic specialist Demet Cerit. This will in turn help you avoid overeating.
Being a fruit rich in soluble dietary fibres (especially pectin), these fibres attract water which in turn increase the fluidity of our stomach content and therefore provide the feeling of fullness by prolonging the time it spends in the stomach.
By eating high fibre food like dates in your iftar (break fast) and sahurs (meal before fasting) and also overall diet, as well as drinking lots of water to help your fibre intake, you will have greater control of your appetite and be fuller longer, added her.
Control Sugar Craving
After prolonged periods of hunger or fasting, our body will want to pounce on high carbs foods, especially sweet foods to bring our blood sugar level to normal and to replace those empty food stores, said Cerit.
However, when we end up eating high carb foods such as plain noodles or white bread, we easily feel very hungry afterwards. Carbs like white bread, noodles and sugary drinks are easily digestible sugars so your blood sugar spikes and drops very quickly and that can lead to a food coma.
So what dates can do to help with that sugar craving is by replacing the artificial sweet and sugary foods (that we will undoubtedly attack first) with their natural and healthier sugar content.
Hence, dates can be a good and healthier option to replace your dessert needs with their rich sweetness. You can check the full benefits of consuming dates as listed by Cerit here.
Quick Energy Booster
After being hungry for a long period of time, we need quick energy boosts to make our night as productive as the day, instead of just laying around on a full stomach doing nothing.
As stated before, dates are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose and sucrose. Being small, they are also easily digested which makes them an immediate and effective burst of energy.
So, after a tiring day of hunger, you can get that energy back by eating dates.
Wow, our prophetic tradition intuitively knew how helpful dates are for fasting!
So, what are you waiting for? It’s gonna be that time of the month for the *whispers* Yusuf Taiyoob ad to come on.
Get your dates now and let’s welcome the holy month of Ramadan with open arms!