by Luke Coutinho
Dates are a proof that nature always wanted you to relish sweet things, but in a healthy manner. Dates although feared by many in the fitness space have multi-fold benefits for the human body. It’s a wholesome food which can be a part of most of our diets. Dates are considered as a superfood and are consumed in many cultures and regions.
Dates arrived in India because of the ancient trade relations between Oman and India. According to the 10th century Arab traveller – Abu Al Masudi, the sailors from Oman had a good knowledge of the sea-travel and they were experts in finding the paths through astronomy. Because of this quality, they were hired by merchants who wanted to travel to China and other Asian countries. The sea voyage from Oman to the Southern coast of India used to be of around 35 days. And during their visit, they used to barter high quality dates for spices and silk from India.
Today dates are feared as a fattening food, not suitable for diabetics etc. However its necessary to understand that dates cannot be blamed for what a wrong lifestyle has caused. If you have put on weight, then it’s not because of dates, it’s because of a faulty lifestyle. Dates can in fact very much be a part of your healthy diet with an active lifestyle and you can still continue to lose weight. Let’s rise above our fear and understand the health benefits dates offer :
With the beautiful onset of the wonderful month of Ramadan and otherwise , let’s understand how these amazing dry fruit is adding a powerhouse of nutrition and health benefits :
Here’s how it could benefit our health
1. Strengthens the bones
Rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, dates help preserve bone density which in turn keeps us from developing painful ailments like osteoporosis. It’s helpful in maintaining bone mineralization and calcium balance. It also reduces the risks of fractures.
Magnesium governs over 300 functions in the human body, which is abundantly found in dates.
2. Rich in iron :
Dates are one of the richest sources of iron that can help boost haemoglobin levels. Iron deficiency is common today among rural as well as urban women and this deficiency could lead to multiple health problems like lack of energy, hormonal issues, low immunity, hair fall, pale skin, risk of abortion during pregnancy. Iron rich dates keep up the haemoglobin levels and boost Red blood cell production. Dates are eaten by most pregnant mothers for the maintenance of iron levels as well as support the growth and development of the growing foetus. Dates also contain copper, a trace mineral that helps boost iron absorption.
3. Rich in fibre :
Dates are perfectly designed by nature. It is rich in natural sugars, but also rich in dietary insoluble fibre. The fibre in dates helps slow down the rate at which sugar can get absorbed into the bloodstream. The fibre also helps in alleviating constipation and supports bowel movement.
Diabetes should not fear dates. They rather eat them in moderation , 1-2 a day, coupled with nuts/seeds for fat and fibre to lower the overall glycemic load. Infact dates are a rich source of vitamin B1 aka Thiamine, which is a superfood for a diabetic suffering from neuropathy and tingling sensations in their limbs. Dates thus improves neurological function, nerve damage, clotting of blood and usage of protein in the human body.
4. Boost energy levels
Dates are a clean source of sugar and good calories. This makes dates, a preferred source of instant energy that’s often used as a preworkout, for weak and sick individuals. Dates are often suggested as the first food to eat when one is breaking his/her fast as it helps in quick replenishment of energy and glycogen stores that tends to deplete towards the last leg of fasting. When we are about to break our fast, our cells start acting like sponges, ready to receive nutrition and thus dates serve as the best food for our body that time.
5. Preserves healthy functioning of the heart
The antioxidants present in dates reduce the bad cholesterol LDL and increase the good cholesterol level HDL, thereby unclogging the arteries and increasing chances of preventing heart attacks and strokes. It is also beneficial for high blood pressure as its rich in mineral potassium
6. Brain health
Potassium present in dates allows a good amount of oxygen to reach the brain thereby enhancing neural activity. Also, regular consumption of Dates has shown a slowdown in the progression of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
7.Improves skin and hair
Packed with vitamin C, antioxidants, iron, dates keep the skin moisturized and improves its elasticity.
Note : Since dates are rich in potassium, one must consume with caution incase of a kidney disease and/or high potassium levels.
So enjoy your dates in moderation, eat it at the right times, choose good quality and reap the health benefits it packed with. A lot of dates in the market come glazed with sugar to make it look shiny and stick, so we must be aware of the source and quality.
The vision of Falcon Dates is to consistently source the best dates for the Indian market with a focus on quality and value-for-money.
Since its establishment in 1954, JKC has been an importer and wholesaler of dates sourced from the Middle East. With technological innovations and a changing market scenario, it was decided, in 2008, to set up a packaging division through the use of world-class industry leading packaging equipment and practices. As the Indian customer grew more and more discerning, it became necessary to effectively brand and grade the dates being supplied in India. Thus our flagship brand ‘Falcon Dates’ was launched.
To maintain the status of being a leading name in the date industry and to supply professionally graded and packed dates to every corner of India.
Falcon offers a variety of dates like :
Known as the poor man’s dessert, Zahdi dates pack a powerful punch of calcium and iron. These Iraq-origin dates are easy to chew, and are also used to make date syrup and date paste (chutney).
Having a semi-moist texture with a soft, mild sweetness, the UAE dates are ideal to add a depth of flavour to baking recipes and desserts. These dates are high in protein and calcium, and are great to use in health bars or as a healthy evening snack.
Fardh dates, ripened by the hot desert winds of UAE, are mildly sweet and are high in Vitamin C and Iron. These pristinely shaped brownish-black dates have a small seed and a soft non-sticky texture and can be used for a pre-lunch snack or for gifting on special occasions.
Safawi dates originate from the Al Madina Al Munawara region of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and are brown-black and mildly sweet. Packed with fibre, Vitamin C, and iron, these dates are nature’s own energy bar, and make a thoughtful gift for those with an active or busy lifestyle. Large in size and with a dry skin and texture, Safawi dates are also ideal for stuffing with dried fruit or a variety of other delicious additions.
Why should a consumer choose you? What value-add do you promise to deliver to the consumer?
JKC General Trading Company continues to be a family owned and professionally run business. Over the past 65 years, we have created relationships with suppliers across the Middle East and Northern Africa that guarantee us reliably good quality dates which we distribute as well as package and sell. Along with a supply-chain advantage, we also have decades of personal knowledge that helps us understand what we are selling.
Our variety of dates offer our customers a tasty, healthy and naturally-produced food item that is free of trans fats, cholesterol and contains no added sugar or artificial ingredient. Neither oiled for appearance, nor mixed with additives, our flagship brand ‘Falcon Dates’ are unprocessed – sold in their natural and nutritious form. Its a healthier alternative to sugary sweets and a perfect way to end the day’s fast.
We are based in Navi Mumbai & sell PAN India from our semi wholesale outlet in The APMC Market. We have been selling to D-Mart since 2008 & also sell on E-Commerce platforms like Amazon, Big Basket & Scootsy. Falcon Dates are available at all Walmart outlets too. FYI in India Walmart acts as a distributor currently.
by Luke Coutinho