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The date is one of the most nourishing fruits. It is a food of great importance and is called the bread of the Sahara. But its use is now universal. It is included in the categories of both dry and fresh fruit. The date is a cylindrical fruit of yellow to reddish brown color. It has fleshy pericarp surrounding a single seed containing 60 to 70 per cent sugar. The tree-ripe fresh date is delicious fruit. It, however, undergoes fermentation very rapidly. It is, therefore, dried in the sun. The fruit looses about 35 per cent of its weight in the process of drying.
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Origin and Distribution:
The date is held in high esteem from ancient times and is one of the earliest fruits cultivated by man. In Mesopotamia, more than 5,000 years old bricks have been found to contain instructions for growing date palms. The ancient monuments of Egypt have been found to contain carved figures of date palms. There are numerous references to the palm and its fruit in the Bible, testifying to its manifold virtues Prophet Mohammed believed that the first date palm was made from the tempered dust which remained after the formation of Adam. The original home of date is believed to be in the Persian Gulf area or in Mesopotamia. It is now classed as one of the standard crops of world agriculture and is widely grown in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Spain, Italy, China and U.S.A.
The date is a food of high nutritional value. It provides natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. This sugar is ready for immediate absorption and is, therefore, infinitely superior to cane sugar. It is usually taken raw or with milk, which makes it highly nutritious in most respects. Taking it with curdled milk is also common. In Sahara, rich people take it with butter by removing the seed and filling the cavity with butter. It is a scientific way of taking fat. It is also taken in several cooked forms. The seeds of the fruit, roasted and ground into powder makes a beverage like coffee, called ‘date coffee’. The date palm yields a sweet juice of high food value. It can be taken fresh with great advantage or make into a tasty country sugar.
Analyzed as :
Energy: 287kcal,Glucose: Min 41%, Frutose:Min 29%, Fiber:4.0g. Protein:3.3, Iron:2.60gm. Carbohydrate:68.0g.Br ix:70 +_ 1%, Vitamin BI:0.03mg.Vitamin B2 :0.06mg.Vitamin C :2.60mg.
Produced under the most modern and hygienic conditions.
You can eat date as a Complement to bread,mix it with cold or hot milk and drink,it can be used as a toping of icecream, can be used as a sweetner while making cookies but I eat it raw alongwith milk and cerials.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. Being easily digested, they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence.
The date is a laxative food. It is highly beneficial in the treatment of constipation as the roughage provided by it stimulates sluggish bowels. They should be immersed in water at night and taken after making them into a fine syrup the next morning to secure laxative effect.
Dates are an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. In such cases, drinking water in which fresh dates have been rubbed or soaked will bring quick relief.
Dates are an effective remedy for weak heart. Dates soaked overnight in water and crushed in the same water in the morning after removing the seeds should be taken at least twice a week in this condition. It will strengthen the heart.
Dates are highly beneficial in the treatment of sexual weakness. A handful of dates soaked in fresh goat’s milk overnight should be ground in the same milk in the morning. A pinch of cardamom powder and honey should be mixed in this preparation. This becomes a very useful tonic for improving sex stamina and sterility due to functional disorders.
According to Dr. Aman, a date tied to the wrist of the baby and allowed to be sucked by him during teething time hardens the gums and prevents other complaints like fretfulness and diarrhoea. A teaspoonful of paste of the date prepared with honey is an effective medicine for diarrhoea and dysentery during teething. It should be given three times a day.
Medicinal Uses: The fruit,because of its tanin content , is used medicinally as a detersive and astringent in intestinal troubles.In the form of an infusion,decoctin,syrup or paste,is adminstered as a treatment for sore throat,colds,bronchial catarrh.It is taken to relieve fever,cystitis,gonorrhea,edema,liver and abdominal troubles. A gum that exudes from the tree trunk is employed in India for treating diarrhea and genito-urinary ailments.It is diuretic and demulcent. The root of the plant is used against toothache. The pollen yields an estrogenic principle,estrone,and has a gonadotropic effect on young rats.
Extracted from: http://www.sahravi.com/dates/iranian-date-nectar-honey-syrup.htm