Monday, January 24, 2011

Day Five

If you had of told me one year ago that there is a fruit that has so many health benefits, is naturally provided by the earth and is absolutely DELICIOUS, I would have laughed and asked you to pass me the chocolate.

Today I was having my sweet tooth day. I get them every now and then and I absolutely crave sweets :)
As I am committed to eating only foods naturally provided by the earth, I have been forced to (in the last 5 days) find a quick, easy, sweet and delicious snack that satisfies my cravings.
My answer...DATES :) I could go on and on about dates at the moment, they are so scrummy! I must admit, I probably have been over indulging in the date department but for now I am not too phased.
Although I'm happy to indulge, I am also quite interested to know if this snack actually is too good to be true.

So, I went to my wisest friend Google and asked a couple of questions :) Here's what I asked and here's what I learnt:

Where do dates originate?
Dates come from the Date palm tree. These trees are primarily found in Persia, Palestine, Arabia and northern Africa. The date palm is currently being introduced into California.

Nutritional Profile for Dates?
Energy value (calories per serving): High
Protein: Low
Fat: Low
Saturated fat: Low
Cholesterol: None
Carbohydrates: High
Fiber: Very high
Sodium: Low (fresh or dried fruit); High (dried fruit treated with sodium sulfur compounds)
Major vitamin contribution: B vitamins

Major mineral contribution: Iron, potassium

Nutrients in Dates?
Dates are a high-carbohydrate food, rich in fiber and packed with sugar (as much as 70 percent of the total weight of the fruit). Dates are also a good source of non-heme iron, the inorganic iron found in plant foods, plus potassium, niacin, thiamin, and riboflavin, but they are an unusual fruit because they have no vitamin C at all. A serving of 10 whole pitted dates has 7 g dietary fiber, and 0.95 mg iron (6 percent of the RDA for a woman of childbearing age).

Health Benefits of Dates?
Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. These natural products contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health. It is said that consumption of one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet. Dates help in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer.
Health benefits of dates have made them the best nourishment for muscles development. People consume dates in several ways, like mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yoghurt or with bread or butter to make the food tasty and healthy. This paste is beneficial for both adults and children, especially during the time of recovery. According to the modern medicine survey, it is known that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. It is also seen that many Muslims break their fast by eating dates and water according to their traditions. Breaking fast with eating dates helps us to avoid overeating of the food after the fast. When the body absorbs the nutritional value of the dates, the feeling of hunger gets pacified.

Adverse Health Effects Associated with Dates?
Sulfite sensitivity. Dates contain polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that oxidizes phenols in the fruit to brown compounds that turn its flesh dark in the presence of air. To keep dates from darkening when they are dried, they may be treated with sulfur compounds called sulfites (sulfur dioxide, sodium bisulfite, or sodium metabisulfite). Treated dates may trigger serious allergic reactions, including potentially fatal anaphylactic shock, in people sensitive to sulfites.

 So there we go. To all of you sweet lovers who like usually like to munch on preservative filled lollies and chocolate, I highly recommend giving dates a try. As you can see, they are very good for you...maybe not by the kilo like I have been having them haha, but for a quick, sweet pick me up energy snack, dates are your answer :)

Here is what my date filled day looked like today:

BREAKFAST: Warm Lemon Water and a Banana Smootie (Banana, Ice, Rice Milk, Almonds, Agarve)

LUNCH: Mixed Nuts, Blueberries and DATES


DINNER: Chickpea Maehem (Chickpeas, Lemon, Coriander, Mint, Parsley, Agarve, Himalayan Salt, Coconut Oil)

DESSERT: Some Chocolate Balls (Cacao Powder, Agarve, Mixed Nuts, Oats and Water)and...DATES :)

A Date filled day it was :)
Tomorrow I am planning on inventing a scrummy Salad with lots of herbs, and I think I may start to have ginger tea...YUMMY :)
Also, I haven't done any exercise so far on my earth diet, so tomorrow I think it's time to put on my new runners and make Day Six...Day Sixercise :)

Sleep well, Sleep deep, Visualize every possibility of what you want in life, Be grateful for what you already have, and Love :)
Love Love Love

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