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With 10 major varieties and hundreds of variations, the fruit of the date palm is one among the favorites for breaking fast during the month of Ramadan. Rich in sugar and nutrients, dates help in reviving energy in the body.

Breaking fast by eating dates has always been a Ramadan tradition. According to Hadith literature, the Messenger of Allah would break his fast with ripe dates before he would pray1. Hence, eating dates during this time has a spiritual significance as well.

Date palms have a long history in the Middle East as the trees have been cultivated in the area for thousands of years. The hot, arid climate is the ideal condition for date palms to grow.2

Types of Dates

There are hundreds of varieties with different textures, colors, and flavours. But there are ten major date fruit varieties. They are:

  1. Barhi
  2. Deglet Noor
  3. Fard
  4. Hallawi
  5. Khadrawy
  6. Khalas
  7. Khasab
  8. Lulu
  9. Madjool
  10. Zahidi

Nutritional Benefits of Date Fruits

Date fruits are known to have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties3. The benefits of each variety and their nutritional information can be seen in the chart below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Medjool or Madjool, and Deglet Noor dates are the most commonly consumed varieties. Some of the reasons why dates are the preferred food to break the day-long fast are as follows:

  1. Dates are easy to eat, so after a day-long fast and on an empty stomach, dates serve as the best food to eat if you don’t want an upset stomach. 
  2. Every Medjool date has around 1.6 grams of fiber, which is about 5% of the daily value needed for a human. This helps promotes healthy cholesterol and blood glucose levels, keeping the body healthy.
  3. Dates are a great source of potassium, which is a vital mineral for many of the basic physiological processes.
  4. Other nutrients found in dates include magnesium, copper, vitamin B, manganese, iron, riboflavin, and vitamin K. 
  5. Alkaline salts found in dates help to reduce acidity in the blood, which can be caused by eating too much meat or carbohydrates.

These benefits and many others make date fruits the perfect choice for those who want to have something healthy and tasty to break their Ramadan fast.

References:

  1. Ghnimi S, Umer S, Karim A, Kamal-Eldin A. Date fruit ( Phoenix dactylifera L.): An underutilized food seeking industrial valorization. NFS Journal. 2017;6:1-10.
  2. Dadach, Zin Eddine. 9 HABITS OF THE PROPHET MUHAMMAD THAT SCIENCE LATER PROVED. 2019.
  3. Rahmani A, Aly S, Ali H, Babiker A, Srikar S, Khan A. Therapeutic effects of date fruits (Phoenix dactylifera) in the prevention of diseases via modulation of anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and anti-tumour activity. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. 2014; 7(3): 483–491.

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