Fun Facts About Red Dates (Ramadan Special)
by Jes @SnackFirst on Apr 14, 2022
Dates, also known as jujubes or kurmas, are particularly high in sugar and vitamins such as antioxidants, iron and potassium. They are a good source of dietary fiber, easily digested and the natural sugar are also safe for diabetics to consume. In general, everyone can consume 2 or 3 dates as plant-based snacks a day.
Chinese don't usually take dates as healthy snacks. Dates are usually added to desserts, stews and soups for the natural sweetness instead. For the Muslims, having dates to break their fast is a widely known tradition. During Ramadan which lasts for a month, Muslims would have to abstain from food and drink from sunrise to sunset.
Eating dates after a whole day of fasting can help body's glucose level return to normal. In Hadith literature it is written that the Messenger of Allah would have some dates before praying starts. Since 6,000 years back from Middle East, dates have a long history and are mentioned repeatedly in the Quran. Therefore, eating dates has a spiritual significance and has long been a tradition. Not just red dates, apricots, raisins, figs and nuts are also regularly consumed during this Ramadan period.
Even if not during fasting period, dates can be a healthy snack to satisfy hunger and avoid over consumption. Honey Red Dates have been proven to treat constipation, diarrhea or any gut problem with it's nutritional benefits. These are some fun facts about dried dates around the world:
1) Morocco has interesting stuffed dates to boost the snack's protein level: Moroccan stuff dates with almond paste. They also do stuff dates with goat cheese, nuts and eaten with honey. In Northern India, dates are eaten with salt and chilli flakes. In China, walnuts stuffed dates are the most commonly seen and rice balls in red dates.
3) There are more than 50 varieties of dates but only 3 commonly seen in Singapore which are Deglet Nour, Ajwa and Medjool dates. Medjool is the largest in size, lighter in colour, and taste soft, less fleshy and chewy. Deglet Nour is longer in shape and is the most flavourful. Ajwa is the most expensive are are usually black, wrinkled and drier in texture.
4) Arabs also feed dates to animals like horses, dogs and camels. Dates can keep well in deserts and do not spoil in dry weathers easily. They are also resistant to bugs although in humid conditions, they may tend to grow weevils.
5) The Chinese believe that red dates help to prevent water retention and reduce swelling (although just drinking sufficient water will do). It is also thought to nourish the blood and replenish its loss, which is why during confinement, Chinese mothers drink only red dates drink and not plain water.
6) Chinese red dates are dried and have half the calories from Middle Eastern dates. These Chinese red dates are the newest Superfood with 32 times the Vitamin C than the normal dates. They are also used by Chinese to treat insomnia and relieve anxiety.