When we talk about Middle Eastern Cuisine, dates have always been an integral part of it, though these natural sweetness-filled fruits aren't too local here in the US. However, since ancient times, Middle Eastern people have reaped the many health benefits that dates bring to the human body.
Dates are considered holy food by Muslims and are a staple food in the month of Ramadan, where Muslims are on a strict fast from Sunrise to Sunset.
As for the health benefits of dates; We don't know where to start. From being high in disease-fighting oxidants to having a nutritional profile of vitamins, iron, potassium, and more, there's a lot to talk about.
However, what we’ll focus on is their high fiber content, or more specifically, how they can help fight against constipation, and get your bowels running faster.
Though, putting it shortly, they’re great at making you poop, as they possess magnesium, soluble and insoluble fiber, which aid in relaxing the digestive system, and allowing you to poop better.
Make sure to read the following guide till the end, and find out countless reasons as to how dates can clear up your constipation,
Why You Might Be Constipated
Constipation is no fun for anyone, yet too many of us struggle with it. This annoying digestive issue is classified by fewer than three bowel movements per week. And when nature calls, only little comes out – oftentimes dry, hard, and difficult to pass.
Sounds not so pleasant, right?
Well, if you're curious as to why that happens, we'll explain.
Several factors can contribute to constipation, from poor diet choices to being sedentary, taking certain medications like opioids, or just ignoring the urge to go.
Symptoms like bloating, stomach pain, nausea, and even hemorrhoids can make things worse. Do not suffer in silence or let constipation control your life, and if things take a turn for the worst, make sure to consult with your doctor or nutritionist to get back on track.
How Does Eating Dates Help?
As we mentioned before, dates might be fun to eat now and then, but the nutritional benefits of these very healthy fruit packs go a lot of different ways, including your digestive system.
That’s what makes them a natural remedy for constipation and other digestive system problems, like IBS and IBD.
These sweet fruits are high in fiber, which helps to regulate bowel movements and prevent constipation. Just a handful of dates can provide up to 12% of your daily fiber needs.
Here are a few more health benefits of dates that allow them to work against digestive ailments in your body:
They Contain Sorbitol
Dates are not only a tasty snack but can also provide some relief if you're dealing with constipation. This is mainly because of one magical ingredient: sorbitol.
Sorbitol is a naturally occurring sugar alcohol that's found in many fruits, including dates. It works as a natural laxative by drawing water into the intestines and stimulating bowel movements.
Though, make sure to not overdo your date-eating habit because of this, as too much sorbitol can lead to more problems than relief, which is something we’ve discussed as you go down this guide.
They’re High In Dietary Fiber
When it comes to constipation, fiber is your best friend. And lucky for you, dates are loaded with that stuff.
Not only are they sweet and delicious, but dates can also help keep things moving in your digestive system. One serving of dates, which is about 5-6 pieces, contains about 3 grams of fiber, which makes digestion all the easier, especially when nature calls.
So the next time you're feeling a little backed up, reach for a handful of dates and let nature take its course. Your gut will thank you.
High Levels Of Magnesium
Did you know that dates are packed full of magnesium, an essential nutrient for maintaining bone health, regulating blood sugar levels, and supporting proper muscle function?
Magnesium plays a crucial role in increasing bone mineral density, which can help prevent conditions such as osteoporosis and fractures. Additionally, it can help improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels, making it an excellent choice for those with diabetes.
So next time you're looking for a healthy, satisfying snack, reach for some sweet, juicy dates and give your body the boost it craves.
Are Dates Laxatives?
You might be tempted to think that dates are laxatives, as oftentimes, they can instantly make you want to go to the bathroom. However, if you’re comparing them to store-bought laxatives that are known to destroy the digestive system, you might be wrong.
In truth, dates can be regarded as natural laxatives, due to the presence of sorbitol in them. Natural laxatives are something we’re always recommended over store-bought laxatives, as they occur naturally in nature, and are safer to use for a healthy gut.
However, overconsumption of dates in an attempt to fix all your digestive ailments can lead to a lot of unwanted outcomes, which is something we’ve discussed in the next section of this guide.
What Happens If You Eat Too Many Dates?
Dates are delicious and nutritious fruit to incorporate into our diets, but can you eat too many?
The answer is yes, and the consequences may not be very pleasant. Consuming a large number of dates in a day can spike blood sugar quickly, which is especially problematic for individuals with diabetes. Increased usage of dates in everyday diets can also lead to weight gain, as research reveals.
In addition, the high fiber content of dates can lead to diarrhea when overindulged. It's important to remember that moderation is key when it comes to any food, including dates, to keep our digestive system in tip-top shape. Don't let your love for dates affect blood sugar levels, or bring about diarrhea!
How Many Dates Should You Be Eating In A Day?
When it comes to dates, it's easy to get carried away. They're small, delicious, and seemingly harmless. However, too many dates can have negative effects on your health.
While they are packed with nutrients and benefits, it's important to practice moderation. So, how many dates should you be eating in a day to reap their health benefits?
Experts recommend consuming no more than 3-5 dates a day. This allows you to enjoy their goodness without overloading them with sugars and calories. Plus, it gives you an excuse to savor every single one.
So, go ahead and indulge in a few dates each day – your taste buds and body will thank you.
Healthy Alternatives To Cure Constipation
We’ve explained how dates are beneficial for a lot of different things, whether it's clearing up your digestive tract, or regulating your bone health.
However, not everyone likes dates, and if you're someone that doesn't like to eat dates, don't fret! There are a lot of other healthy alternatives to try out, and we've mentioned these down below to give you a rough idea of them!
Our gut is full of both friendly and harmful bacteria that collectively make up the gut flora, and an imbalance in this bacteria count can bring problems like constipation, bloating, and more.
That’s where probiotic supplements come in. These supplements work by restoring the balance of good bacteria in your gut, which can become disrupted due to factors like a poor diet or antibiotic use.
By doing so, probiotics help regulate digestion, reduce inflammation, and increase overall gut health. So the next time you're feeling backed up, consider reaching for a probiotic supplement. Your gut will thank you!
Kombucha is an ancient Chinese tea that has recently gained popularity as a health drink. Besides its refreshing taste, it has a host of health benefits that includes aiding digestion and relieving constipation.
This fizzy drink contains probiotics that help promote gut health and digestion. The good bacteria in the drink ensure that the digestive tract is working in top condition.
The enzymes in kombucha also help to break down the food in the stomach, preventing bloating and aiding the digestive system to function smoothly.
So, if you're dealing with constipation and other digestive ailments, perhaps you should give kombucha a try. Just a small sip of this refreshing beverage can help keep your gut flora in tip-top shape!
Not only is apple juice a deliciously refreshing drink, but it's also high in fiber, which can help promote healthy bowel movements. Additionally, the natural sugars and acids in apple juice can stimulate digestive enzymes, aiding in the breakdown and absorption of nutrients.
We’ve talked about apple juice countless times on our blog, solely because of how well it complements the gut, and brings relief in times of need, especially if you're someone that suffers from chronic constipation, IBS, bloating, IBD, or more.
So next time you're feeling blocked up, grab yourself a glass of apple juice and let nature take its course. Happy digestion!
We hope this guide has brought your attention to the effects of dates that can clear up the blocked paths in the digestive system, on top of it being a healthy food that has countless other health benefits that help the human body.
Make sure to follow our blog for weekly guides on your gut health, so you can take control of your gut health, and get relief from all your constipation problems without having to use store-bought laxatives that aren’t safe at all!