Fighting Cancer SERIES – Why you should have more Dates

Did you know that dates not only make you feel good, boost your mood and energy but they can also help prevent cancer? But before you call your better half and pack your picnic basket – we’re not talking about that kind of date …

We’re talking about date fruit. (Although there’s nothing wrong with bringing some of them with you on your actual date. They have a long-standing reputation as an aphrodisiac!)

Dates have a wide range of health benefits…

Numerous studies demonstrate that they have strong antioxidant, antimutagenic and anti-inflammatory properties.  These properties are crucial for keeping your organs healthy and supporting your immune system.

Dates are densely packed with molecules such as phenolic acids, flavonoids, carotenoids, vitamins and minerals. Some of these compounds are hard to get in your everyday diet, which means that eating dates can have a strong medicinal benefit.  They are particularly useful for fighting cancer as they help in several ways.

One way they help fight cancer is by acting as antioxidants…

Cancer is often caused and fuelled by oxidative stress, which means that cells produce an overload of chemicals called free radicals. Free radicals cause damage in cells and disrupt the way DNA works.  The antioxidants in date fruits counteract the effect of free radicals, which means that the potential for a cell to turn cancerous is drastically reduced.

Mutations always go along with cancer development. Date extract shows a strong anti-mutagenic capacity, which means that it could prevent and reverse spontaneous and potentially harmful changes in our cell’s DNA.

Additionally, some compounds in dates are able to boost the immune system. There is evidence that the immune system can help fight cancer, so dates might be a great way to prevent cancer before it even starts.

Dates are high in fibre which helps you feel full for longer…

Fibre bulks out food in the intestine and helps to sustain regular bowel movements. Moreover, fibre gives your friendly gut bacteria the optimum conditions to digest the compounds in dates which produce protective molecules and vitamins. [Reference 1]

If you are looking to incorporate more dates into your daily routine, please see our blog for a few delicious and easy recipe ideas. To find out more about what food can do for your health stay tuned to our blog series “Fighting Cancer”.