The Health Benefits of Dates this Ramadan


Iftar Pack

During the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Imran Faroouq sets out for work each day with his wallet, his keys and…Iftar pack.


“I’ll carry with me my Iftar pack which consists of water and dates,” says Imran, an optician from Barking, London. “It is my essential for the day and is all I need to break my fast.”


The month-long observance of Ramadan, intended to purify and refocus the soul, began on June 28. In the weeks that follow, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, taking neither food nor water. And while the foods they eat and drink when the sun is down may vary from culture to culture — most Muslims will break their fast with dates.


“This is basic in every society,” says Abul Kareem, an Imam at the Barking Mosque in London. “Every society has their own traditions. But the main one is the dates.”


There’s a practical reason too. “The tradition springs in part from the Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) habit of breaking his own fast with dates,” says Kareem. “But the fruit also offers practical physiological effects.”


“After not eating or drinking all day, the body is depleted of nutrients. Dates deliver a hit of energy-boosting carbohydrates, tempered by fiber, which makes them burn more slowly,” says Kyle Masen, a nutritionist and dietetician from Canary Wharf, London.


“From a dietician’s perspective, it’s a great source of carbohydrates, which are the main source of energy for our bodies,” Masen says. “It has no fat, no cholesterol, no sodium. It’s just a quick source of energy with a lot of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, as well.”


Wonderfully sweet and delicious, dates go back centuries in the Middle East, and today that region still leads the world’s production.


This Ramadan you can head to your nearest Asda for a great offer on its Iftar Pack for only £1.


Asda shares 5 health and nutritional benefits of the satisfying chewy and flavourful dates

1.      Dates are free from cholesterol and contain very low fat. They are rich source of protein, dietary fiber and rich in vitamin B1, B2, B3 and B5 along with vitamin A1 and C.

2.      Dates are great energy boosters as they contain natural sugars like glucose, sucrose and fructose.

3.      Dates are rich in magnesium – a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

4.      Magnesium has been shown to help lower blood pressure – and again, dates are full of the mineral.

5.      Dates are easy to digest so they don’t exhaust the digestive system.


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