How beneficial are dates for men?
Medically reviewed by Grant Tinsley, PhD — Written by Mary West on March 22, 2021
This article is a repost which originally appeared on MEDICALNEWSTODAY
Edited for content
Research does not show that eating dates provides any sexual health benefits for males. That said, the fruit’s high nutrient content may promote general wellness and help prevent disease for people of all sexes.
Some studies suggest that dates may benefit health in several ways. The following sections will look at what the research says in more detail.
They may help treat infertility
In traditional African medicine practices, people have long used dates to treat male infertility. However, there is scarce scientific research to support their effectiveness for this purpose, according to one study. This study is yet to undergo peer review.
The researchers tested the effects of dates on the fertility of rats with neurotoxin-induced infertility.
The dates reduced signs of infertility in the rats, but they also reduced levels of the hormone testosterone, which is linked to fertility.
The researchers suggest that future studies should try to identify a safe amount of dates for treating infertility.
Scientists need to do much more research into the effects of dates on fertility in humans before they can make any recommendations about using dates for this purpose.
They may boost brain health
A scientific review from 2016 notes that some studies have linked regular date consumption to better thinking skills and a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Alzheimer’s impairs memory and the ability to think. The review suggests that long-term use of date fruit supplements in rodents was associated with reduced plaque formation in the brain. These plaques are characteristic in people with Alzheimer’s.
They may help alleviate chronic disease due to their antioxidants
Unstable molecules called free radicals can cause a process known as oxidative stress.
Scientists believe that oxidative stress plays a role in the development of certain chronic conditions. These include cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.
Dates have strong antioxidant properties with the potential to improve chronic conditions.
They may increase skin health
Topical creams containing dates may improve skin health.
Research suggests that the application of date creams to the skin can improve skin moisture content, elasticity, and brightness. The authors also note that dates in skin care may reduce the effects of aging on the skin.
None of the participants using the cream reported side effects, and the dates appeared to be safe for use on the skin.
They may help with diabetes
Diabetes involves reduced blood sugar control. A scientific review that analyzed the available research on the topic suggests that dates have the potential to treat diabetes due to their antioxidant content.
Some studies in the review indicate that dates can improve the function of the pancreas in secreting insulin, which is the hormone that helps maintain normal blood sugar levels. Other studies indicate that dates may help with the complications of diabetes.
In addition, dates are high in fiber, meaning that the body absorbs them slowly during digestion. This helps keep a person’s blood sugar levels stable. High blood sugar levels can be a chronic issue in people with diabetes.
Their fiber content may help prevent certain conditions
The fiber in dates can also help with other conditions.
One study suggests that dietary fiber can help protect against diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease. In addition, fiber may help reduce the risk of conditions involving the gastrointestinal tract, such as constipation, colon cancer, and ulcers.
Risks and considerations
Dates are a nutrient-rich type of fruit that may have various health benefits. The only possible drawback is that they are high in sugar, according to one study.
People who are trying to moderate their daily calorie intake may wish to limit their intake of dates because they are calorie dense.
Despite the fruit’s sugar content, the study authors say that low-to-moderate consumption is likely safe for anyone, including people with diabetes. This is because the fiber in dates causes the body to digest them slowly, helping prevent unhealthy blood sugar spikes.
However, a person wishing to take supplements containing dates should consult a doctor first. This is because supplements may not always provide the same health benefits as food.
Nutritional information for dates
Below is the nutritional information Source for a 100-gram (g) serving of dates, which is about four dates.
|Total fat||0.15 g||0%|
|Carbohydrates||75 milligrams (mg)||27%|
|Vitamin A||149 international units||3%|
|Vitamin B6||0.25 mg||19%|
According to some research, dates also contain:
- Phenolic acids: These are types of antioxidants that help protect against disease.
- Enzymes: These are molecules that make biochemical reactions happen.
- Carotenoids: These are orange, yellow, and red pigments that are important for various functions.
How to include dates in the diet
Here are some ideas for how to add dates to an eating plan:
- Breakfasts: Sprinkle dates into oatmeal or add them to dough when making muffins.
- Salads: Mix dates into any kind of salad.
- Snacks: Combine dates with other dried fruits and nuts, such as pecans or almonds, to make a trail mix.
- Lunches: Include dates in a tuna or chicken salad wrap made with whole wheat tortillas.
- Main dishes: Add dates to a turkey meatloaf recipe or include them in stews and soups.
- Desserts: Make a parfait with layers of yogurt, diced dates, and berries.
- Smoothies: Blend dates with almond milk, peanut butter, bananas, and ice to make a smoothie.
- Sugar substitute: Puree dates and substitute them for sugar in recipes.
- Energy balls: Pulse dates in a food processor. Mix in natural peanut butter, chopped dark chocolate, and rolled oats. Roll the mixture into balls and refrigerate.
Scientists need to do more research before they can make any claims about the specific health benefits of dates for men or fertility.
However, preliminary studies suggest that dates may help with other aspects of health, including cognition and blood sugar control, for people of any sex.
The vitamin, mineral, fiber, and antioxidant contents of dates make them a nutritious type of food to include in the diet. There are several creative ways to add them to an eating plan.
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- Mia, A.-T., et al. (2020). Potentials and safety of date palm fruit against diabetes: A critical review [Abstract].
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- The InterAct Consortium. (2015). Dietary fibre and incidence of type 2 diabetes in eight European countries: The EPIC-InterAct Study and a meta-analysis of prospective studies.