The tradition of eating dates during Ramadan dates back to the 7th century when it is said that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used the dates to break his fast. Here are some facts about dates:
- Eating a date after fasting all day helps the body start the digestive process and it gives the body the energy it needs to deal with more complex foods. Dates are also very high in fiber, and fiber will fill one up faster than other foods, and this may help prevent over eating.
- For Bedouin Muslims, dates are an incredibly important part of their diet. They are easy to transport, they keep well without refrigeration, they are readily available they are a rich source of vitamins. Dates regularly sold at desert oases and are considered a staple food.
- The health benefits of dates are incomparable. Ripe dates contain about 80 percent sugar. These sugars are natural sugars. Sugar travels to the liver faster than anything else, and the sugars are converted to energy faster than other nutrients. Simple sugars are not healthy. Dates contain sugars that come from a complex carbohydrate.
- Dates are high in vitamins A, B6, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, iron and natural sodium. They also contain a small amount of protein, some good fats, and additional minerals including copper, sulphur and fluoric acid. They are extremely beneficial for the stomach and for the digestive tract because they can prevent bad parasites and bacteria from infiltrating the digestive tract and causing all sorts of digestive and intestinal problems.
- Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence.