PROPHET Muhammad (PBUH) gave special attention to dates as part of the believer’s diet, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. Allah Almighty mentioned palm trees many times in the Qur’an and made its fruit the food of the dwellers of paradise.

So what are the secrets of this great nutriment? Is it possible to think of using dates as a remedy for some diseases? What do scientists of today say about dates?

Dates are one of the most nourishing fruits and it is sometimes called the “bread of desert.” More than two-thirds of dates’ weight is natural sugar.

This fruit was highly esteemed by the ancient civilizations more than 5,000 years ago. Ancient Egyptians considered dates as a symbol of fertility, while the Romans and the Greeks used them to ornament their stately triumph pageants. Today, dates are widely grown in the Arabian Peninsula, Iran, Egypt, Iraq, Spain, Italy, and the United States. There are more than 600 varieties of dates.

Dates and the pre-birth period
Dates stimulate the uterus by regulating and hastening its contractions to facilitate delivery. The uterus is a relatively large muscular organ and it urgently requires an adequate supply of natural sugar during labor and delivery.

Being a laxative, dates are essential for pregnant women before delivery in order to purge the colon and intestine and facilitate delivery. The Quranic verse explains this, as Allah tells Mary: And shake the trunk of the palm-tree towards thee – thou wilt cause ripe dates to fall upon thee [Mariam – 25]

Nutriment and medicine for children
Dates contain natural sugar which is easily absorbed and digested. Thus, it is safe and comforting for children’s stomachs and intestines. And date juice is useful especially if we mix it with milk – it becomes a very nourishing and restorative drink for children and adults. Dates and honey paste, taken three times a day, are used for the treatment of diarrhea and dysentery in children,

This paste also comforts and hardens the gums during teething and it facilitates the process.

Treatment for obesity
The wide variety of nutritious elements in dates makes it hunger resistive. The cause behind obesity is a persisting feeling of hunger and an appetite for food which drives a person to consume larger amounts of fats and sugar when he eats his meal.

So, treatment by eating a few dates when feeling hungry helps reduce hunger and be filled. These dates provide the body with the necessary sugar and stimulate the intestine, which reduces hunger greatly, and eventually, reduces food consumption. The Prophet’s saying shows this: A household that has dates doesn’t feel hunger. [Narrated by Muslim].

Remedy for liver and other inflammations
Dates remedy the liver and purge it from toxins. Breaking the fast with dates is one of the most magnificent natural remedies for the maintenance and purging of the liver from accumulated toxins. Also, drinking dates’ juice is the treatment of sore throat, various types of fever, rhinorrhea, and the common cold.

Having high medicinal and nutritious value, dates are expected to be the best food for the future. Dates contain as high a percentage as 88 percent of carbohydrate (starch), ( 2.5-5 percent) of fat, (2.3-5.6 percent) Protein, and (6.4-11.5 percent) of vitamins and dietary fiber. The flesh contains (0.2-5 percent) oil, whereas the seed’s weight is (7.7 -9.7 percent) oil. The weight of the seed is ( 6.6 – 14.2 percent) of the date’s weight.

Dates contain Vitamins A, B1 and B2, and fluorine which prevents teeth decay. Other minerals found in various proportions in dates include boron, calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, sodium, and zinc.

Additionally, the seeds contain aluminum, cadmium, chloride, lead, and sulfur in various proportions. Selenium, an element believed to help prevent cancer and important in immune function, is also found in dates.

If you are feeling weak, don’t hesitate to take seven dates (70 gm) in the morning as the Prophet (PBUH) recommended. You will actually be taking 70 milligrams of calcium, which is very useful for the bones, joints, and nerves; 35 milligrams of phosphorus, which is nutritious for the brain; and 7 milligrams of iron, which strengthens the body in general and the heart in particular.

It’s also suitable for reducing weight as it contains only 0.25 gm of fat. This prophetic meal also regulates and stimulates the bowels with the 10 gm of dietary fiber it contains.