Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dates, dates and more dates!

Wednesday afternoon Eric and I were off on a ride to the Imperial Date Gardens in Bard, Calf. to buy my winter supply of dates. 

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Yuma is just full of vegetables.  We stopped for gas on our way out along Highway 95 and right next to the station…vegetables.

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P1040923  Everything is picked by hand.   Remember to wash your vegetables!

So on with my quest for dates.

I got hooked on this healthy sweet treat last winter and have been eating 3 or 4 every night after dinner ever since.  Here is what I inserted from the net…..

Health benefits of dates
  • Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits packed with an impressive list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that are required for normal growth, development and overall well-being.

  • Fresh dates compose of soft, easily digestible flesh and simple sugars like fructose and dextrose. When eaten, they replenish energy and revitalize the body instantly. For these qualities, they are being used to break the fast during Ramadan month since ancient times.

  • The fruit is rich in dietary fiber, which prevents LDL cholesterol absorption in the gut. Additionally, the fiber works as a bulk laxative. It, thus, helps to protect the colon mucous membrane by decreasing exposure time and as well as binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon.

  • They contain health benefiting flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. Tannins are known to possess anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, and anti-hemorrhagic (prevent easy bleeding tendencies) properties.

  • They are moderate sources of vitamin-A (contains 149 IU per 100 g), which is known to have antioxidant properties and essential for vision. Additionally, it is also required maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin. Consumption of natural fruits rich in vitamin A is known to help to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.

  • They compose antioxidant flavonoids such as ß-carotene, lutein, and zea-xanthin. These antioxidants found to have the ability to protect cells and other structures in the body from harmful effects of oxygen-free radicals. Thus, eating dates found to offer some protection from colon, prostate, breast, endometrial, lung, and pancreatic cancers.

  • Zea-xanthin is an important dietary carotenoid that selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea, where it thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. It thus offers protection against age-related macular degeneration, especially in elderly populations.

  • Dates are an excellent source of iron, contains 0.90 mg/100 g of fruits (about 11% of RDI). Iron, being a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

  • Further, they are very good in potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of daily-recommended levels of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help controlling heart rate and blood pressure. They, thus, offers protection against stroke and coronary heart diseases.

  • They are also rich in minerals like calcium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an essential constituent of bone and teeth, and required by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting, and nerve impulse conduction. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Copper is required for the production of red blood cells. Magnesium is essential for bone growth.

  • Further, the fruit has adequate levels of B-complex group of vitamins as well as vitamin K. It contains very good amounts of pyridoxine(vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins are acting as cofactors help body metabolize carbohydrates, protein, and fats. Vitamin K is essential for many coagulant factors in the blood as well as in bone metabolism.

Okay….that long blurb is all I have to say and besides that….I just like them!

We started out trip up through the Imperial Dam area where we dry camped a few years ago.  It always reminds us why we never do that for more than a few days.  Not our bag! 

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Pretty up at the Dam…but windy and cold in the winter. 

We stopped at the Imperial Date Gardens and had  delicious date shake and then stocked me up for the winter.  Last year I bought an 11 pound box and this year I bought two. 

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Date Palms.

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I bought two boxes, one at $30 and one at $25. 

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Eric loaded up Big Red so he could carry them home for me.

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Packing them up.

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That’s a lot of dates.  I decided to get the $30 ones next year as they are much softer and juicier….but I’ll eat them all. 

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Almost done. 

I now get to tick another thing off my list.  A good day and Kathy is happy!

3 comments:

Sandy Matts said...

Good info on the health benefitst of dates. After you repack them do you freeze them?

Contessa said...

Love the lesson on the dates. How many do you eat a day?

Kathy Tycho said...

After I repack them I don't freeze them...no room and besides they keep fine in the packs. I eat 3, usually 4 every night after dinner while I'm watching TV and Eric is doing the dishes! Keeps me away from cookies etc. and at least they are good for me.