Which Dates Are Best- Everything You Need To Know
Do you like dates, or do you want to try this fruit for the first time and don’t know which dates are best? If that’s a yes, follow this description in detail and learn more about the best date variety in the market.
When we consider having fruits, we imagine a pulpy, juicy, and colorful fruit that will leave a tantalizing effect on your taste buds forever. But, some fruits are there, which have a very distinct flavor and texture profile. They aren’t juicy or full of pulp, but they sure are some of the most chosen fruits in the world’s cuisines. There are several such fruits, but today we will be talking about dates (dry fruit). This particular fruit is very popular in India- not only in Indian cuisine but also in the culture. People use the fruit as a means of devotions in pujas and celebrations, because of which you need to know which dates are best in the market.
Now the main problem with the dates in India is that not everyone is pretty much aware of this particular fruit, be it about its history, benefits, or its uses in the cuisines. This is why, along with describing which dates are best, we will also discuss other relevant facts about the fruit.
What Are Dates?
Dates Fresh is the sweetened fruit from the date palm trees- one of the most regarded species in the palm family. Even though the origin of this plant species is not precisely known to humans, it is believed that somehow it might have originated in the area of the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East portion, thanks to the history of cultivation of the dates.
This fruit’s history goes back a long time back, almost to the Indus Valley Civilization time. During those times, dates used to be the staple food of people. Evidence of the same has been found in the archeological surveys obtained from those regions. Till now, people in the Middle East include fresh dates in their routine, because of which the fruit is cultivated in huge quantity all around the world.
What Are The Types Of Dates In India?
The next thing you need to know is the list of the types of dates available in India. There are various varieties of dates found globally, but only a handful of them are grown and cultivated in our country.
If you want to know more about which dates are best, you need to ensure that you know the types of dates one can find in the Indian fruit markets. So, without wasting any more time, let’s find out about the types of dates.
Medjool is one of the most common date varieties grown in the world, along with India. This particular variety is mainly known for the richness of its flavor and the smoothness of the texture. This is the fresh dates fruit, because of which it’s used in a variety of dishes where freshness is the main criterion. These are packed as soon as the dates are harvested and sorted during the season.
Since these aren’t chemically dried or processed, the Medjool variety is said to be the purest form. This fruit’s taste resembles caramel’s flavors, whereas the texture is soft and almost chewy like meat.
In Arabic, the perfect word to describe the Hallawi date is sweet. Since you are learning about which dates are best, we think to make a clear judgment, you must know the details of the Hallawi date variety. This variety is mainly available during the fall season, and hence the light amber-colored skin is present in the fruit.
The pulp is somewhat chewy, but it will melt as soon as you put these dates in your mouth. It has an amazing taste profile of both butter and caramel, almost resembling a small bite of the delicious pecan pie.
The next type of date we will describe is the Khadrawi variety, which is easily available during both the fall and the early winter seasons. The fruits are small and have an oval shape, which is not that elongated like the general dates of Indian fruit. The flesh of the fruit is very thick and hence is considered to be quite meaty in nature.
The texture of the fruit is between being gooey and chewy, thereby making the Khadrawi date perfect even for the kids who do not like to chew any fruit. The skin of this date variety is very thin, which, if kept open, can dry out and become crispy. This is why you need to store the fruit properly in airtight containers.
When you decide to understand which dates are best, you consider many factors, right? Well, one of those many factors is the sugar content of the fruit. This variety of dates is very low on the total sugar content, even lower than the Medjool date variety.
Coming to the structure, the dates have a complete oval structure, with tout ale brown skin covering a thick, golden-brown flesh. The pulp is chewy in nature, but it has less water content because it seems dry. It has a mixed flavor of nuts and butter combined, just like that of the dried apricots.
The next type of best dates in the world which we are going to study is that of the Barhee species. These dates are almost like swollen, small fruit globules with a soft and super creamy texture. Because of this profile, the date is eaten raw and fresh rather than the dried form. The level of sweetness will vary according to the stage of ripening. This is why the fruit is cultivated during the early ripening seasoning to ensure that too much sugar isn’t present in the flesh.
Even though the fruits are sweet, you will get that subtle hint of astringent just like you find in apples, which provides a distinct flavor profile to this variety. This variety is usually available during the summers and the early fall season.
This particular variety of date fruit is the most natural one in the entire world. Facts have proven that this date variety originated in the Egyptian lands almost around 510 BC. The date fruits are oval and elongated in structure. They have a long seed, but the flesh isn’t too thick compared to the seed’s size.
Moreover, the flesh has a tinge of bitterness as an after-taste, which describes the natural formation of the date fruits. The skin has a distinct dark red color.
This date varies in size since you will get the fruits both in medium-sized ovals and narrow, elongated shapes. The skin of the date fruit is almost transparent, like a white, plain skin sitting on the flesh. The colors of the date variety range from the straw yellow color to the normal amber shades. The texture of the flesh is somewhat dry, owing to the less water content in it.
Apart from this, you will also hear a crunchy sound when you will take the first bite. Even though the sugar content is low, the dates have an overall sweetness and a nutty flavor, which almost resembles the caramelized butter with cashews. These dates are available during both the summer and the fall season.
Having the origin in Iran, this particular variety is considered one of the best in the world. Even though the dates have a distinct flavor of nuts, the water content is so high in the flesh that it overpowers the nutty texture and flavor.
The color of the skin varies from a dark brown to almost an obsidian black. The sweetness of the oval fruits is at moderate levels, which will tantalize your palate.
Why Are Dates So Beneficial?
In your quest to know which dates are best, you cannot leave behind the benefits. Dates might look small, and to some, this fruit might not sound too appealing. But it is one of the most nutritious fruits out there. Considering this, one thing can be said- never judge a book by its cover!
The presence of so many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other kinds of proactive components in the Indian dates fruit will help your body in so many different ways. So, without wasting any more time, let’s delve deep into the advantages of eating dates throughout the year.
#1 Improves the bowel movement
Several studies have shown that after understanding which dates are best, you can easily improve the health of your colon. This will further improve bowel movement and will help in treating problems like constipation, indigestion, IBS, and so on. In fact, studies have shown that eating dates regularly will improve your chances of avoiding colon cancer.
#2 Has a high amount of various antioxidants
Another amazing benefit of having the best quality dates in your regular feed is the presence of a huge quantity of antioxidants in the fruit’s flesh and skin. Several studies have proven that if you compare the dried dates with other dried fruits, the former top the list as the highest holder of antioxidants. For instance, here are the major categories of the compound present in the fruit.
Carotenoids are a group of antioxidants that are famous for reducing the macular degeneration rate. It also works amazingly for improving the health of the heart.
Flavonoids reduce the level of inflammation greatly, which will help reduce the levels of inflamed pains and swellings. Also, it reduces the damage rate of the neurons present in the brain, thereby helping you avoid Alzheimer’s disease.
Phenolic acids help reduce the level of inflammation in the body, thereby helping you avoid a lot of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and so on.
#3 Helps in the improvement of the brain’s activity
Doctors are trying to find natural cures that can reduce the risks of Alzheimer’s disease. This neurodegenerative disease is mainly caused due to the increased amount of Interleukin 6 or IL-6. Now, eating dates regularly has proven to reduce this neuro compound’s concentration, thereby reducing the damage imparted to the neurons and ganglions present in the brain.
Besides this, it has been found that the fruit helps in reducing the amyloid-beta protein in the body. This further helps in the reduction of the damage rate of the brain neurons.
#4 Reduces cancers
Cancers are often caused due to the increased amount of free radicals in the blood. This is where the date fruit has a role to play. It has a huge concentration of antioxidants, which will reduce the percentage of free radicals in the blood. As a result, the best dates to eat will lower the risks of suffering from cancers.
The fruit also has anti-mutagenic properties because of which it can easily reduce the concentrations of the mutagens in the blood.
#5 Has antimicrobial properties
People often look for antimicrobial properties to decide which dates are best. The fruit is rich in compounds that will increase your body’s immunity power and help it fight against the various kinds of microbial infections, be it the normal bacterial infection or the fungal ones. The presence of acetone and methanol in the date fruit will reduce the enzyme activity of the gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria in the body.
#6 Helps people with Type 1 Diabetes
The sugar content present in the dates is low in some varieties. So, if you have Type 1 Diabetes, there will be no harm in including the dates in your regular diet. Moreover, studies have shown that the fruit can increase insulin production in the blood, thereby helping your body convert blood glucose into the storable form of glycogen.
Studies have also shown that the best quality dates in India can reduce glycemic activity in the body, thereby helping you stay healthy despite having Type 1 Diabetes.
#7 Has anti-inflammatory properties
Inflammations are caused by the body’s response towards any infection, injury, or an abnormal rise in the inflammatory regulatory components like the CRP proteins or the LOX factor. Now, to reduce these increased levels and lower the inflammations, you can add dates to your regular diet.
The fruit has many antioxidants and anti-inflammatory elements, like flavonoids and phenolics, which will help treat diseases or infections, reducing inflammation and swellings.
#8 Might promote fertility in males
When you are finding out which dates are best, you will look into the benefits. One of the major benefits of the dates is that it helps increase the fertility of males. This means that the fruit facilitates in increasing the sperm count and also enhances the virility of the male reproductive system. This is why the fruit is so popular in the Middle-eastern countries where men eat this date fruit regularly in huge quantities to fight infertility.
#9 Helps in improving the health of bones
The lack of essential minerals from the body can cause severe diseases, some of them affecting the health of your bones and cartilages. For example, the lack of glucosamine and calcium might cause osteoporosis, while the lack of selenium will affect the health of the cartilages.
You can have fresh dates as a supplement of these essential minerals in your body. The fruit is pretty high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, and so on. So, if you include the fruit in your diet regularly, you will avoid such problems in your bones.
#10 Improves the skin’s health
When it comes to your skin, you usually rely on cosmetic products, be it the ones promoted by the normal brands or the ones suggested by a dermatologist. But, amidst these, not once the thought of trying natural things crosses your mind. This is why scientists have proven that having dates in your regular diet will help you a lot in overcoming most of your skin problems.
For example, if you are suffering from early aging signs, you can easily have dates since these fruits are high in antioxidants. This bioactive component will help reduce the concentration of free radicals, thereby helping in preventing early aging of the skin.
#11 Acts as a natural source of sugar
People suffering from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes are at higher risks from processed and industrial sugars. But, after an intense amount of research works, it has been proven that these people can easily include the dates in their diet, thanks to the presence of natural sugar in the fruit, which makes the Indian dates quite beneficial for the body.
Also, dates act as a natural sweetener which makes the dishes quite amazing, and you will be easily able to control your daily intake of processed or industrial sugar.
#12 High in various vitamins
One of the major benefits of the date fruit is the presence of so many vitamins. Starting from Vitamin C to Vitamin A, it is loaded with the essential micronutrient, which helps restore the normal homeostasis of your body. These small, round or oval fruits are rich in Vitamin B1, B3, B2, and B5- the essential B-compound vitamins for the proper functioning of various metabolic processes.
It is also high in Vitamin B12, which determines how good your body absorbs the mineral iron from external sources.
How To Know Which dates are best?
Understanding more about which dates are best is not an easy task. One needs to know about the various kinds of fruit in detail. Apart from that, you should have in-depth knowledge about identifying fresh quality fruits.
Since the job is so difficult, we have described how you can easily make the perfect choice without much difficulty.
- The first thing you will have to do is select the variety of the date which you need. Yes, it’s not easy to decide which dates are best normally. But, if you are not aware of the various varieties of fruit, the job will become more difficult and almost next to impossible.
- Decide whether you want a natural sweetening date or the ones with minimal glycemic concentration. If you’re going to have the dates for a diabetic patient, we would suggest looking for the varieties with low sugar contents. If you don’t have any sugar intake restriction, then any type will do the job.
- The next thing you need to decide about which dates are best is the form of the fruit. Some dates have to be eaten when they are fresh, while some need to be dried. If you want to enjoy the freshness, you need to look for the corresponding varieties. The same thing needs to be done for those who love to eat the dried and crispy skin dates.
- Various top sellers are now selling a variety of date fruit in the market. When deciding which dates are best, you need to ensure that the brand you are choosing is genuine and popular in the market. The dates should be fresh in nature, and shouldn’t contain any preservatives.
What Are The Popular Date Brands In India?
When you want to buy fresh dates online in India, you need to understand that several such varieties are available. So, you need to make the proper choice so the brand you choose is genuine, and the fruit is fresh without any adulteration.
So, for your convenience, here are some famous date brands that you can find here in India.
- Markstor Ajwa Al-Saudi Ajwa dates
- Medjool plus premium dates
- Omani dates
- Happilo premium international Omani dates
- Lagom Saudi Safawi dates
- Rostaa gourmet dates vegan and gluten-free
- Flyberry gourmet Medjoool dates
- Dry fruit hub Kimia dates
- Markstor Kimia dates original
- Lion Arabian dates
What Can You Do With Dates?
Since now you know almost everything, about which dates are best, it’s time to understand what kind of foods you can cook with this fruit. Now, you can easily have the fruits in their raw form and the cooked form. So, without any further ado, let’s start the discussion!
- Date brownies with a roasted oat crust
- Lamb tagine with the sweetness of the dates
- Dates and banana quick loaf bread
- Date pulp cookies filling
- Orange and date bread
- Sweet potato pudding with both caramelized pecans and dates
- Date and walnut muffins
- Date and mixed nut bread
- Coconut and rice pudding with crunchy dates
- Gluten-free oat bars with soft date filling
- Banana and date smoothie with yogurt
- Tahini date salted caramels
- Kale and quinoa salad with almonds and date dressing
- Kumquat apple tarts with a mix of almond and date crust
- Dates and sesame puranpolis
- Rice kheer mixed with dates and cashews
- Stuffed medjool dates with roasted coconuts
- Fudge date and nut brownies
- Cashews and dates energy granola oat bars
- Caramelized pecan and date pies
- Parfait with caramelized roasted dates and berries
Dates are quite popular globally, especially in the Southeast, Middle-East, and African countries. The distinct texture and flavors of the fruit have made it famous. Apart from this, the various types of dates have made it possible for people to bring in variations in their daily date intake. If you have learned how to decide which dates are best, it is time to understand which variety you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
Dates have a very distinct texture and flavors which have made them famous worldwide. Along with this, it offers many health benefits. So, here are a few interesting FAQs we answered about dates.
#1 Which is more beneficial: dry dates or wet dates?
Dates are worth adding to the diet in any form, whether it is fresh fruit or dried one. Dried dates are very nutritious. It is a good source for micronutrients such as Potassium, Magnesium, Copper, and Manganese. It is high in iron and calcium.
Fresh dates are low in calories compared to dry dates. The 100 grams of dried dates and fresh dates contain about 280 and 145 calories, respectively. It is high in vitamin C.
#2 Which dates are good for weight loss: dry or wet dates?
Consuming a handful of fresh dates is a brilliant start for your weight loss journey. A 100 grams of fresh dates contains 145 calories, 37 g of carbohydrates, 1.8 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and 3.5 g of fiber. It is a good source of Vitamin C.
#3 Which type of dates is best?
When deciding which dates to buy, always ensure it is of good quality and from the trusted brands. There are different types of dates available around the world, one you should try are:
#4 Do dates make you fat?
Dates contain natural sugars, which are an excellent option for people suffering from diabetes. Consuming a handful of dates leads to weight loss as it is rich in iron and fiber.
But the high consumption of it can lead to weight gain. Dates contain 70% sugar weight. Eating a large quantity of sugar increases weight.