Medjool dates are a variety of dates enjoyed for their natural sweetness. They’re larger, darker, and more caramel-like in taste than other common types like Deglet Noor.
As tropical stone fruits, they have a single pit surrounded by edible flesh.
Native to Morocco, Medjool dates come from the date palm tree (Phoenix dactylifera) and are now grown in warm regions of the United States, the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa.
They’re often sold dried but not dehydrated, making them soft and sticky. Their sugars become more concentrated as they dry, which further increases their sweetness.
Compared with other common varieties like Deglet Noor, Medjool dates contain significantly more calcium.
Dates provide various antioxidants that have a number of health benefits to offer, including a reduced risk of several diseases.
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content
Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates:
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration
- Phenolic acid: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
Dates have a very high sugar content relative to the rest of their nutritional value. People who are trying to manage their blood sugar, such as those with diabetes, should be mindful of their total sugar intake when consuming dates.
Eating dates in moderation is unlikely to raise a person’s blood sugar excessively, even if they have diabetes.
According to one study, dates are a low glycemic index food that does not result in significant increases in blood sugar in people with or without diabetes.
Although the researchers had only a small sample size, their findings do indicate that eating dates in moderation should not dramatically impact a person’s blood sugar.