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Dried Dates: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

By Dr Rajeev Singh +2 more


For 6000 years the dates are cultivated, and it is one of the oldest crops which have nutritional, economic and potential health value. The scientific name of dates is Phoenix dactylifera L. which has both aesthetic value and environmental benefit.1 The desert and hot regions are favourable for the growth of dates in large quantities. South-West Asia, North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran are the major producers of dates.1 The highest demand for date eating is during the holy month of Ramadan and these dates are used to break the fasting. Majorly they are consumed in dry form and the eating of dates decreases after the Ramadan month.2 

dry dates benefits

These dates are traditionally dried in the sun, which takes seven to ten days to complete. Due to the presence of nutrients, vitamins and minerals dates play a major role in health. The following information contains a detailed explanation of the properties and potential of the dates.2   

Nutritional Value of Dried Dates: 

The energy present in 100g of dates is 277 kcal. The nutrients present in dates are as follows: 

Nutrient Percentage content 
Carbohydrates 75 g 
Protein 1.81 g 
Fats 0.15 g 
Sugars 66.5 g 
Fibre 6.7 g 
Calcium 64 mg 
Magnesium 54 mg 
Sodium 1 mg 
Zinc 0.44 mg 
Phosphorous 62 mg 
Iron 0.9 mg 
Copper 0.362 mg 
Manganese 54 mg 

Table 1: Depicting the nutrients present in 100g of dates3 

The following vitamins are also present on dates:  

  • Thiamine (vitamin B1) 
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2) 
  • Niacin (vitamin B3) 
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) 
  • Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) 
  • Folate  
  • Ascorbic acid (vitamin C)3 

Did you know?

  • Dried dates have a low glycemic index, making them a suitable choice for individuals with diabetes. source: USDA
  • Dates are a good source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels. source: USDA
  • Dried dates are a good source of fiber, which can help promote feelings of fullness and aid in weight management. source: USDA
  • Dried dates are a good source of antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation in the body. source: USDA
  • Dates are a good source of fiber, which can help promote a healthy digestive system. source: USDA
  • Dates are a good source of potassium, which is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure levels. source: USDA

Properties of Dried Dates: 

Dates might possess the following properties: 

  • It might be effective against various microorganisms (anti-microbial) 
  • It might help lower blood sugar levels (anti-diabetic) 
  • It might be effective against the growth of tumours (anti-tumour) 
  • It might help relieve unbalanced inflammation (anti-inflammatory) 
  • It might help protect the kidney (nephroprotective) 
  • It might be an antioxidant  
  • It might help protect the liver (hepato-protective)4 

For pregnant women who are in the later stages of their pregnancies, I suggest consuming dried dates under a doctor’s supervision as they may have several advantages. Their high fibre content may aid with gastrointestinal issues like constipation and others that pregnant women frequently face. Additionally, dried dates have long been regarded as one of the best methods for bringing on labour naturally. According to little research, consuming dates in a variety of ways may reduce the need for medical inductions.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Also Read: Benefits of Figs Soaked in Water Overnight: Exploring Nutritional Advantages

Potential Uses of Dried Dates for Overall Health: 

Foods that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition are known as functional foods. Dates might have the potential to act as functional foods due to the functional constituents present in them and might be of potential use to human health.2 Some of the potential uses of dates are as follows. 

1. Potential uses of dried dates for diabetes: 

 Several studies have shown that dried dates might have the potential to lower diabetes and its complications.   Dates might help in reducing the absorption of glucose or may help increase the production of insulin. This potential activity of dried dates might also be due to the presence of flavonoids and other bioactive compounds.  Dates may act as scavengers for free radicals, thus helping against the oxidative damage caused by diabetes. However, the exact mechanism of action is not yet known. Moreover, conditions like diabetes are serious and must be properly diagnosed and treated by a qualified doctor, therefore, ensure that you visit a doctor.4  

2. Potential uses of dried dates for inflammation: 

Dates might have the potential in alleviating inflammation and one of the studies showed that dates might have the potential to inhibit the production of certain enzymes (cyclooxygenase enzymes COX-1 and COX-2) which play an important role in inflammation. In another study, it was seen that dates might play a role in reducing the swelling of the foot. However, more studies are required to prove these potential effects of dates.4  

3. Potential uses of dried dates for infections: 

Dates might possess an antimicrobial property, due to which it might have a potential effect against bacteria like Klebsiella pneumonia and Escherichia coli. It might also have a role in reducing the side effects caused due to the drug methylprednisolone (a steroid).  Ethanolic extract of dates might have a potential effect against E. fecalis and it might be helpful for enteric diseases. However, more studies are required to prove the potential uses of dried dates for infections.4 Consult the doctor in any case of infection and don’t self-medicate. 

4. Potential uses of dried dates for oxidative stress:  

Dried dates might be a good natural source of phytochemicals, majorly they may have polyphenols, and carotenoids which act as a strong antioxidant. The antioxidants present in the dates may play an important role in absorbing and neutralising free radicals, thus helping reduce the oxidative stress which might lead to various diseases like diabetes, cancer, etc.4 However, more research is required to prove the antioxidant nature of dates.  

5. Potential uses of dried dates for tumours: 

Several studies have shown that dried dates might have potential activity against tumours, but the exact mechanism is not yet known. Some hypotheses state that the anti-tumour potentiality of dried dates might be due to the antioxidant components present in them. A study showed that a compound present in dates, called glucans might be the reason for its anti-tumour activity.  However, more research is required to prove these claims. Kindly note that a serious condition like cancer must be diagnosed and treated only by a doctor. Therefore, ensure that you consult a doctor.4 

6. Potential uses of dried dates for kidneys: 

In an animal study, it was seen that dried dates might have the potential to reduce the increase in plasma creatinine and urea concentrations. (The high levels of urea and creatinine concentration indicate that the kidneys are not functioning properly).  Therefore, dates might help protect the kidney and have a nephroprotective property.4 

Though there are studies that show the potential uses of dried dates in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of dried dates on human health.  

In my experience, iron content is high in dried dates. Iron deficiency is a prevalent finding, and many individuals who don’t get enough iron in their diet frequently feel tired. Dried dates include carbs and a high iron content that together may provide you with a much-needed energy boost.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Also Read: Cherries: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

How to Use Dried Dates? 

Dried dates can be eaten as it is. They are commercially available on the market. They can also be used to make desserts, cakes, ice creams, milkshakes, etc. They are safe to consume in food quantities.   

You must consult a qualified doctor before taking any dates in large quantity.  Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.   

Dates may cause an allergic response in certain people. Additionally, some people may get allergic reactions due to the sulfites in dried dates. Skin rashes are among the many symptoms that might differ from person to person. After consuming them, some people may have eye sensitivity, itchy, watery, red eyes, and a runny nose. I suggest there should be a regulated consumption of dried dates. In case of any allergic response, one should immediately report to the physician.

Dr. Smita barode, B.A.M.S, M.S.

Also Read: How to Freeze Dry Food: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Side Effects of Dried Dates: 

Dried dates, when consumed in food quantities do not cause any specific side effects. However, if you notice any symptoms after eating dates, you must visit a doctor immediately. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor and confirm whether it is safe for you to eat dates specifically. 

Precautions to Take with Dried Dates:  

You should consult a doctor and eat dates only after confirming that it is safe for you to consume dates. Especially if you are pregnant breastfeeding or have any condition. There is no data regarding the effects that dates might have on children and infants. Kindly consult a doctor. 

Dried dates contain a lot of sugar, especially when compared to the vitamins and minerals they offer. All types of dates have this property, but drying the dates may raise the sugar level even more. If your blood sugar is an issue, I suggest you stick to eating fresh dates in moderation since, according to studies, they have little effect on glucose levels.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, B.A.M.S, M.D (Ayu)

Interactions with Other Drugs: 

Dried dates might interact with some of the drugs. You should consult your doctor before eating dates, especially if you are undergoing ongoing treatment and are on medications. 

Did you know 110 calories are included in only two dried dates? They may be therefore a fantastic alternative for a high-energy trail mix, but less recommended for weight loss. In my perspective, try other dried fruits that are high in nutrients but have fewer calories than dried dates if you want to lose weight.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

Also Read: Peanuts: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects By Dr. Rajeev Singh

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Does dry dates benefit our health?

Yes, dried dates might be good for our health. It might have potential anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, anti-tumour, liver-protective, kidney-protective, antioxidant and anti-microbial properties. However, more research is required to prove these potential uses of dried dates.4 

Is there any nutrition in dried dates? 

Yes, dried dates contain nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, sugars, minerals (calcium, zinc, iron, phosphorous, etc.) and vitamins (B1, B2, C, etc.). It also contains various bioactive compounds like tannins, carotenoids, polyphenols, etc. 3,4 

Are there any benefits of dried dates for skin? 

No valid reports are claiming any potential positive effects of dried dates on skin. There is a requirement for more studies. 

Can dried dates be eaten by diabetic patients?

Dried dates might help lower the blood sugar level and may increase the insulin levels in the blood which might be helpful for people with diabetes. However, you should consult a doctor and confirm if it is safe for a diabetic patient to consume dried dates. Kindly do not self-medicate.4 

Are dried dates good for the eyes? 

No effects of dried dates on eyes have been reported. However, it might help reduce the ill effects of diabetes on the eyes (diabetic retinopathy). Kindly consult a doctor for your eye problems and do not self-medicate.4 

Does eating dried dates benefit our blood pressure? 

No reports or studies show any potentiality of dried dates for blood pressure. More research is required on this subject. 


1. Al-Shahib W, Marshall RJ. The fruit of the date palm: its possible use as the best food for the future? Int J Food Sci Nutr [Internet]. 2003 Jul;54(4):247–59. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12850886 

2. Al-Farsi MA, Lee CY. Nutritional and functional properties of dates: a review. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr [Internet]. 2008 Nov;48(10):877–87. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18949591 

3. FoodData Central. Dates [Internet]. U.S. Department of Agriculture. [cited 2022 Aug 11]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168191/nutrients  

4. Rahmani AH, Aly SM, Ali H, Babiker AY, Srikar S, Amjad A. Therapeutic effects of date fruits ( Phoenix dactylifera ) in the prevention of diseases via modulation of anti-tumour activity. Int J Clin Exp Med [Internet]. 2014;7(3):483–91. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/ 

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