Dried Dates: Why are they so healthy?


dried dates benefits

Dried Dates, "the bread of the desert", have long been considered a healthy, natural snack for in-between meals. They also add a delicious flavor to a variety of dishes - whether cold or hot, sweet or savory. But dried dates not only score points for their honey and caramel-like taste, but they are also full of good nutrients.

In our post about dried dates, we will explain how dried dates can have a positive impact on your health and provide an overview of their nutritional values. Additionally, you will learn what to consider when consuming dates, how to store dried dates properly, and which food combinations pair best with them for optimal taste.

The most important points in brief

  • Dried Dates are full of nutrients that have a positive impact on health. They contain iron, vitamins, fiber, beta-carotene, and the minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, among other things.
  • Despite their tempting taste and numerous nutrients, you should only consume between three and five dried dates per day. In large quantities, these fruits are very high in calories with 276 calories per 100g and their high fiber content can have a laxative effect.
  • Dried Dates that are stored properly can last for up to two years after harvest. Through the drying process, the dates lose a lot of moisture, which, due to their high sugar content, essentially preserves them and makes them less susceptible to germs.

Background information: What you should know about Dried Dates

In our guide, you will learn the most important information about dried dates.

Where do Dried Dates come from?

The date palm, a millennia-old crop and a member of the palm family, originates from the countries surrounding the Persian Gulf, where its use can be traced back to 6000 BC.

Today, dates are primarily grown in the dry, hot countries of the Middle East and the Mediterranean region. They are also cultivated in the United States, Australia, and South Africa. Egypt, Algeria, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are among the largest producers of dates.

dried dates recipes
As a desert plant, the date palm needs a lot of sun as well as a lot of water, especially in the summer months. There are numerous varieties of dates, so the color of the fruits can vary from red to black.

Date palms can live to be between 80 and 100 years old and produce an average of 100 kilograms of dates per year. However, date palms only start producing fruit 5 to 6 years after planting and then only every 2 years.

The tastiest dates are those from trees that are around 30 years old, and female date palms are the best producers of the fruit. There are now around 400 different varieties of dates, with the fruit reaching up to 8cm in length.

You can buy dried dates all year round in this country, while fresh dates are only available between September and January.

What nutrients are in Dried Dates?

In dried dates, there are many healthy nutrients. They contain little fat and instead have plenty of important minerals such as potassium. Dates have a higher potassium content than a banana, which is known as a particularly good source of potassium, with 660 mg per 100 g compared to a banana's 450 mg.

In addition, the fruit contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus, which are important for healthy bone development, as well as iron. Furthermore, dates contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, folic acid, and niacin, as well as some vitamin C.

In addition, the fiber content in dates is beneficial for digestion, promotes a balanced cholesterol level, and stimulates metabolism.

The following table gives you an overview of the nutritional values and calories of dried dates.

per 100 g of dried dates average values
Calories 276
Fat 0.5 grams
Protein 1.9 grams
Sugar 63.8 grams
Fiber 8.7 grams
Water 20 grams
Calcium 63 milligrams
Sodium 35 milligrams
Phosphorus 57 milligrams

With its content of beta-carotene, which controls our immune system, regulates cell growth, and has an antioxidant effect, the date proves to be a natural anti-aging remedy.

Finally, the high content of tryptophan in the fruit is also interesting. Tryptophan is an amino acid that is needed to produce the sleep hormone melatonin. Therefore, when consumed over a longer period, dates can help counteract sleep problems.

How many Dried Dates should you eat per day?

Despite their tempting, sweet taste and many nutrients, dried dates should only be eaten in moderation.

Although fructose is comparably healthier than industrial sugar, it is also very high in carbohydrates and thus has many calories in larger quantities. In addition, excessive consumption of dates due to their high fiber content can have a laxative effect.

In general, you can eat between three and five dried dates per day with a clear conscience and already benefit from their health benefits. A single date after a main meal can also help with cravings for something sweet.

Are Dried Dates good for digestion?

The fiber content in dried dates has a positive effect on the gastrointestinal tract. They help to transport the intestinal contents faster, thus promoting digestion. For example, they can help prevent constipation.

To allow the fiber to swell properly and push through any blockages in the intestines, it is important to drink plenty of fluids.

This is because fiber absorbs liquid like a sponge. As a result, the food mass increases in volume, digestion is stimulated, and the food passes through the intestines more quickly.

Do Dried Dates make good alternatives to industrial Sugar?

Due to the natural sweetness of dates, they are an ideal and healthy alternative to calorie-rich industrial sugar.

Dried fruits lose up to 80% of their liquid, leaving behind carbohydrates and fiber. The carbohydrates are mostly sugar molecules. Therefore, dried dates consist of 70% Sugar.

dried dates vs fresh dates
With the sweetness of the dates, you can save some of the industrial sugar.

That's quite a lot. However, compared to the 100% sugar-based industrial sugar, you can save 30% sugar with dates. In addition, dates contain some healthy nutrients, which is not the case with industrial sugar.

Can you lose weight with Dried Dates?

Dates are often on the no-go list for those trying to lose weight due to their high-calorie content. However, if you're currently trying to change your diet and lose weight by cutting out refined sugar, then dates can be a great alternative.

This is because they have a lower sugar content than industrial sugar and are packed with nutrients that have a positive impact on health.

In addition, the fiber found in dried dates provides a long-lasting feeling of fullness, which can help with weight loss. Due to their sweet taste and lower sugar content, dates are ideal as a healthy snack or dessert instead of foods containing industrial sugar.

How do you store Dried Dates?

When storing dried dates, there isn't much you can do wrong. You can easily keep them in the cellar or pantry, or simply store them at room temperature in a cupboard. Plastic bags are less suitable as dried dates can quickly absorb the plastic smell and lose their typical taste.

Storing in the refrigerator is not the optimal storage method either. Although dried dates are naturally very durable due to their high sugar content, they will eventually lose moisture after a certain amount of time.

To protect the dried dates from further dehydration and thus from becoming hard, you should put them in a sealable container. Screw-top jars, for example, are suitable for this purpose. With proper storage, you can easily keep a large supply of dried dates.

How long do Dried Dates last

Dried dates, when properly stored, are known to be indefinitely shelf-stable. However, they will last at least 2 years from the time of harvest.

Dried dates surpass the shelf life of fresh dates, which is about up to 4 weeks - by a long shot. Drying removes much of the moisture from the dates, making them less susceptible to spoilage. In addition, the very high sugar content in dates acts as a natural preservative.

Dates stored well beyond their expiration date can become hard and difficult to chew, rendering them inedible due to their texture. Although the fruit may no longer have its characteristic flavor, it will still be sweet. If you have consumed dates that are no longer fresh, you generally don't have to worry about any health problems.

If your dried dates become too hard, you can add moisture back to them by soaking them in water or warm milk. This will allow the dates to absorb the moisture and make them usable again.

Under no circumstances should you eat dates with any signs of mold. Mold can be identified by both its visual appearance and its strong odor.

If there are light coatings on the dried dates, it could be crystallized sugar instead of mold. However, if you find black discolorations in the flesh of the dates, it could be mold. Eating moldy food can have unpleasant consequences such as stomach problems, diarrhea, nausea, and intestinal issues.

How else can you use dried dates?

Dried dates can be processed in numerous ways and combined with many other foods. The fruits are very popular as finger food, in oriental dishes, or simply as a snack. Due to their honey- and caramel-like flavor, dates can be filled with cream cheese, nougat, cheese, marzipan, or nuts.

dried dates nutrition
Indeed, dates can be combined with numerous foods, whether it's savory cheese, sweet pastries, fresh salads, or nuts.

Dried dates pass well with many foods, whether it be savory cheese, sweet pastries, fresh salads, or nuts. They also pair well with figs or fruit salads. In warm, oriental cuisine, dates are often used. If you enjoy baking, dried dates are great in bread, cakes, pastries, or energy balls as a sweet flavor enhancer and provider of healthy nutrients. In particular, dates wrapped in ham and seared are very popular.


The aromatic, sweet dried dates are not only suitable as a delicious snack in between but can also be well combined with larger, especially oriental dishes - whether cold or warm, savory or sweet.

In addition, dried fruits are low in fat and contain a lot of healthy nutrients. They contain minerals, vitamins, and fiber, with the latter having a positive effect on digestion.

At 276 Calories per 100 grams, dried dates are not exactly low in Calories, but they do represent a healthy, natural alternative to industrial sugar.

Due to the drying process and the high sugar content, the minimum shelf life of dried dates, if stored correctly, is at least two years after harvest. Therefore, dried dates last much longer than fresh ones.

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