Food from the Quran: Dates
Though we can’t say for sure, there is a good chance that the date palm was the first cultivated tree in history as it’s been grown for over 8000 years. The date palm was carried from Iran to China about 1700 years ago and then later, about 1700 years ago, carried by the Spaniards to California.
Allah mentions dates in several places in the Quran. He says,
Therein is fruit and palm trees having sheaths [of dates]. And grain having husks and scented plants. So which of the favors of your Lord would you deny? (Quran 55:11-13)
Allah, in all His Mercy, gave Mariam dates as she struggled in labor,
And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. (Quran, 19:25-26)
IBN AL QAYYIM, HEALING WITH THE MEDICINE OF THE PROPHET 1
Ibn Al Qayyim, in Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet, says that:
- Tamr (dried dates) strengthen the liver, relax the bowels, increase semen production, especially when taken with pine and relieve a sore throat.
- Dried dates are among the most nutritious fruit. Their essence is hot and wet.
- Dried dates are a fruit, a type of food, a cure, a drink, and a sweet.
THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF DATES
Dates are an excellent source of:
- easy-to-digest carbohydrates with a very high sugar content, ranging from about 60% on soft dates to up to 70% in dry dates 2
- fibre 2
- B vitamins: niacin, B6, riboflavin, thiamine and pantothenic acid 2
- Minerals: copper, potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron and phosphorous 2
They’re also a good source of:
- folic acid
- selenium 2
HOW TO INCLUDE DATES IN YOUR DIET
- Plain fresh or dried dates are delicious
- Stuff dates with an almond, walnut or other types of nut.
- Date sugar can be used as a sugar substitute in cooking and sprinkled over food
- Chopped dates are an excellent way to sweeten a dish. Sprinkle over porridge,yoghurtor rice for a delicious sweetness.
- Blend dates with your favourite nut butter to make a sweet version – yum!
- Blend dates with balsamic vinegar and a little olive oil to make a delicious sauce or dip.
- Add dates to stews for a unique flavour
- Mix dates with dried coconut and chopped walnuts and make date balls
- Imam Ibn Qayyim, Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet
- Murray, M. (2005). The Encyclopaedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books.