Dried datesDates come from the date palm and are a staple food in the countries of the Maghreb. They are used as a sweetener due to their 70 per cent sugar content.
- Dates are very rich in carbohydrates, proteins and minerals, making them a great source of energy. They are therefore recommended to people who practise sports and those engaged in physical exertion.
- They are also a source of fibre and potassium. That is why they help regulate bowel transit and combat constipation.
- They contain small amounts of vitamin B.
- In general, dates contain all the essential amino acids, though they are richer in acidic amino acids than in those containing sulphur, such as methionine and cysteine. Linoleic acid predominates in date oil. This fat is rich in unsaturated oils.
- Dates can be consumed both fresh and dry and are primarily used as a dessert and in preparing ice creams, jams, puddings or honey.
- They are used as a staple food and to prepare fermented alcoholic beverages and can be ground for flour. They are also used in various recipes, generally as a filling or served with meat.
- In many Arab countries, they take advantage of the sweet taste of date sap to prepare a kind of wine called arrack.
- In traditional natural medicine in some Arab countries, their use was recommended in the case of colds, asthma, fever, bronchitis and stomach pain.