The Prophet said, "There is a tree among the trees which is similar to a Muslim (in goodness), and that is the date palm tree." (Sahih Bukhari)

The date palm, mentioned more than any other fruit-bearing plant in the Quran, is a symbol often associated with Islam and Muslims. Dates are a common ingredient in the Muslim diet, especially throughout the month of Ramadan. Why not incorporate their usage regularly throughout the year? Ever wondered what kind of advantages such a small sized food item could hold? Of course, chances are low! This is because we tend to overlook the benefits some things hold and so, we don’t try enough to explore them ourselves.

The date fruit, also known as khajoor, is one of the sweetest fruits and happens to comprise of many different varieties. Below are some of the essential benefits:

1. Boosts your Brain Health: Sufficient vitamin B6 levels are associated with better brain performance.

2. Reduced Stroke Risk: According to evaluation of 7 studies published over a 14-year time period, researchers found stroke risk was reduced by 9% for every 100 milligrams of magnesium a person consumes per day.

3. Anti-Inflammatory: Dates are enriched with magnesium; a mineral known for its anti-inflammatory benefits.

4. Promoting Digestive Health and Relieving Constipation: Fiber is essential for promoting colon health and making for regular bowel movements. Some other benefits relating to fiber and colon health are reduced risks of colitis, colon cancer, and hemorrhoids.

5. A single date contains more potassium than a banana (per weight).

6. Dates can control blood sugar levels.

7. Dates are good for growing children: Enriched with nutrients and being easily digested, they are considered as the perfect food source for young and growing children.

8. Boost Immunity: Dates are rich in magnesium, copper, manganese, and selenium and as studies show, selenium is widely known to help prevent diseases such as cancer.

9. Strengthen bones: Dates are a superfood for strengthening bones and fighting off diseases like osteoporosis. They are particularly good as one begins to age and bones gradually weaken.

10. Balance Iron levels in Anaemia: Anaemia is more widespread than one might think. Dates are full of iron and an excellent food source to help balance out these levels in anaemic patients; ultimately increasing their overall energy and strength.

11. Relieve Allergies: Dates contain high levels of organic sulfur, known to be helpful for reducing allergic reactions.

12. Dates maintain eye health: They are quite effective in guarding against night-blindness.

In the early years of Islam, dates served as food for Muslim warriors. They used to carry them in special bags hung at their sides. They are the best stimulant for muscles and so the best food for a warrior about to engage in battle.

In several traditions the Prophet ate dates with some other fruits and vegetables.

“Abdullah ibn Jaafar (RA) said the Messenger ate cucumbers with dates.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

According to two other traditions recorded by Al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet ate dates with watermelon or butter. Moreover, he used to take all varieties of dates, but preferred the variety called 'Ajwah (a particular variety of date found exclusively in Madeenah).

Ajwah is a soft dry variety of date fruit from Saudi Arabia. It is cultivated at the city of Madinah. It is a delightfully soft and fruity date with fine texture. According to another Hadith,

“The Messenger said: Ajwah dates are from Paradise.” (Al-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet also taught his disciples that the date was not only an antidote to poison but also an effective defense against black magic.

“Whoever eats seven dates of the High Land of Madinah in the morning will not be hurt by poison or magic on that day.” ( Sahih Bukhari)

The poison in this hadith refers to the toxins that accumulate inside the body. Also, have a look at the video below, which reinforces the benefits of dates!

Therefore, it is clear that dates contain plentiful benefits and we have to make an effort ourselves to include them as part of our diet every day. May Allah (SWT) save us all from the harmful diseases and give us strength to maintain a healthy lifestyle by blessings such as of the date fruit.