Date Fruit - Blessed Tree


Blessed Tree - Date Fruit

Date Palm is an important subsistence crop of the desert regions, traditionally providing for food and nutritional security of the desert inhabitants.

Date fruits are very sweet in taste (average 70% sugar) and are of high nutritional value. 1 Kg of dried date fruits yields approximately 3000 calories of energy. It contains 1 to 3% protein and 2.5 to 7.5% fat. It is a good source of fibres also. Besides, fresh date is a premium source of vitamin C (30mg/100gm fruit). Palmitic, capric and caprylic acid are the major free fatty acids in date flesh, followed by linoleic, lauric, pelargonic and myristic acids. It is rich in iron (6mg/100gm fruit), phosphorus (350mg/100gm fruit), potassium and calcium. It contains 110 to 170mg of beta-carotene/100gm fruit.

Many nutritional deficiencies can be cured by date fruit consumption. It has medicinal values and even cures sore throat, fever, constipation, bronchial catarrh, and many other diseases. As a ‘complete food’ it can be added in Government sponsored mid-day meal programs to improve health of poor school going children.

In modern times, date fruits are used to produce pickles, jams, syrups, paste, chutneys, honey, health bars, sugar, vinegar, liquor, etc and as a value addition to breakfast cereals. Confectioneries like biscuits / cakes, chocolates, and candies use dates, besides serving it as a table fruit.

 

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