Phoenix dactylifera, date, or date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around Iraq. It grows 70–75 feet in height, growing singly or forming a clump with several stems from a single root system. The leaves are 4–6 metres long, with spines on the petiole, and pinnate, with about 150 leaflets; the leaflets are 30 cm long and 2 cm wide. The full span of the crown ranges from 6–10 m. Dates contain 20–70 calories each, depending on size and variety.
Dates have been a staple food of the Middle East and the Indus Valley for thousands of years. They are believed to have originated around Iraq, and have been cultivated since ancient times from Mesopotamia to prehistoric Egypt, possibly as early as 4000 BCE. The Ancient Egyptians used the fruits to make date wine, and ate them at harvest. There is archaeological evidence of date cultivation in eastern Arabia in 6000 BCE.
There is also archeological evidence of date cultivation in Mehrgarh around 7000 BCE, a Neolithic civilization in India now western Pakistan.
In later times, traders spread dates around South West Asia, northern Africa, and Spain and Italy. Dates were introduced into Mexico and California by the Spaniards in 1765, around Mission San Ignacio.
A date palm cultivar, known as Judean date palm is renowned for its long-lived orthodox seed, which successfully sprouted after accidental storage for 2000 years. This particular seed is presently reputed to be the oldest viable seed but the upper survival time limit of properly stored seeds remains unknown.Fossil records show that the date palm has existed for at least 50 million years.
medjool dates is a versatile fruit brimming with fiber, vitamins and minerals. Fresh Medjool Dates are rich in invert sugars, providing the body with hours of natural energy. Dates also contain high levels of potassium; a nutrient proven to reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke. Since first being cultivated in the Stone Age, dates have been used to increase sexual stamina, promote digestive health and boost heart health.
The health benefits of Medjool Dates also include boosting brain well-being. Medjool dates are a rich source of Vitamin B6 which has been shown to improve brain performance and related test scores.
In addition, the Magnesium content of dates works as an anti-inflammatory. Consuming sufficient amounts of magnesium each day lowers the risk of Arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.Pregnant women who eat Medjool Dates reap additional benefits.
Studies by the University of Science and Technology have shown that eating dates during the last 4 weeks of pregnancy produced a more favorable delivery outcome. Eating dates also decreased the need for the induction and augmentation of labor.
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