Date - Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Botanical Name :: Phoenix dactylifera
Indian Name :: Khajur
The date is one of the most nourishing fruits. It is a food of great importance and is called the bread of the Sahara . But its use is now universal. It is included in the categories of both dry and fresh fruit The date is a cylindrical fruit of yellow to reddish brown color. It has' fleshy pericarp surrounding a single seed containing 60 to 70 per cent sugar. The tree-ripe fresh date is delicious fruit. It, however, undergoes fermentation very rapidly. It is, therefore, dried in the sun. The fruit looses about 35 per cent of its weight in the process of drying.
Origin and Distribution
The date is held in high esteem from ancient times and is one of the earliest fruits cultivated by man. In Mesopotamia, more than 5,000 years old bricks have been found to contain instructions for growing date palms. The ancient monuments of Egypt have been found to contain carved figures of date palms There are numerous references to the palm and its fruit in the Bible, testifying to its manifold virtues Prophet Mohammed believed that the first date palm was made from the tempered dust which remained after the formation of Adam. The original home of date is believed to be in the Persian Gulf area or in Mesopotamia . It is now classed as one of the standard crops of world agriculture and is widely grown in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Spain, Italy, China and U.S.A.
The date is a food of high nutritional value. It provides natural sugar in the form of glucose and fructose. This sugar is ready for immediate absorption and is, therefore, infinitely superior to cane sugar. It is usually taken raw or with milk, which makes it highly nutritious in most respects. Taking it with curdled milk is also common. In Sahara , rich people take with butter by removing the seed and filling the cavity with butter. It is a scientific way of taking fat. It is also taken in several cooked forms. The seeds of the fruit, roasted and ground into powder makes a beverage like coffee, called 'date coffee' The date palm yields a sweet juice of high food value. It can be taken fresh with great advantage or make into a tasty country sugar. The juice can also be allowed to ferment and made into alcohol.
Natural Benefits and Curative Properties
Dates are valuable as medicine for their tonic effect. Being easily digested, they are very useful for supplying energy and repairing waste. Milk in which clean and fresh dates have been boiled is a very nourishing and restorative drink to children and adults alike, especially during convalescence.
The dates require great care for selection. The sticky surface of the date attracts dust and impurities of the air to settle there. It is, therefore, advisable to purchase the best varieties in good packing condition and to wash them thoroughly before use.
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