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Start the year sweetly, dates lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure!

Start the year sweetly, dates lower blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure!

The new year opens with a sweet novelty, dates are not only delicious, but also useful for heart health! Here is further proof that eating healthily does not mean making sacrifices. But let's try to understand better thanks to the results of two recent scientific researches dedicated to dates (Mirghani et al, Pak J Med Sci., 2021 - Int J Mol Sci, 2021).

Dates reduce blood sugar

Dates are a valuable source of nutrients, including vitamins, such as vitamin A, group B and C, minerals, including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper and selenium, antioxidants, including anthocyanins, catechins and flavonoids, and sugars, and therefore energy. However, precisely because of their sugar content, dates have always been considered a food to be taken with caution, especially in light of the progressive increase in cases of type 2 diabetes, the typical diabetes of adults. But is it really so? It seems not. In fact, as emerged from the first research we are talking about today, a moderate intake of dates, 2-3 dates per day, is able to reduce both fasting and postprandial glycaemia, even in people with a diagnosis of diabetes. It is believed that dates are able to increase the action of insulin and at the same time to reduce the absorption of glucose. Not only that, given the magnesium intake, dates have also been found to be useful in combating diabetic retinopathy. Indeed, a magnesium deficiency is associated with a greater risk of developing this condition (Kumar et al, J Family Med Prim Care, 2019).

The action of dates on cholesterol, pressure and blood vessels

But dates also protect the heart in other ways. In fact, these fruits help to keep blood pressure under control. Not only that, dates contain folic acid which is essential for metabolizing homocysteine and transforming it into methionine. Well, this fact is noteworthy since high levels of homocysteine, which is therefore not metabolized by the body, are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. Dates are high in fiber, which help lower cholesterol and triglyceride values. Finally, the vitamin C of dates counteracts the oxidation of bad LDL cholesterol, the main cause of atherosclerosis, improves the elasticity of blood vessels and the function of the endothelium, which is the lining of blood vessels.
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