Medjool Dates: Are There Health Benefits? (2024)

Medjool Dates: Are There Health Benefits? (1)
Medically Reviewed by Zilpah Sheikh,MD on August 02, 2023

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributor

5 min read

What Are Medjool Dates?

Native to Morocco, Medjool dates are one of the hundreds of varieties of dates. Known as “the fruit of kings,” they have a sweet, caramel taste and chewy texture. Medjool dates were originally eaten by royalty and thought to fend off fatigue.

Research shows these ancient energy-boosting claims may be true. They’re also high in vitamins and nutrients that can contribute to other health benefits. Medjool dates are now grown in warm climates globally.

Dates are available at most supermarkets and are easy to include in your diet. They're great as a snack, and their natural sweetness makes them a good substitute for sugar in the kitchen.

Medjool Date Nutrition

A serving of two Medjool dates contains:

  • Calories: 110
  • Protein: 1 gram
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 31 grams
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 27 grams

Medjool dates are a good source of:

  • Selenium
  • Magnesium
  • Calcium
  • Potassium
  • Copper

Medjool dates are also an excellent source of phytonutrients, plant compounds that may have health benefits. Studies show they can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, and improve hormone regulation.

Health Benefits of Medjool Dates

Medjool dates are a great way to sweeten up your diet while adding vitamins and minerals.

Sweet snacks often have little nutritional value and are loaded with “empty calories” from sugar and fat. But Medjool dates’ high fiber content helps you feel fuller for longer, which can aid in weight management goals.

Medjool dates are still high in calories, so too many can be a bad thing.

Research has found that Medjool dates can offer additional health benefits such as:

Lower risk of heart disease

Medjool dates’ soluble fiber content lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol. Fiber binds with this cholesterol and prevents its absorption into your bloodstream. This keeps cholesterol’s fatty deposits from building up in your arteries, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Studies show that soluble fiber may also help control blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure.

Research suggests that the antioxidants in Medjool dates may reduce triglycerides, a fat found in your blood. High levels of triglycerides can increase your risk of heart disease.

Digestive function

Medjool dates also contain insoluble fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. Eating enough insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation and inflammation in the digestive tract.

One study also found that insoluble fiber may help prevent colorectal cancer, but more research is needed.

Nervous system support

By weight, Medjool dates contain 50% more potassium than bananas. This essential mineral helps control heart rate, breathing, and muscular function. This benefit is particularly important because potassium deficiency is common as less than 2% of Americans meet the daily recommended value.

Low levels of potassium can cause muscle weakness, fatigue, and irregular or weakened heartbeat. Medjool dates can help you increase the potassium in your diet, supporting these nervous system functions.

Improved metabolism

The B vitamins in Medjool dates, such as pantothenic acid, folate, and niacin, help manage the metabolic processes that convert food to energy. Research shows this can help fight tiredness and fatigue.

Studies have also shown that dates may reduce sugar absorption in our bodies. This can help lower blood sugar levels, which can aid in weight management and reduce the risk of diabetes.

Potential Risks of Medjool Dates

The high levels of some nutrients in Medjool dates may cause problems for people with certain health conditions. Talk to your doctor to make sure that Medjool dates are a good addition to your diet.

Some potential health risks of Medjool dates include:

Weight gain

The fiber and nutrients in Medjool dates can help with weight management, but portion control is important. They are high in calories and should be consumed in moderation to avoid unwanted weight gain.

Kidney problems

Medjool dates are an excellent source of potassium, which is lacking in most people’s diets. Because potassium is processed in our kidneys, people with kidney disease should follow their doctor’s advice regarding how much potassium they should consume.

Allergies

Dried fruits often contain sulfites that act as a preservative and eliminate harmful bacteria. If you experience stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, or skin rash after eating dried fruits, you may have an allergy or sensitivity to sulfites and should avoid eating Medjool dates.

Asthma

Sulfites in dried fruits may also worsen symptoms like wheezing for people with asthma.

Deglet Vs. Medjool Dates

These are the two most common types of dates.

Deglet dates have more fiber than Medjool dates, at about 8 grams of fiber. Medjool dates, which are larger, lose some of their fiber as they ripen. They have about 6.5 grams of fiber.

Both of these types of dates are packed with sugar.

On average, dates have about 65 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving. The type of sugar in dates changes as they ripen. Younger dates, like the Deglet, have more sucrose. As they ripen, the sucrose changes into fructose and glucose.

Other Types of Dates

There are several types of dates, but you’ll mostly see two on the shelf at your local market: Deglet Noor and Medjool.

Other kinds include:

  • Barhee
  • Halawy
  • Hayany
  • Khadrawy
  • Zahidi‌

Uses of Dates

Dates are a versatile fruit and can be found in a variety of forms including:

  • Pitted
  • Unpitted
  • Dehydrated
  • Diced
  • Extruded, molded into specific shapes
  • Macerated, soaked in liquid

Dates can be added to sweet treats or used to give something a sweet taste.

Dehydrated dates can be added to foods such as:

  • Cereal and oats
  • Pudding
  • Ice cream and smoothies
  • Bread
  • Cake, cookies, and baked goods
  • Candy

Dates can also be used to make:

  • Juice
  • Wine and beer
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar and syrup
  • Paste and dip
  • Food flavoring

Dates Vs. Figs

Dates and figs are small, sweet fruits that are often eaten as dried snacks. They are high in energy and calories, so eating even a few of them goes a long way.

Figs and dates aren’t just dried snacks. Like other fruits, they havenatural sugars, fiber, and other vital nutrients. But unlike dates, figs aren’t rich in fiber. They have about half as much: less than 3 grams.

Despite their super-sweet flavors, figs aren’t rich in sugars. Dates have about 65 grams of sugar, but figs have only 16 grams. If you’re looking for a sweet-tasting but healthy snack, figs fit the bill.

Medjool Dates: Are There Health Benefits? (2024)

FAQs

Medjool Dates: Are There Health Benefits? ›

In addition to being good for your tastebuds, Medjool dates benefit your body in a number of ways, nourishing your muscles, nerves, digestive system, immune system, blood pressure, brain function, and more.

Are Medjool dates actually healthy? ›

In addition to being good for your tastebuds, Medjool dates benefit your body in a number of ways, nourishing your muscles, nerves, digestive system, immune system, blood pressure, brain function, and more.

What happens to your body when you eat dates every day? ›

Healthy digestion: Due to high soluble and insoluble fiber content, dates are ideal for healthy digestion. Dates may prevent constipation, diarrhea, and inflammation of the digestive tract. Promotes good gut bacteria: Dates are rich in essential compounds, such as amino acids, nicotine, and dietary fiber.

How many Medjool dates should I eat a day? ›

The serving size of dates is 40 grams, which is about 2 Medjool dates or 4 to 6 Deglet Noor dates.

What are the healing properties of Medjool dates? ›

Medjool dates are also a rich source of antioxidants, which help fight damage caused by unstable molecules called free radicals. Their carotenoid and phenolic acid antioxidants have both been studied for their beneficial effects on heart health ( 2 , 11 , 12 ).

Do dates clean your liver? ›

Dates contain significant amounts of fiber and potassium. The Potassium and other minerals in dates help to cleanse the liver. In addition, dates will help remove heavy metals and toxins from the body. One of the requirements for people with fatty liver is weight loss because Weight loss help to reduce liver fat.

What are the side effects of Medjool dates? ›

If you experience stomach pain, bloating, diarrhea, or skin rash after eating dried fruits, you may have an allergy or sensitivity to sulfites and should avoid eating Medjool dates.

Do dates clean your arteries? ›

Dates, which are rich sources of phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants, also inhibit the oxidation of LDL (the so-called "bad cholesterol") and stimulate the removal of cholesterol from lipid-laden arterial cells. Prof.

Which type of date is best for health? ›

All dates are good for your health, however, some varieties top the chart due to their yummy taste and high nutritional value. Medjool dates are said to be the most healthy by many, however, this will solely be dependant upon your taste for the dates.

Are Medjool dates too high in sugar? ›

Medjool dates mostly contain carbohydrates, the majority of which are sugars. This may cause people who are trying to regulate their blood sugar, such as those with diabetes, some concern. Some evidence suggests that dates do not cause spikes in blood sugar and may in fact have a low glycemic index.

Do Medjool dates need to be refrigerated? ›

Dates are best stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container to help them retain moisture. They can be stored up to 6 months in the refrigerator, but may lose moisture the longer they sit. Large quantities of dates can also be frozen for up to one year.

What is the best time to eat dates? ›

Morning is the best time to consume dates or we can take them as a pre-workout snack, and as an evening snack too. You can start your day with dates which helps and gives you a much-needed energy boost. They kick-start your metabolism and keep those mid-morning hunger pangs at bay.

Are Medjool dates a Superfood? ›

In particular, the Medjool's nutritional value has prompted researchers to regard it as an ideal or superfood. Furthermore, no pesticides, additives, or preservatives are used in the cultivation or packaging of Fresh Energy™ dates or date-related products.

Are Medjool dates a natural laxative? ›

Dates provide a laxative effect that can help deal with constipation and other digestive issues. Constipation is a common health issue. This can occur due to various reasons, such as not drinking enough water, not eating enough fruits and vegetables or not being physically active.

Do Medjool dates make you sleepy? ›

Medjool dates contain magnesium

Gorin says that another important nutrient Medjool dates contain is magnesium, with 54 milligrams per serving. Magnesium is important for muscle function and is also connected to good sleep. That means having Medjool dates for dessert just might help you sleep better.

Are Medjool dates good for hair growth? ›

Dates are also rich in vitamins B and C, which are known to promote hair growth. These vitamins improve blood circulation to the scalp and strengthen hair roots and therefore you can trust dates for hair growth.

Are Medjool dates better than regular dates? ›

Medjool dates are easier to eat and are quite soft, while regular dates are often soaked in water with a little bicarb before cooking with them. In terms of nutritional value, Medjool dates are identical to regular dates, however the regular dates have more fiber, fat, and protein.

Do Medjool dates have a lot of pesticides? ›

All Natural Delights® Medjool dates are sustainably grown using state-of-the-art agricultural practices and are pesticide free, additive free, and Non-GMO Project Verified.

Do Medjool dates have sugar or mold? ›

*Don't be afraid if you see white powder on the outside of your dates. That is not mold - it's simply the sugars from the date that have crystallized.

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