Plants

Date tree

The date tree, also called as the date palm, is a type of tree typical of Southwest Asia.

Being the main producers countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Iran. In turn, in Israel, Turkey and China it is possible to find this type of tree.

Even in the Americas, specifically in California, United States, you can also see a wide variety of dates.

How to recognize a date tree?

Its species is Phoenix dactylifera, which has a unique trunk that can reach more than 20 meters in height. Its branches and leaves resemble those of a palm tree and are characterized by being thorny, presenting cream or light yellow flowers.

Fruit

The date is the fruit obtained from the date tree, after 5 years of its planting, and is characterized by being ovoid in shape, very similar to a berry, whose color ranges from a golden, through the reddish, to finally be a brownish color when it reaches maturity.

Inside it is evident in the center a single seed and around it has a light color, soft texture and sweet flavor, which resembles honey. Dates can be consumed fresh or dried, as preferred.

Depending on the culture and the countries where the dates are consumed, they can: accompany salads and couscous, garnish cake, prepare jams, be included in the preparation of curry or wine. In addition, they are also prepared by fillings, candied or distilled.

Properties and benefits of dates

It is a fruit that has high nutritional properties: among its carbohydrates that provide a high content of sugar and fiber, fats, proteins and vitamins such as retinol (vitamin A), Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Niacin (Vitamin B3), pantothenic acid, vitamin C, E and K.

In addition, it is a natural source from where you can acquire various essential minerals for the body such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and sodium.

At the medicinal level, the benefits provided by dates together with their properties represent a very complete food that will help you to: replenish energy, with antioxidant and astringent capacity. And in turn, they are very easy to digest because of their soft texture.

Also, its consumption helps vision and control heart rate in conjunction with blood pressure. In its moderate consumption it also helps the skin and prevent several types of cancer such as breast or lung.

Recommendations for your care

The date tree comes from several centuries ago and is one of the oldest trees on record. For proper care, it should be taken into account:

  • It should be in hot places, where the temperature of the sun is very intense.
  • Despite being a tree very characteristic of desert areas, it needs irrigation and daily care.
  • It should be verified that the soil where the date tree is planted remains moist for much of the day.
  • The harvest begins to occur after the age of 5, and depending on the consumption you want to give it, you can pick the fruits.
  • If you want them fresh, you should wait until they fully mature, that is, they have an intense reddish to brown color.
  • On the other hand, if you want to consume them as a nut you must collect them when they have light tones, that is, before they ripen.
  • Ask for help from a professional if you want to plant a date tree in your garden, as they require having specific soil and climate conditions.

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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