Israeli dates: the complete guide to Dates from Israel
History and importance of Dates.
Dates are known to mankind since ancient times. This fruit is grown by man for more than five thousand years. To this day, they are an important element of the menu in many countries due to their unique nutritional and medicinal properties, not to mention their delicious taste.
Recently, a 2000 years old date seed has been germinated in Israel. The seed was found in the archaeological excavations. This type of date had unique qualities, but it disappeared 500 years ago.
Images of dates are found on the wall paintings of Egyptian pyramids, showing that the ancient people had a respect to this amazing fruit.
Dates were the basis of the ancient Bedouin’s diet. They always carried dates during long marches in the desert, that helped them to survive and maintain a high endurance.
In the beginning of the last century, with the waves of new settlement activities an idea of reviving the cultivation of dates in Israel was born.
Ben-Zion Israeli and few other repatriates of the Second Aliya had started this undertaking. At that time nobody in Israel knew how to cultivate dates and the whole market was filled with cheap fruits from the neighboring countries – Egypt, Iraq and Persia.
Most countries growing palm trees didn’t allow taking out stalks of the trees, often under the death penalty. Palm trees were considered a national treasure.
In the 30s Ben-Zion started to travel to Arab countries to buy cuttings of the palm trees. During few risky trips, he managed to bring several thousand root offsprings from different countries. Some of them were good and were planted mostly in the area of the Jordan Valley and Beit Shean. Those first stalks became a base of the palm groves in Israeli villages. Kibbutz Kinneret one of the pioneers in cultivating dates. Local factory produces a variety of products from dates. You will find here a date honey, different spreads with nuts, sesame seeds and chocolate, all based on the date paste. Tourists from all over the world visit the factory store and enjoy its rich assortment.
There are several types of Israeli dates, such as Halawy, Amri, and the most popular of all is the famous Medzhul – a meaty and juicy fruit with a thin crust. It is the most valuable of all sorts.
Modern Israelis eat dates in all forms: fresh and dried, frozen and cooked.
Useful properties of dates.
The date fruit contains a lot of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, minerals and vitamins A and D, as well as essential amino acids and protein. Scientists say that 10 dates a day provide the daily human need for necessary nutrients. Some nutritionists say that one date and a glass of milk provides the minimum human need for nutrients. Dates contain 23 kinds of amino acids that are not found in other fruits. The dried dates contain 60% sugar, and it is the highest percentage in comparison with other fruits. Mainly, this sugar comes in a form of fructose and glucose, which, unlike sucrose, are not harmful to humans.
Dates are useful for children and pregnant women. Since ancient times dates were known for their amazing healing ability. It was believed that date palm fruit gives strength, endurance, prolongs life, enhances male sexual potency. Dates help to strengthen the heart, liver and kidneys, support acid balance and nourish the blood, contribute to the development of root endings of the brain, enhance the body’s ability to withstand different infections, including viral. Dates are able to defeat anemia and hypertension, they are good for lunges, soothe a cough. Dates are extremely useful for the general brain health.
Dietary fiber that is contained in the dates reduces the risk of cancer. Due to the high potassium content Doctors recommend to use dates for treating cardiovascular diseases. Especially useful are dates for women during pregnancy and nursing. They ease childbirth and contribute to the lactation process.
There are countless tasty dishes that can be made with dates.
Eating dates is beneficial for you and your entire family. Find a way to incorporate dates into your ration. Stay healthy with dates!