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Mental Benefits From Eating Dates

Dates provide tons of health benefits - from boosting energy to aiding in disease prevention. However, a commonly overlooked benefit of dates is how they can significantly affect the brain. The nutrients contained in dates boost brain capabilities - including memory and learning improvements. Dates contain vitamins A, B, C, E and K along with minerals that are known to boost brain function. [1] These nutrients, vitamins, and minerals all contribute to the many different ways that dates boost brain health.

Memory and Learning Improvements

In 2015, a study was conducted on mice to test the effects of dates on their memory. After a group of mice were fed meals mixed with dates, changes in their learning capabilities and memory began to take place. When compared to other mice, the ones consuming dates displayed improved memory and learning ability. [2]

This occurs because dates minimize the formation of plaque in the brain. Plaque can form in the brain from amyloid beta protein. Dates are able to reduce the activity of amyloid beta protein by limiting their reactions. This is beneficial to the brain because preventing these reactions will slow down brain cell death and failed neural pathways. [3] This is one of the driving forces behind the mental improvements displayed by the mice on the diet of date meals.

Brain Disease Prevention

Research additionally supports the notion that the consumption of dates can contribute to disease prevention. This is demonstrated in a study done by Musthafa Mohamed Essa, Ph.D., who sought the effects of dates on the prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. His study concluded that a diet including dates “may have beneficial effects in lowering the risk, delaying the onset or slowing down the progression of [Alzheimer’s Disease]”. [4]

The brain disease prevention abilities of dates extends beyond Alzheimer’s Disease. Additional research suggests that including dates in one’s diet can slow down the progression of dementia as well. This is because dates have an anti-inflammatory effect on the brain, effectively blocking the protein Interleukin 6 (IL-6). Blocking reactions of IL-6 [5] works to prevent the onset of both dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.

Reduction of Anxiety

The study Musthafa Mohamed Essa performed on mice also discovered that a diet including dates can also reduce the stress levels of these mice when compared to the control group. By noticing a reduction in anxiety-related behaviors, Essa was able to identify a correlation between date consumption and levels of stress. [6] This was tested by having the mice run through an Elevated Plus Maze, which helped Essa identify these anxiety-related signals in mice.

In addition to this study, dates provide energy without the jitters and anxiety that are associated with caffeine. Many people love coffee for the energy it provides them with, but have trouble coping with the anxiety that is sometimes affiliated with drinking too much. Harvard Medical School stated that caffeine can mimic the effects of anxiety in a 2018 post, further emphasizing the influx of anxiety that some experience when drinking caffeine. [7] Due to the natural sugars in dates, the energy received from these fruits are not associated with increased levels of anxiety, proving them to be a healthy and natural source of energy.

Health Benefits Dates

Resources

1 - https://bahamii.com/pages/press

2 - https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-dates#TOC_TITLE_HDR_5

3 - https://familyhealthadvocacy.com/eating-dates-for-a-healthy-brain-what-you-need-to-know/

4 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484046/

5 - https://familyhealthadvocacy.com/eating-dates-for-a-healthy-brain-what-you-need-to-know/

6 - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4484046/

7 - https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-well-to-help-manage-anxiety-your-questions-answered-2018031413460

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