Dates: The Sacred Superfood that Withstood Millennia

The ancient drupe has long been a staple for Muslims. Now, it’s the latest fad for health nuts in the West.

GettyImages-566029811 dates
Dennis Jensen, owner of Seaview Packing in Coachella, holds medjool dates (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Ayesha Le Breton


November 6, 2023


5 min

The Quran mentions the date over 20 times. None other than the Prophet Muhammad declared the fruit to be superior: “There is among the trees, one which is blessed — it is the date palm, for it was created from the earth leftover from the creation of Adam.” The scripture also narrates how Allah instructed Maryam (Mary) to eat dates to ease her labor pains as she gave birth to Isa (Jesus): “Then the birth pangs drove her to the trunk of a palm tree.”

Although small, the date is mighty. Modern-day scientific studies have confirmed the numerous health benefits of consuming dates: improved heart health, boosted brain function, and lower cholesterol and blood sugar. Today, dates have a completely new fan base: health enthusiasts who swear by their power. They put dates in smoothies, raw brownies, and energy balls. Of course, they are centuries late to the party.

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