Native to Morocco, Medjool dates are just one of hundreds of varieties of dates, but they’re the only one known as “the fruit of kings.” With a sweet, caramel taste and chewy texture, Medjool dates were originally eaten by royalty and thought to fend off fatigue.
Medjool dates are now grown in warm climates globally, and 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.
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.
A serving of 2 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:
Medjool dates are also an excellent source of phytonutrients, plant compounds that may have health benefits. Studies have shown they can stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, prevent DNA damage, and improve hormone regulation.
Potential 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 to feel fuller for longer, which can aid in weight management goals.
Medjool dates are still high in calories, however, so too many can be a bad thing.
Research has found that Medjool dates can offer additional health benefits:
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 have shown that soluble fiber may also help control blood sugar levels and reduce blood pressure.
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 — 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.