If you’ve got a craving for something sugary, dates are often a popular alternative to less healthy snacks. These sweet, mellow-tasting fruits are beloved for their high sugar content that makes them a delight to eat.
But where exactly do the raisin-like fruits come from? We’ll be diving into the topic of where dates are grown in this post. On top of that, we’ll also take a look at a few common questions people have about eating dates.
Let’s take a closer look…
Where are Dates Grown?
Top 5 Countries for Date Production
Dates Produced Annually (Tons)
Once we tell you what sort of growing condition dates need, you’ll probably be able to guess where they commonly grow. The trees on which dates grow, date palms, need a special kind of sandy soil. Unlike many other plants, which need a well-draining soil, date palms like soil that can maintain its moisture level well.
Can you guess where dates grow yet? If not, we’ll answer that for you: dates thrive in desert climates, such as those found in many middle eastern countries. In fact, a few of the top date-producing countries in the world include Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Iran.
But date growth isn’t restricted to just the middle east. Some places in the United States also produce dates, although they’re limited to the warmer states. Arizona, California, and Texas are particularly noteworthy when it comes to American dates.
As far as where the date palm originally came from, the answer is a little unclear. No one is entirely certain, but since it has been a traditional crop in the middle east for centuries, many believe that is where the tree’s historical roots lie.
Related Article: 10 Spices that Go with Dates
When are dates in season?
Date fruits need to be left on the tree to ripen for several weeks once they grow. Typically, the trees produce fruits in as early as April, and farmers then harvest the fruits in August or September.
In other words, the actual season for dates is late summer to early fall. If you’re looking for dates that are in season, be sure to check your grocery stores around this time.
Are dates as bad as sugar?
Many people seeking an alternative to sugar turn to dates to satisfy their sweet tooth. Are they really a better option, though, are they just as bad as sugar?
The answer is a bit complicated. Per 100 grams, dates have more sugar in them than the same amount of dark chocolate. Initially, this can make it seem like they must be worse than your average serving of sugar.
However, it’s worth noting that dates won’t lead to the same sharp increase in blood sugar that you’d get from a bar of chocolate. This is because they have a low glycemic index.
Basically, dates are a great alternative sweetener, as long as you consume them in moderation.
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How many dates should you eat a day?
There are a few sources that recommend limiting your date intake to around 100 grams per day. How many dates that is will vary slightly depending on the type of date, but it’s around four.
You’ll get quite a few benefits from incorporating dates into your diet. They’re filled with fiber and antioxidants…plus, it doesn’t hurt that they have a taste that’s quite similar to caramel.
Are dates bad for weight loss?
If you’re trying to drop some pounds, dates are far from the worst thing you could be eating. Their high fiber content can help you feel more satisfied after snacking, which keeps you from eating even more.
Furthermore, although they’re high in sugar, they don’t cause the same blood sugar spikes that other sweet snacks do. You’ll get a similar sugary flavor minus the risk of diabetes and heart health problems associated with numerous dessert foods.
Have you ever wondered if prunes and dates are the same thing? Read our dates vs prunes comparison to learn what the differences are between them.
The next time you’ve desperate for a sweet snack, consider reaching for some dates instead. Even if you don’t like the flavor or texture by themselves, you can use the dates to make a variety of vegan dessert recipes that will leave you feeling satisfied.
We personally love brownies. Try out these no-bake vegan brownies that are made with dates.