Health Benefits Of Dates – The Ultimate Training Food

Health Benefits Of Dates - The Ultimate Training Food

If you’ve ever tried a medijool date then you will know they really are a yummy, sticky sweet treat that is also perfectly healthy as well as delicious. In fact the health benefits of dates really are astounding, and as they are so full of nutrient dense energy I would also class them as the ULTIMATE training food.

I’m talking specifically about the medijool date variety, as these really are the Rolls Royce of the date world both in taste and nutrition. They mostly come dried and taste super sweet, almost caramely in fact, and are the perfect fix when you are craving a something sweet, or are just in dire need of an energy boost.


THE ULTIMATE TRAINING FOOD:dates will give you energy for exercise

This is why they are a great fitness training food for both before, during AND after exercise, due to the fact they are packed full of low GI sugar that will give you a slow and sustained energy release. This is because they fit the perfect macronutrient requirements of a training food: each date contains 66 calories, 17g carbs, and barely zero protein and fat (making them similar to most energy gels – but more nutritious).

The sugars in dates, although they high, are in the form of glucose, fructose, and sucrose, and are easily broken down and processed by the body, which is exactly what is needed when you need an instant but long lasting energy fix.


A Perfectly Packaged Super Food:

They also come perfectly packaged, are easy to transport and do not spoil easily, meaning you can either eat them straight out of the fridge or wrap them in some tin foil and take them on with you on your run, or to the gym.

And dates aren’t just for those in training, they are good for EVERYBODY – including diabetics, plus they also have a number of other health benefits which is why they are well worth incorporating into your every day diet every.



A healthy ‘plant based diet’ will require you to make sure you are eating lots of good sources of plant proteins, plus lots of nutrients – especially calcium. Fortunately dates are abundant in all of these, and boast an impressive nutritional profile with high amounts of calcium, B vitamins, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin K. They are also high in soluble and insoluble fiber.



Medijool dates are what I would call ‘nature’s very own candy‘, and if you feel an itch for a sweet treat then dates will certainly scratch it, AND they are guilt free! They come in low on the glycemic index scale at 43-55 for non diabetics and 43-53 for type 2 diabetics (diabetics can eat up to 3 a day if the rest of their food is healthy) – but as with everything they will still need to be eaten in moderation, OR instead of other treats if you don’t want to gain weight.


HEART HEALTHYdates are good for your heart and help to lower cholesterol

Medijool dates are good for your heart as their both soluble and insluble fiber content helps lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides; this in turn lowers your risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart disease. Taken along with a healthy diet and regular exercise dates may help act as a preventative measure against all of the above.



The high amounts of key nutrients in dates are perfect for strong bones: such as calcium and phosphorus, both of which are needed for bones and teeth. Phosphorus is also needed for the repair, maintenance, and growth of our cells and tissues.

Calcium is crucial to the healthy function of nerves, muscles and heart, and is the NUMBER ONE mineral for helping to prevent osteoporosis. It is worth noting that contrary to popular belief ,there are many plant foods that are higher in calcium than dairy products, and in some cases are also more easily absorbed.

Please check out this list of other ‘High Calcium Plant Foods’ and be sure to add them to your diet as much as possible. As you age you need MORE calcium than ever as your bones will be becoming more fragile, and your absorption rate will be lower.


ANTI INFLAMMATORYdates are anti inflammatory along with omega 3 fish oils

Dates, along with most other plant foods are anti inflammatory, and therefore may help to fight chronic inflammation in the body. This in turn may help to ease pain (especially the pain caused by inflammatory diseases such as autoimmune disease, arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease).

Chronic inflammation is something that affects many of us and it can be triggered from many sources, such as sugar, trans fats, alcohol, tobacco, pollution, and toxins in the environment, these toxins can eventually lead to disease and illness. You can help to lower this inflammation by eating anti inflammatory, antioxidant rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, nuts, seeds and the omega 3 fats found in fish oils.



Dates are a high antioxidant fruit, and antioxidants are needed in abundance in our diet, especially as we are living in such a toxic world. Antioxidants help slow down the aging process of our bodies, both inside and out, as they neutralise free radicals before they can damage our cells and DNA. This damage, when left out of control, can lead to premature aging and degenerative disease.

Make sure you also eat an antioxidant rich diet and add in these ‘Antioxidant Rich Foods’ EVERY DAY to be sure you are keeping yourself healthy and your immune system strong.  

Thank you for reading, and if you would like to add any comments to this post then I would love to hear what you have to say. So please feel free to post below.


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Stefanie Taylor
I have studied nutrition for many years, and have since discovered that a plant based diet has been the most beneficial to my health and body. I have more energy and zest for life than I have ever had and this website is dedicated to helping others who wish to know more, and start out on this lifestyle.

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18 Comments on "Health Benefits Of Dates – The Ultimate Training Food"

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You said they are full of low GI sugar that will give you a slow and sustained energy release. Does that mean they have a low Glycemic Load. Everyone talks about High GI (Index Spike). But you are one of the few that mention Glycemic Load, which I believe is the time it takes Insulin (I think) to return to normal. Could it be that a food could have a High GI and a low GL and be good for you. So confusing. I wish I had a simple explanation of GI and GL and what is the health issues… Read more »

Hi Stephanie,

This is another great addition to a smart dietary regimen. It’s good to know that there are other choices and better ones to dairy products for getting calcium (especially if one has an intolerance to lactose). I’m going to add this to my google+ page and recommended section of my site.

Thanks so much for this, Brad


Hello Stefanie, thank you for talking about dates, I really learnt something from your post. I didn’t know all the beneficial effects from dates. Sometimes we forgot that Mother Nature provides us with everything we need. The part I liked the most is this one: “they are guilt free!” I love dates, we usually eat them at Christmas time in Italy!



Dates are so delicious. I only eat them a few times a year because they are pretty high in sugar. I’m more of a ketogenic dieter. I have used them in a few autoimmune paleo sweet treats. However, I tend to shy away from sweets. For me, they become somewhat addictive.


Wow, you learn something new every day. I had no idea how beneficial these guys were, good thing they are yummy. I will have to add them to my pantry so my family and I can benefit from them. I haven’t heard about dates in so long. Thanks for sharing this information.


Sounds like something great to incorporate into one’s diet. I’m going to give them a try…can’t drink milk so this should help with calcium (it sounds like). Thanks

CT Brown

Stefanie, I am not a sweet toothed person. My wife hates the fact that I can sit in front of any sweet, you name it, and go without. She, on the other hand, craves sweets. So I’m gonna have to pass your suggestion on to her.
With that in mind, where can we find the medijool date?
Thank you in advance for you help!


Dates are one of the most nutritious, wholesome super foods. I have lived for about 10 years in middle east so I always used to have dates, so yummy and delicious and full of nutrition. I really love the way you have explained each and every benefit of including dates in our food.


I should really eat more dates, I just love them and now I know more about how they’re actually not just sugar bombs! I went to a date farm in the middle of nowhere in California, a few years back – there are many kinds of dates and the trees themselves can live for a very long time. Archaeologists were able to grow a date free from a seed they found in a 2,000 year old site!