Date ( Phoenix dactylifera) or khajoor is an edible fruit of the flowering plant of the same name. It grows in tropical and subtropical regions of the world. They contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc, and provide many health and beauty benefits. However, there are some side effects of eating too many dates.
Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Dates
Some major side effects of overeating dates are as follows.
(1) Dates And Diabetes
Eating a quarter cup of chopped dates provide around 24 grams of carbohydrates and 105 calories of energy. They are high in natural sugars like glucose, fructose, and sucrose.
Eat dates moderately as they are high in sugars and may raise the blood sugar above the healthy range, and cause excessive thirst, excessive hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, shortness of breath, stomach pain, and dry mouth, etc.
Dates are not suitable for people with diabetes as they have a high glycemic index of 103 and accelerate the rate at which sugar is released into the bloodstream.
If you have high blood sugar or if you take medication to regulate blood sugar, eat dates only after the doctor’s consultation.
(2) Might cause Tooth Decay
Dates are good for oral health as they contain fluorine that strengthens our tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay. However, the abundance of natural sugars and carbohydrates in dates triggers teeth decay and gives rise to cavities.
Eat dates in moderation and to protect the teeth from damage, gargle your mouth with saline ( saltwater) and brush your teeth as soon as you finish eating dates. This prevents the sugar and carbohydrates from sticking to the teeth, keeps bacteria away, and prevents tooth decay.
(3) Can Lead To Weight Gain
Dietary fibers in dates provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity. However, dates are not an ideal snack for weight loss as they have a high calorific value of 282 calories per 100 grams.
They are high in carbohydrates and natural sugars that promote weight gain when consumed in excess.
To stay safe, eat dates in moderation.
(4) May Worsen Diarrhea
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in dates improve bowel movement, relieve constipation and provide relief from gastrointestinal problems such as abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
However, too many dietary fibers may cause intestinal gas, abdominal pain, abdominal cramping, poor absorption of nutrients, and increased risk of diarrhea.
Eat dates in moderation to improve digestive health.
(5) Too Much Potassium Is Bad
Dates contain potassium, a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension or high blood pressure.
Potassium also provides other benefits such as preventing water retention, maintaining electrolyte balance, improving muscle contractions and nerve signals, etc.
Despite the advantage, have dates in moderation as otherwise high potassium level may drop our blood pressure below the healthy range and cause fatigue, feeling of numbness, nausea or vomiting, breathing difficulty, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat.
If you take blood pressure medication, consult your doctor before adding dates to your routine to ensure food-drug safety.
(6) May Cause Bloating
Don’t consume dates with water as water may interact with high sugars in dates and cause bloating and flatulence.
Drinking water immediately after eating dates increases the risk of cough.
(7) Congestion And Heaviness In Chest And Lungs
The coarse nature of the fresh dates may cause heaviness and congestion-like feelings in the lungs and chest of some individuals.
If you experience any congestion or heaviness in your lungs or chest, stop consuming dates and consult a doctor.
(8) Obstruct Intestines
In some individuals, green dates may cause allergic reactions by obstructing the intestines. Although there is no serious side effect associated, it may cause poor absorption of nutrients and increase the risk of gastrointestinal problems.
Such individuals should also eat ripe dates moderately.
(9) may Cause Allergies
Dates are mostly a safe food and provide many health and beauty benefits as they contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc.
However, dates are not suitable for those who are allergic to dates.
Some common allergic reactions that may arise due to dates are skin itching, skin redness, hives on the skin, redness on corners of mouth and tongue, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness, etc.
Avoid dates if you are allergic to them.
(10) Dangerous Wax Coating
Some brands cover dates with a thin wax coating to make them look shiny and attractive and to improve shelf life. The wax used for the coating may contain toxic ingredients that upset the stomach and cause nausea.
The prolonged eating of such wax-covered dates may harm our health.
Buy dates from reputed sources and ensure there is no wax coating.
(11) Not For Infants
Dates are not suitable for children below the age of one year as their digestive system is not well developed to digest heavy fibers present in the dates.
Fibers in dates may cause abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea in children.
(12) Eating Dates During Pregnancy
Dates are high in natural sugars and increase the risk of gestational diabetes ( often experienced by women during the middle of pregnancy).
A high intake of dietary fibers in dates may increase the risk of malabsorption, intestinal gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and flatulence, etc. in pregnant women.
However, dates can be consumed moderately during pregnancy after consulting with a doctor.
Antioxidants in dates protect the fetus from free radical damage.
Dates contain folate, an essential mineral for the cognitive development of the fetus and for reducing the risk of neural tube defects like spina bifida.
Other nutrients like iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and B vitamins, etc in dates also play an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
(13) Poor Absorption of Nutrients
The laxative properties of dates improve bowel movement and provide relief from dates.
As per a study by Colorado State University, dietary fibers in dates bind with nutrients like vitamins and minerals present in the body and result in the elimination of these nutrients from the body.
A high intake of dietary fibers may cause our body to lose these essential nutrients as it interferes with our body’s ability to absorb these nutrients.
To stay safe, eat dates in moderation.
This article provides general information about the topic and is not be taken as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice, treatment, and/or diagnosis. Always consult with your doctor before trying out any of the remedies/recipes suggested in the blog post.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.