Date ( Phoenix dactylifera) or Khajoor is a flowering plant that is cultivated for its edible fruit of the same name and is grown in many tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Being a good source of number of vitamins,minerals, antioxidants, dietary fibers etc. dates are very beneficial for us and provides a lot of health and beauty benefits. Although dates are beneficial for us and provides a lot of benefits but still there are some side effects of eating too many dates. In this article, we will know about these side effects in detail.
Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Dates
(1) Can Increase Blood Sugar Level
High consumption of dates is not at all beneficial for the people suffering from diabetes because of their high calorific value and high sugar.Eating a quarter cup of chopped dates provides around 24 grams of carbohydrates and 105 calories of energy. Dates are a rich source of natural sugars like glucose,fructose and sucrose and their glycemic index is 103 which is even higher than that of glucose.
The high glycemic index indicates that when dates are consumed then they can cause a sharp increase in the blood sugar level of our body and this can worsen the situation of the person suffering from diabetes. So, if you are suffering from diabetes then it is better for you to restrict your date intake to one a day. Moderate consumption of dates is advisable even to the healthy individuals who are not suffering from diabetes.
(2) Might cause Tooth Decay
Dates are a good source of fluorine which is very beneficial for our teeth as it strengthens our tooth enamel and prevents our teeth from the tooth decay. This makes dates very beneficial for our oral health . However, it is important to note that dates are not so good for our teeth. Dates are rich in sugar and carbohydrates which are well known for triggering teeth decay and give rise to cavities.
The best way to protect our teeth from the decay is to gargle your mouth with warm saline ( salt dissolved in water) and brush your teeth, as soon as you finish eating dates. This will help in removing sugar and carbohydrates from sticking to the surface of teeth and will thus keep bacteria away and prevents your teeth from decay. Although gargling and brushing help in keeping bacteria away but still it is better to avoid high consumption of dates as high sugar level also harms our teeth.
(3) Can Lead To Weight Gain
Using dates for the weight loss program is controversial. They are a good source of dietary fibers which helps in keeping us satisfied for a longer time, decreases our urge to eat again and again and thus controls overeating which is a major cause of weight gain. However, they are also high in calories which means eating dates for the weight loss program can do more harm than the good, but this mainly happens when we start eating dates in excess quantity.
If you are on a weight loss journey and still want to enjoy dates then it is better to limit your dates intake to 2-3 dates per week. This will help you in enjoying all the health benefits of dates without worrying about the excessive weight gain. Other than this, the high sugar level present in dates also gives rise to weight gain. Although the sugar present in dates are natural but their excess is bad.
(4) Could Worsen Diarrhea
Dates are used as a natural remedy for providing relief from diarrhea.This benefit of dates is a benefit only when you are eating dates in moderation as eating too many dates can worsen the condition of the person suffering from diarrhea, and give rise to dehydration and uneasiness.
So, if you are suffering from diarrhea then it is better to avoid eating dates. They are also high in dietary fibers which loose stools and ensure proper elimination of waste out of the body. Eating high fiber fruit at the time of diarrhea is not at a good idea.
(5) Too Much Potassium Is Bad
Dates are a good source of a number of nutrients like proteins,vitamins,minerals etc. and all these nutrients provides a lot of benefits to our body. Our body needs them for various function and they help in keeping our body healthy. However, the excess of these nutrients is bad and there are some negative effects associated with it. For example, potassium present in dates is a vital nutrient that provides a lot of benefits like lowers blood sugar, keep our nervous system healthy, provides cardiovascular benefits,aids in metabolism and so on, but intake of too much potassium is bad and can give rise to extreme fatigue, feeling of numbness,nausea or vomiting, difficulty in breathing, chest pain, irregular heartbeat etc. It can even increase the risk of hyperkalemia. Because of this reason, it is advised to eat dates in moderate quantity.
Suggested Read- 16 Major Health Benefits of Dates
(6) Can Cause Abdominal Pain And Abdominal Cramping
Dates are very beneficial for our stomach and help in keeping our digestive system healthy because of the presence of a number of nutrients and dietary fibers in them. However, the excess of dates is bad and consuming too many dates may give rise to severe irritation in our tummy, followed by intense abdominal cramps and deep abdominal pain.
(7) Can Cause Bloating
Consuming dates along with water is bad as it can trigger bloating. Till now,no one knows the actual reason behind this but studies have suggested that the reason for bloating may be due to the formation of gas due to the interaction between high sugar levels of dates and water. It is also suggested ( traditionally) to avoid drinking water immediately after eating dates as it can cause a cough. If you are about to enjoy dates and are also feeling thirsty at that time then it is better to drink water first and then enjoy your dates.
(8) Congestion And Heaviness In Chest And Lungs
It has been reported that some people get heaviness and congestion like feeling in the lungs as well as in the chest when they eat fresh dates. The actual reason behind this chest and lung congestion are unknown but it is believed to be due to the coarse nature of these fruits. If you experience any kind of heaviness and congestion in your chest and lung, after eating dates then it is advisable to reach your doctor immediately so that situation doesn’t get worse.
(9) Obstruct Intestines
It has been reported that there are certain individuals who are allergic to green dates as green dates create an obstruction in their intestines. Although there is no serious side effect associated with this but on a safe side, it is better to avoid eating green dates and also limit the intake of ripe dates.
(10) Might Cause Allergic Reaction In Some Individuals
Although dates are loaded with vitamins,minerals,antioxidants etc. and provides a lot of health and beauty benefits, but still they are not suitable for certain individuals who are allergic to dates. These people are advised to avoid eating dates in all circumstances and also avoid using it for skin and hair care. Some of the common allergic reactions of dates are itching skin, redness, hives on the skin, itching and redness on corners of mouth and tongue, difficulty in breathing, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and dizziness.
Suggested Read- 8 Wonderful Beauty Benefits of Dates For Skin And Hair
(11) Dangerous Wax Coating
Have you ever noticed the attractive glossy shine of dates ? Well, this glossy shine is because of the fact that certain dates supplying brands use a wax coating on dates. This makes them look attractive and shiny and helps in increasing the sale of these dates. This is good for these brands but not for us as the wax used for the coating contain various toxic ingredients and intake of this wax coating could upset our stomach and leave us feeling nauseated. If you are eating wax coated dates for a prolong time then the situation can be life threatening too.
(12) Might Cause Constipation
The dietary fiber present in dates is very beneficial for our stomach and helps in keeping our digestive system healthy. It regulates bowel movement and ensures proper elimination of waste out of the body and thus provide relief from constipation. If you are suffering from constipation then you can eat some dates to get rid of constipation
.However, an excess of fiber is bad can give rise to constipation ( or worsen the condition of constipation) as the dietary fibers absorb water from our body and make our stool dry and it becomes difficult for our body to excrete it properly.
If you are eating high fiber rich diet then you should also increase your water. And, when it comes to drinking water at the time of eating dates, then it is advisable to drink water after about half an hour of eating dates. Excess of fiber is bad also because it can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhea, malabsorption, intestinal gas etc. (source).
(13) Not So Suitable For Infants Children Under One Year Age
No matter how beneficial dates are for our health but still it is not advisable to feed dates to children below one year age. This is because the digestive system is not so well developed at this young age and infants don’t possess the power to digest heavy fiber present in dates.
It is advised to not to give dates to infants and even if you do make sure that infants drink quite a good amount of fluids and intake of dates is limited to one or two dates. Increasing fluid intake is important as otherwise high fiber content of dates will harden the stool of infants and will give rise to constipation,abdominal pain, cramping etc.
(14) Eating Dates During Pregnancy
Dates are loaded with a number of nutrients like vitamins,minerals,dietary fibers, antioxidants etc. and presence of these compounds make them very beneficial for pregnant women. Eating dates) during pregnancy is good but if you do this then make sure that you are eating high-quality dates and there is no wax coating over them. Also, limit your dates intake to a moderate level as high consumption of dates can give rise to abdominal cramp, constipation, flatulence, bloating etc.
(15) Can Hamper Absorption Of Nutrients
We all know the importance of vitamins and minerals in our body but what if something interferes with the absorption of these nutrients in our body ? The dietary fiber present in dates does the same.
As per a study conducted at the Colorado State University, it was found that dietary fibers present in dates binds with the nutrients like vitamins and minerals present in our body and thus result in the elimination of these essential vitamins and minerals from our body in the form of feces. This interferes with the absorption of nutrients by our body and increases the risk of malnutrition. However, there is no need to worry as this side effect is quite minimal and triggers only if you are eating dates in a very large quantity. Moderate consumption of dates ( and intake of dietary fiber) is good.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as a medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, but I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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