Red dates (Chinese xi’an chunhefang), also known as jujube, is one of the most widely used foods in China for its health benefits. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) regards red dates as being a valuable source of nutrients. The history of red dates goes back 8,000 years to our Neolithic or Stone Age ancestors. In China, red dates can be traced to the ancient Zhou Dynasty (1046-256 B.C.) where they were used to make wine. Tree bearing red dates are mainly found in Asian countries, but also in some Middle Eastern countries and, for the past few centuries, in southern European countries. What makes red dates so nutritionally valuable are the important minerals they contain. Just 100 grams of red dates can supply you with 40 percent of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of copper and 16 percent of the RDI of potassium. But it doesn’t stop there; red dates also contain several other minerals, such as manganese, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, and zinc.
Foods to avoid with red dates
While red dates are super nutritious, there are a few guidelines you should follow in regard to their consumption that will best allow them to reveal their full nutritional potential. To understand why there are foods that should not be eaten together, we have to understand the foundation of traditional Chinese medicine, which is based on a holistic view of things. While two ingredients by themselves may be healthy, mixing their respective properties might restrict the positive properties of the other, thus rendering them ineffective to promote one’s health and longevity. Here are a few foods to avoid eating with red dates.
- Green onion: In traditional Chinese medical, green onion manifests the property of heat in the body. Dates too are regarded as hot in nature. Thus, when green onions and dates are eaten together, the body received too much heat.
- Dried shrimp: The combination of these two foods should be avoided as this can lead to gastric illness.
- Catfish: Eating catfish with dates can cause thinning hair.
- Seafood: Eating seafood with dates results in abdominal pain.
- Cucumber and carrot: The date is rich in vitamin C, whereas both carrot and cucumber are loaded with different types of vitamin C enzymes that break down the date’s vitamin C content.
- Animal liver: The liver is rich in minerals like copper and iron, which cause the vitamin C in dates to oxidize.
Things to note when eating red dates
- You can eat red dates often, but don’t overdo it because it can cause bloating.
- Diabetic patients should refrain from eating dates, due to their high sugar content. Drinking water after eating dates is recommended.
- People who have a bloated belly or those with excessive body fluid or a yellowish coating on the tongue should avoid eating red dates.
- People who suffer from constipation or indigestion should limit the number of dates they consume; even though the fiber in dates benefits digestion to a certain degree. Those with a toothache or a cough should avoid eating dates until their syndromes have subsided.
- Chew, chew, chew. Make sure to chew your dates well, as they have a tough skin, which is high in fiber but hard to digest. Those with a weak digestive system, especially older people, should limit date consumption.
With more and more foods being regarded as healthy or good, you need to keep the holistic principle of promoting and restraint in mind when making your food choices. Thus, be moderate and mindful, even with things that are as simple as a date.
Research by Cecilia and rewritten by Hermann Rohr