Dates are high in natural sugar, so many people think they may not be good for them. However, these sweet fruits are packed with plenty of nutrients, making them an excellent snack in moderation.

Dates grow on date palms in small clusters. The term date comes from the Greek word daktulos, which means fingers.

Farmers harvest dates in the fall and early winter, so dates usually taste freshest at this time of year. However, many people eat dried dates, which can last for a long time in a sealed container.


Health benefits of dates and how to incorporate them into a well-balanced diet.


  • High in polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidant compounds that can protect the body from inflammation. Dates contain more polyphenols than most other fruits and vegetables.
  • Alternative to empty-calorie sweets. Dates can satisfy a person’s sweet tooth while also providing essential nutrients, such as vitamin B-6 and iron.
  • High in fiber. Just ¼ of a cup of dates provides 12 percent of a person’s daily fiber requirement. Fiber helps a person feel fuller for longer.
  • High in potassium. Dates are high in potassium, which is an electrolyte the body needs for good heart health. Potassium also helps to build muscle and proteins in the body.
  • Great for substitutions. People can replace the sugar, chocolate chips, or candies in baking recipes with dates to ensure they are eating natural sugars instead of refined sugars.