Dates, scientifically known as Phoenix dactylifera, are the product of the palm tree, a tropical tree and a single-celled plant. There are many varieties of dates, but it seems that there are more than 400 types of dates in the world, of which 70 to 80 species are commercially cultivated in Iran.
Dates have edible fruit, soft flesh and hard core, sweet taste and clustered fruit on the tree when it grows, which remains hanging until ripe. The height of the palm tree varies between 10 and 20 meters depending on the type of tree.
Dates, like other fruits, have a certain growth, but in general, date growth are divided into three stages: Khark stage, which has not reached date, Rutab stage, which can be used in some dates, and ripening stage, in which dates are completely Ripe and softened.
Date moisture is also different, and there is another classification for this reason, wet dates and dried dates, which are classified according to the amount of moisture in each date. Dried dates have a longer shelf life and a sweeter taste.
Today, although many countries produce dates and many farms are under cultivation of this precious fruit, but most of the production and export of dates are in Iran and Egypt, and the quality of dates produced in Iran is far from the opinion of many. Experts prefer other dates.
Date palm history
The date palm or palm tree was the oldest plant in the world. This tree has a history of seven thousand years and its origin has been attributed to the second geological period in the world, i.e. the Triassic and Jurassic periods. The name palm is mentioned in many religious books and Buddhist prayers. The Babylonians called the palm tree “Kashmaro” and the Sumerians “Detle”.
According to Wilson, he main date of the palm tree is one of the prominent experts on dates and reasoned documents, Iraq and the western and southern regions of Iran. So far, more than half of the world’s production is concentrated in the Khuzestan and Mesopotamia provinces, along the Karun and Arvand rivers, in Iran and Iraq.
The nutritional value of dates
Dates have a variety of nutritional values depending on the type and location of their cultivation, but if we look at the average, each 100 grams of dates contains 163 kilocalories of energy, 0.9 grams of protein, 0.3 grams of useful fats, 38 grams of glucoside, 30 milligrams of phosphorus, 1.3 milligrams. Grams of iron, 51 mg of calcium and 10 mg of various vitamins. There is also a small amount of folate, potassium, magnesium, etc. in dates.
Properties of dates
1. dates to relieve constipation
The pulp of this fruit improves constipation by correcting the limiting minerals that occur during constipation. Date fiber is also useful in preventing gastrointestinal cancer.
2. dates to improve heart health
Eat only a small amount of dates a day to improve your heart health; antioxidants in dates help prevent atherosclerosis, which can harden arteries and cause clots. These antioxidants stimulate the removal of cholesterol from vascular cells. Dates also contain isoflavones, which are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Dates to help regulate cholesterol
Consumption of dates, even for healthy people, can have a positive effect on cholesterol levels and oxidative stress. Dates do not contain cholesterol.
4. Dates to improve bone health
Dates are a rich source of copper, magnesium, selenium and manganese – all of which are essential for maintaining healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis-related diseases. Dates are also rich in vitamin K, which is a blood coagulant and fuel. And your body helps. They also contain boron, which is good for healthy bones.
5. Dates regulate blood pressure
Dates are rich in potassium, and their minerals reduce blood pressure. A date contains about 167 milligrams of potassium, which is relatively high compared to other fruits. Not consuming enough potassium can also lead to kidney stones, and fiber also stabilizes blood sugar levels. Magnesium of This fruit relaxes your heart and blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure.
6. Dates increase sexual health
As shown in Indian studies, date pollen is used in traditional medicine to increase male fertility.
7. Dates to Improve brain health
Regular consumption of dates and similar fruits is associated with the risk of neurodegenerative diseases and better cognitive function in the elderly; another study shows that with the consumption of dates, there is a possibility of slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s. Another study found that dates could help prevent inflammation in the brain.
8. Dates for prevent colon cancer
Consumption of dates can reduce the risk of colorectal cancer, consumption of dates also increases the growth of beneficial bacteria in the intestines and increases the health of the intestines.
9. Dates for increase energy
This fruit contains many nutrients that help increase your energy levels. It also contains natural sugars such as turpentine, fructose and glucose, all of which boost energy.
10. Dates helping prevent night blindness
The main cause of night blindness is vitamin A deficiency; dates are also rich in this vitamin and help fight this disease. In fact, areas that consume a lot of dates, night blindness is very rare in those areas.
11.Dates are good for the skin
Dates contain vitamins C and D, which work on the elasticity of the skin. These fruits can also help fight skin problems. Dates are also associated with anti-aging benefits and they prevent the accumulation of melanin in your body.
12. Dates to prevent hair loss
Dates are rich in iron, which increases blood circulation to the skin and increases hair growth; this happens with full oxygen delivery to the whole body, including your scalp. Eventually, it prevents hair loss and stimulates new hair growth.
Cultivars of Date
1. Piarom Dates (Maryami dates)
Piarom dates are the most expensive dates in Iran. It is a semi-dry date and is late. It is in the group of semi-dry dates. The main sugar in it is fructose, which is easily and quickly used in the body’s metabolism and is very suitable as a sugar allowed by people with diabetes. This date is generally grown in Hormozgan province.
2. Mazafi Dates (Rutab dates)
Mazafati dates can be considered one of the most delicious and hearty types of dates in the world. Especially since this date is mostly used as a medicine and it is rare to find a person who does not feel very graceful after eating a Mazafati dates.
This dates, which have an attractive black color, have a moisture content of 15% to 35%, depending on the time of harvest from the tree and the place where it is planted, and the size of it is usually between 2.5 and 4.5 cm in Iran after colonization. Its main homeland in Iran is Bam, Kerman.
3. Kabkab Dates (Behbahan dates)
The oval fruit weighs about 15 grams with a semi-dry texture and a light yellow color, the thickness of the shell in them is thick. The color of the fruit in the stage of Khark and Rutab is yellow and in the case of full ripening it turns dark brown. It is one of the “moist” cultivars. Khark arrives in late August, but its fully ripe fruit (dates) is harvested in mid-September.
4. Zahedi Dates
Zahedi dates are golden and oval in shape and have a soft texture and nutty taste. They have thick skin, are semi-dry and have less sweetness than other dates. This type of date also has a lot of fiber. This date is widely cultivated in the south of Iran and has many fans inside and outside the country due to its mild sweetness.
5. Astamaran dates (Sayer)
This cultivar, which is called Samaran and Sayer in different regions, includes about 80-70% of palm trees in Khuzestan province. It has a great commercial value and is one of the most important export figures of Khuzestan province. One of the most important features of this cultivar is that it is semi-dry, which has increased its storage properties, and this property has made it the most suitable commercial and export cultivar in Iran. The fruit is oval and sometimes rectangular, weighing an average of 8.31 grams, with a medium texture (semi-dry), bright yellow fruit color, in the stages of full ripening amber and reddish brown. The thickness of the skin in Sayer is relatively thick and rough.
Shahani dates are one of the most important and abundant cultivars in Fars province. About 95% of Jahrom palms are included. It is one of the soft dates, but in some areas it is used as a dried date. This form has a lot of domestic consumption due to its sweet and colorful sweetness of dates. Shahani fruit is elongated and has a narrow tip. Its rhubarb color is brown. Khark of This dates is also sweet and some of Shahani’s product is consumed as Khark.
7. Gantar dates
This variety is also called Qantar and Ghandi in different regions. Khuzestan is one of the best export dates. The storage capacity of this cultivar is high. The oval fruit weighs an average of 9.27 grams with a soft texture, yellow color, and the thickness of the shell is medium. The oval nucleus is light brown, the adhesion of the nucleus to the fruit is low.
8. Rabbi dates
Rabi is one of the most important cultivars in Sistan and Baluchestan province. In terms of importance, it is located after Samaran, Shahani, Mazafati and Kabkab. It is cultivated in Iranshahr, Zabol, Chabahar and Saravan. The fruit is relatively large, red in color.
9. Barhi dates
This type of date is yellow and crisp. The ripe date gives it a deliciously sensual, delicate, flower-fruity scent. Like most dates, it is sweet. This date is originally Iraqi. The fruit is almost spherical, weighing an average of 8 grams with a soft texture. The nucleus is almost spherical and gray in color, and the degree of adhesion of the nucleus to the fruit is moderate.
10. Allmehtari dates
Its fruit is relatively small and elongated, and its early ripening has increased its economic value. This date is native to Hormozgan province.
11. Khezravi dates
Khezravi dates are a variety of soft dates and are also consumed in the form of khark and wet. This date also came to Iran from Iraq like Barhi dates. Khezravi dates are the second most cultivated area in Khuzestan province. The core is completely separate from the fruit, so you can easily use all the fruit.
12. Khassui dates
Khassui dates are one of the best types of dates and their storage capacity is high. This date, like Kebab , is grown in Behbahan, Khuzestan. This date is smaller than its other relatives, is very popular in Khuzestan.
13. Mardasang dates
Mardasang dates are of medium importance in terms of importance and are among the famous cultivars of Kerman province. This date is not widely produced, so it is consumed only in Kerman and some other southern regions of Iran. So, if you want to enjoy this date, it is not bad to visit the southern regions of Kerman during the harvest season of this product.
14. Ajwa dates
This type of date is a combination of soft and dry types, it is sweet and becomes soft in the mouth. These dates are said to have healing properties. This type of date is a product of Saudi Arabia.
15. Shekari dates
These dates are crisp and really sweet. Shekari dates are known for their healing properties and nutrients. This type of date lowers cholesterol, prevents tooth decay and also helps you get rid of fatigue.
The most difficult to cultivate and therefore the most expensive variety of date, large in size and with amber to reddish-brown skin, a rich, sweet taste, and fibrous texture. Known as the “king of dates“, Medjool dates are originally from Morocco but are also grown in the US, Israel, Saudia Arabia, and Jordan.
Iran export dates
In the world rankings of date exports, Iranian dates fruit is the third largest export date in the world with date exports of over 400,000 tons.
According to Iran Customs statistics, the most important export dates fruit for Iran date are: Emirates / Pakistan / Russia / Turkey / India
Out of the top countries, date exports to the UAE accounted for 17% of total date exports, followed by date exports to Pakistan with 11% and date exports to Russia with 9% in third place. The biggest customers are Iran date.
Iran’s largest customer of mazafati dates has been India, which alone buys over 5,000 tons of mazafati date from Iran.
Exporting Dates from Iran to Russia and Europe
Due to the geographical location and climate of Russia, which is quite cold and usually snow-covered, it is not possible to cultivate date in Russia, so Russia imports its date. The quality of Iranian date as well as the reasonable prices of Iranian date encourage Russia to import date from Iran. One of the reasons for the large number of date being exported to Russia is the presence of 6 million Muslims in Russia and the position of date among Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan.
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