Apart from being dried “superfruits”, dates are somewhat of a staple in Islamic culture, especially during Ramadan. With that in mind, it’s no wonder the Middle East is a powerhouse for growing and producing them! Ramadan is one of, if not the most important, time for Muslims, as the holy month is considered to be a time of spiritual reflection, prayer, and fasting. Once done, it is believed that your soul is purified, and you feel a closer connection to God. Dates are an integral part of the holy month, and today we will show you why! For your convenience, we will also provide information on the health benefits of breaking a fast with dried fruit, as well as tips on how to incorporate them more easily.
As previously mentioned, Ramadan focuses on fasting from dusk to dawn to cleanse the body and soul. Typically, during the fast, Muslims should refrain from eating, drinking, or any kind of immoral behavior. Once dusk sets, it is typical to break the fast with a traditional light meal which is called iftar, and usually, the break begins with eating a bunch of dates. If they aren’t available to you, drinking water is considered the alternative. This tradition is deeply rooted in Ramadan and is even mentioned in the Quran itself. Mainly, the Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said, “When one of you is fasting, he should break his fast with dates; if dates are not available, then with water, for water is purifying.”
Now, you may also wonder why dates are so important in Islam. Mainly, in addition to being a vital part of iftar, the dried fruit is mentioned over 20 times in the Holy Book, as it is believed that it was one of the favorite foods of Muhammad. Now, many believers incorporate dates as part of a Sunnah, an adaptation of practices and ways of the Prophet.
Furthermore, apart from having traditional significance in terms of health, dates come in quite handy when breaking the fast. Since the body is depleted of energy from not eating food the entire day, dates are high in sugar and very easily digestible, providing an ideal boost. Additionally, they are filled with fiber, magnesium, and potassium that supply the body with healthy nutrients. They also offer abundant health benefits, such as stroke prevention and the production of red blood cells. Dates also contain antioxidants, which further protect your body from any oxidative stress. With that said, even if it’s not Ramadan, the smartest move would be to consume the “superfruit” daily.
When it comes to iftar, the fast is broken by eating dates as they are naturally, typically imported from Morroco, although any date would do. However, you may also add them to smoothies or yogurt, but remember that this is not the most traditional practice. Once Ramadan is over, you can continue consuming them as snacks and even stuff them with cheese or other nuts.
As you can see, Ramadan is incomplete without consuming nutritional dates. However, it’s of crucial importance that you pick ones that are of high quality, organic, and free from any additives. To simplify your search, you can head to our store and order premium organic dates, locally grown in the heart of the Djerid Oasis. Lastly, head to our blog to read the rest of our articles.