Cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa for thousands of years, dates sustained caravans traveling across Arabian deserts in ancient times.
The date you’ll find most often is a semi-soft variety with firm flesh called Deglet Noor. It accounts for 95% of U.S. production. You can find Zahidi, Medjool and Barhi at health food stores.
While dates do have some nutritional attributes (they provide a small amount of fiber, potassium and iron) their sugar content (16 grams in just one!) outweights their known benefits.
Antioxidant Score* (ORAC)=3,895 and 2,387
*Deglet noor (3,895) and medjool (2,387)
Selecting and Storing Dates
Choose soft, plump dates with a smooth, shiny skin. Store fresh dates, wrapped in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator up to 2 weeks.