Dates are a nutrient-dense food, which makes them beneficial for most people's diets; they contain fiber, iron and vitamins A and K, as well as minerals such as magnesium, potassium and niacin. Dates are also fairly low in calories, with approximately 78 calories per ounce.
The soluble fiber in dates is beneficial for diets because it is filling, is good for colon health and helps prevent high LDL cholesterol. Vitamin A protects the eyes, skin and the mucus membranes in the lungs. Vitamin K is an anticoagulant and can prevent bleeding. The potassium in dates may help lower blood pressure and regulate blood pressure, while its magnesium helps keep bones and teeth strong.
Niacin has been proven to improve blood pressure in higher amounts. These combined vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can help reduce the chances of developing certain cancers, as well as help prevent stroke and heart disease. Dates do have a lot of sugar, so they should be consumed in moderation.
Those interested in incorporating dates into their diet can use them in place of raisins in most recipes. The natural sweetness of dates makes them popular ingredients in desserts and smoothies; they're also used as a garnish on salads.