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workout-250x188We all know that fruit is good for us and that we should be eating more. Because it’s packed with vitamins and nutrients and even contains natural sugar, fruit is both delicious and a convenient energy source.

And while the term ‘superfruit’ may be overused these days, many health-conscious Canadians are convinced that Medjool Dates deserve this lofty distinction. After all, no other fruit beats Medjool Dates as a healthy, portable fresh fruit and a source of long-lasting energy. Better still, there’s no down-side to all this nutrition. Medjool Dates are moist and chewy, with a soft, caramel-like texture—ideal for when you want energy but deserve a little reward too. And they only cost about 60 cents per serving of two dates.

They are also high in beneficial polyphenols: powerful antioxidants that protect plants from the damaging rays of the sun. They’re found in many fruits as well as tea, coffee, chocolate and red wine. Now, research is finding that these incredible compounds can protect us as well.  Studies have shown that many types of antioxidants found in food can combat oxidation in our bodies.

Medjool Dates are one of the first foods in the US to be Scientific Certifications System (SCS) Certified “Antioxidant Rich.” To earn SCS Antioxidant Rich certification, a food must contain at least 100 mg total polyphenols per 100 g serving. According to the FDA-approved methodology for total polyphenols, Natural Delights Medjool Dates average 212 mg per 100 gserving—much more than many other fruits!

Glycemic Index

And Medjools provide “good carbs,” rating low to low/medium on the Glycemic Index (GI). Foods with a low GI produce smaller fluctuations in blood glucose and insulin levels, which can reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes and also help maintain a healthy weight. These foods also help ensure that you enjoy sustained energy without the crash you can get from snack bars and processed foods.

Print Medjool dates are:
   Fat free
   Cholesterol free
   Low in sodium

And they are a source of:
   Dietary Fibre
   Energy
   Magnesium
   Potassium

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Fresh Natural Delights Medjool Dates are available year-round in the produce section, and they stay fresh for a long time in the refrigerator. They contain no sulphites or added sugars. And the Natural Delights coconut and almond rolls contain no added sugar or other ingredients—just Medjools—as they’re sweet enough without adding anything! Medjools are so versatile, they are great for almost any dish—appetizers, snacks, salads and of course desserts. The natural sweetness adds depth to savoury dishes and makes salads more satisfying.

Need some energy to go? Bring a bag of this trail mix along for a portable, healthy snack.  Be sure to buy extra Natural Delights to have on hand for the perfect snack. Happy eating!

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Medjool Date Trail Mix

½ cup (125 mL) dried cranberries
½ cup (125 mL) dried blueberries
½ cup (125 mL) Natural Delights Medjool Dates, pitted and quartered
½ cup (125 mL) almonds, toasted*
½ cup (125 mL) pecans

Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Store in an airtight container.

*Tip: Toast almonds at 400F (200C) for 4-5 minutes, cool completely.

Serves 4-6

Per serving: 283 calories, 14g fat, 1 mg sodium, 43g carbohydrate, 5g fibre, 4g protein

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For more information and recipes, visit naturaldelights.ca

Copyright 2013 Bard Valley Medjool Date Growers Association