Dates consumption on gestation, labour and delivery
A study by Razali et al reported that women who consumed date fruit in the late stage of pregnancy could reduce the need for oxytocin to induce labour. Their findings showed that consuming date fruit did not have an effect on bringing on labour or speeding up the length women were in labour.
Similarly, another study went in to more detail saying women who consumed 6 dates a day for the last 4 weeks before their estimated delivery date were less likely to be induced with prostin (gel ) oxcytocin (drip) and had a larger cervical dilation upon admission. Women were more likely to present to hospital with intact membranes. Spontaneous labour occurred in 96% of those who consumed dates compared with 79% of non date eaters (Razali et al)
Further randomised controlled studies are required to provide better quality results.
Adding dates to your diet will also add potassium important for regulating heart rate and blood pressure and controlling fluid balance. Dates are a source of calcium and phosphorus which is good for bone health. Yes, they are high in sugar but Mother Nature has provided the right amount of fiber to help break down the sugar naturally. However, beware if you are diabetic.
Some ideas to spice up your dates:
- Peanut/almond butter stuffed dates with cocoa nibs
- Bliss balls
- Chocolate hummus
- Date shake
- Make your own trail mix
- Cut up and put on top of fruit salad and yoghurt
Stuffed dates – remove the pit and place peanut/almond butter and some cacao nibs, or a nut of your choice to make a date sandwich
Bliss balls – dates, coconut oil or water, desiccated coconut or cacao powder, almond meal
Chocolate hummus – 10 dates, ¼ cup cacao powder, ¼ cup tahini paste, 500g tin chick peas, ¼ cup almond milk (add more in small amounts if necessary)
Date shake – 2-3 dates, 1 frozen banana, sprinkle of cinnamon, 1 cup of milk, ice
Trail mix – diced dates, coconut flakes, fun stuff like: pretzels and dark chocolate chips, nuts: such as almonds and cashews, seeds: such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds
Al-Kuran, O., Al-Mehaisen, L., Bawadi, H., Beitai, S., Amarin, Z. (2011), Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 31.
Razali, N., Nahwari, S., Sulaiman, S., Hassan, J. 2015. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology 37 (5)