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Bowl of dried dates

During these 29 or 30 days of Ramadan, able-bodied Muslims abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual relations during daylight hours to achieve greater “taqwa”, or consciousness of God and as the sun goes down during the holy month of Ramadan, many Muslims will reach for a date which is a sweet brown fruit with high level of fructose which is a natural sugar found in fruits.

Breaking one’s fast with dates and water is rooted in the religious teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and has a specific mention in the Quran for its nutritional value.

Dates, fresh or dried, contain important vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are also high in antioxidants, which protect the body from several diseases. Dates are a great source of energy, especially after a long day’s fast.

There are many different varieties of dates, each with different tastes and textures.

Medjool: Known for their large size, sweet taste, amber color, and richness in flavor.

Mabroom: Known for their elongated shape, reddish-brown hue and chewiness, and are less sweet than other kinds of dates.

Ajwa: Among the dates most revered by Muslims around the world as they are grown in Medina, they have a soft, fleshy, almost juicy feel and are very sweet tasting.

Deglet Noor: Medium-sized, lighter in color, and ideal for cooking and baking.

Allah in his infinite mercy has placed all these different varieties of Dates at our disposal to enrich and nourish our body.

Dates have been cultivated for thousands of years. Date palm trees are either male or female, with only the female plant producing fruit.

A mature date palm can produce more than 100kg (220 pounds) of dates per harvest season – about 10,000 dates.

The Ajwa date, which grows in Medina, Saudi Arabia, is the most expensive in the world.

Top World Producers Of Dates

Dates tend to thrive in countries with long, hot summers like those in the Middle East and neighboring regions.

Egypt is the world’s top date supplier, producing nearly one in five, or 18 percent, of the world’s dates.

Saudi Arabia follows at nearly 17 percent, with Iran rounding off the top three at 14 percent.

Aljazeera / Zainab .Y.Hamza

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