Dr. Becky Maes - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Becky Maes

Are Dates Bad For You?

Also Known As: date palm, Phoenix dactylifera



Short answer

Dates are quite good for you and are an excellent way to get some extra fiber into your diet.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Dates have long been a staple in Middle Eastern cuisine, and their sweet flavor and health benefits make it easy to see why. The star nutrient in the date palm is dietary fiber, which helps relieve constipation and promote regularity. Because of this, dates can be used as a laxative, though it is suggested they first be soaked in water overnight and then eaten the following day. Thanks to their soluble and insoluble fiber along with amino acids, dates can also make the digestion of food more efficient. More nutrients are able to be absorbed, instead of simply passing through the body.

Dates contain a reasonable amount of iron, which is great for the prevention and treatment of anemia, as the iron content replenishes depleted stores and provides you with strength and energy. Dates are a good source of potassium - an electrolyte that lowers blood pressure and helps the heart function normally by managing heart rate. They can also be incorporated into the diet as a way to facilitate healthy weight gain. However, if weight gain is what you are trying to avoid, then make sure you are not eating more than the recommended serving size of four to five dates per day, as they pack quite the caloric punch. Finally, though dates are high in natural sugars, they actually have a low glycemic index, meaning they will not dramatically raise blood sugar levels.

Though they may not be much to look at, dates will certainly have you looking (and feeling!) your best. 

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain

Ingredients to be aware of


  • relieves constipation
  • promotes regularity
  • works to prevent and treat anemia
  • helps prevent abdominal cancer
  • reduces symptoms of seasonal allergies
  • manages heart rate and blood pressure
  • boosts energy

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Terrasoul Medjool Dates

  • Organic & farm-fresh
  • Soft chewy texture
  • Sweet caramel flavor
  • Rich in nutrients
  • Non-GMO
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Lindsay
Published on: 01-07-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Lindsay
Published on: 01-07-2016
Last updated: 12-15-2023

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