Red Onions A Powerful Sirtfood

Red Onions A Powerful Sirtfood

red onionsOnions are one of the most popular vegetables worldwide.  While most children dislike their pungent and bitey flavor, most adults embrace and use them regularly.   Red onions contain twice as many antioxidants as any other form of onion making them a powerful part of an anti-inflammatory diet and Sirtfood lifestyle. Red onions are one of the top 20 Sirtfoods.

Red onions are also a rich source of the flavonoid antioxidant and major sirtuin-activating nutrient quercetin and the polyphenol antioxidant anthocyanin.  These antioxidants prevent the oxidation of dietary and cellular fatty acids.  They are very powerful free radical scavengers that neutralize cancer cell growth and dramatically reduce whole body inflammation.

The anti-oxidant flavonoids are extremely rich in the outer layers of the onion.  Many people will peel off the first few layers and lose much of these critical nutrients.  Be sure to utilize the outer, fleshy edible portions as much as possible.

How Many Red Onions to Eat?

Simmering onions in a soup or broth will damage some of the anthocyanins but not the sirtuin-activating quercetin.  The quercetin moves into the soup or broth.  The lower the heat the more nutrients will be contained in the soup or broth.  Studies have shown that 4-7 servings of red onions each week (equivalent to about 2-3 onions) have been associated with the greatest benefit in reducing colorectal, oral, laryngeal, esophageal & ovarian cancer.

Red onions should be stored in a cool, dry area with good airflow.  Until they are opened they should not be stored in a refrigerator or plastic bag as both of these have been shown to speed up spoilage.  Once opened, it is best to store in refrigeration.  Avoid any onions that are wet, soft, bruised or have dark spots or mold on them.

Frequently Asked Questions With Red Onions

1.  Do I Need to Purchase Organic Onions?  

Because onions are covered in a thin skin and are very sharp and pungent they repel pests.  They are not highly sprayed with toxic herbicides and pesticides and therefore can be purchased non-organic without significant risk from toxic chemical exposure.

2.  How Do I Reduce the Effect Onions Have on My Breath?

You can reduce the negative effects onions and other sulfur-rich foods (garlic, shallots, radishes) have on your breath by consuming green veggies, bitter herbs such as dandelion, parsley or cilantro and herbs such as rosemary, fennel and peppermint.

We often advise people to consume another Sirtfood, parsley or make a green Sirtfood juice on days when you are consuming a lot of raw onion.

3.  Do I Get the Same Benefits from Cooked Onions as I Do with Raw Onions?

No, you will certainly lose much of the nutrient content but you will still get some of the benefits so it is better to consume cooked onions than no onions at all.

 

Sirtfood Spices-Chilli And Turmeric

Sirtfood Spices-Chilli And Turmeric

Sirtfood spices chilli and turmeric are amongst the top 20 most effective sirtuin activators.sirtfood spices

Whilst there is a major focus on the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables, don’t let that divert focus from other elements of our diet that are as good. None more so than the culinary Sirtfood spices, which contain similar health-enhancing plant compounds (aka phytonutrients) as fruits and vegetables but often in much more effective amounts, which means a little spice can go a long way to boosting health.

Turmeric

Turmeric boasts a long history of use in Asia for both its culinary and medicinal uses. Its use as a staple ingredient in traditional Indian cooking is thought to be one reason for the significantly lower cancer rates in India compared with Western countries. Amongst its numerous active ingredients, it is the curcumin content that is believed to explain many of turmeric’s health benefits, which in addition to anti-cancer properties, include anti-inflammatory effects, and even benefits for preventing weight gain and obesity.

Turmeric advice: Curcumin is poorly absorbed by the body, but there are ways to improve this. Using turmeric in cooking, especially with fat, helps improve its absorption, as does the addition of black pepper.

Chillisirtfood spices

The heat in chilli comes from a substance called capsaicin, and the more capsaicin in a chilli, the hotter it is. And recent research suggests that spicing up our food with chilli could be a life saver, concluding that eating hot spicy foods three or more times a week is associated with a 14 percent lower death rate compared to eating them less than once a week.

Chilli advice: As a general rule of thumb, the hotter the better – but don’t exceed what is comfortably tolerable.

 

 

10 Reasons To Include Buckwheat In Your Diet

buckwheatBuckwheat is one of the recommended Sirtfoods.

The name buckwheat is misleading because it isn’t related to wheat at all. In fact, buckwheat isn’t a true grain, but rather the fruit of a leafy plant belonging to the same family as sorrel and rhubarb. It is often referred to as a pseudo-cereal since the grain is used in ways similar to cereal grains. Its name comes from a Dutch word that translates as “beechwheat,” most likely a reference to the plant’s triangular fruits, which resemble beechnuts. Most of us are most familiar with buckwheat flour used to make the pancakes, crepes or noodles (Japanese Soba).

Here are 10 well-researched reasons why you should give the Sirtfood buckwheat a try:

  1. Buckwheat is high in fiber; good for those with constipation.
  2. The protein in buckwheat has all 9 essential amino acids (that the body cannot manufacture), making it closer to being a “complete” protein.
  3. It is high in the amino acid lysine, which is used for tissue growth and repair.
  4. Buckwheat is gluten-free so this makes it suitable for those with wheat allergies.
  5. It is rich in calcium, iron, vitamin E, and B vitamins, magnesium, manganese, zinc and copper.
  6. The magnesium in buckwheat helps relaxes blood vessels; helps improve circulation, decrease blood pressure and reduce cholesterol.
  7. Buckwheat helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Due to the slower breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates in buckwheat, this helps to raise our blood sugar levels more evenly. This especially good for those suffering with diabetes by helping to control their blood sugar levels.
  8. It’s also low in calories, which is good in helping to reduce fat accumulation.
  9. Buckwheat contains rutin, a chemical that strengthens capillary walls.
  10. This Sirtfood being high in insoluble fiber, can help women avoid gallstones.

A range of buckwheat products is available online.

Try Sirtfoods Just To Start

try sirtfoodsYou may be reluctant to jump right in with the Sirtfood Diet. You can just try sirtfoods as a sampling process to start with and gradually ease into the plan.

The benefits of a Sirtfood diet can be observed by looking at communities around the world who already adopt diets rich in Sirtfoods. On the San Blas islands of Panama, live the Kuna American Indians. Amongst these indigenous people there are incredibly low rates of cancer, diabetes and obesity. There’s also a very low incidence of high blood pressure, and early death. And the Kuna’s secret to their blessed existence? A diet high in the Sirtfood cocoa. Similarly, India, which has significantly lower cancer rates to Western populations, have a diet rich in the Sirtfood Turmeric and Japan, whose inhabitants consume high levels of the Sirtfood green tea boast one of the lowest rates of cardiovascular and lung cancer in the world.

If you’re keen to try Sirtfoods then here are some simple ways that you can introduce  Sirtfoods into your diet:

  • Parsley is high in sirtuin-activating nutrients Apigenin and Myricetin but it’s often dismissed as a slightly old-fashioned garnish. Promote this herb to the status it deserves by adding leaves of flat-leaf parsley to a herby green salad, new potatoes or a green juice.
  • Give your tea a Sirt-over. Swap your usual brew for Matcha green tea. Matcha differs from regular green tea in that it is mostly grown in the shade (regular green tea is grown in sunlight) and is finely ground so it can be dissolved in water and drunk (rather than simply infusing the water). Matcha tea is a great source of the sirt-activating compound EGCG.
  • Berries – especially strawberries – are high in sirtuin-activating nutrients. Throw some of strawberries, blueberries and blackberries into your smoothie maker, or use the sweet red fruit as a filling for Sirtfood friendly buckwheat pancakes.
  • Replace your usual salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil. The ‘extra virgin’ part is important- it’s unrefined and richer in sirtuin stimulating nutrients Oleuropein and Hydroxytyrosol than other varieties.
  • Dark Chocolate. Studies have shown that cocoa could have links to cardiovascular disease, and dark chocolate is better for you than other types because it generally lower in sugar and fat. But remember that eating too much can contribute to weight gain, which is risky in itself.
  • Apples. They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away… As well as being classed as a Sirtfood, studies have shown that the fruit helps lower cholesterol, and is a good source of fibre – meaning it keeps you fuller for longer, the Huffington Post reported.

Turmeric-Should You Add To And Take A Supplement?

Turmeric-Should You Add To And Take A Supplement?

turmeric

Turmeric, Curcuma longa or “Indian saffron” has been a part of the healthy dieting trend for quite some time and it isn’t without good reason. Traditionally Asian, the plant belongs to the ginger family and it gives curry its yellowish color and warm, bitter taste. With an amazing array of health benefits it offers, it is no wonder that it has been quickly adopted by the health conscious eaters around the world and forms part of the recommended Sirtfood Diet.

We are advocates for eating a lot of this versatile sirtfood spice. But for turmeric to really boost your health, you may want to add a supplement, too.

The main health-giving part of this plant is the chemical curcumin. More than 7,000 studies have examined its effects in helping prevent cancer, arthritis, diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Its anti-inflammatory properties are what make it such a Swiss Army knife of nutrients. “Since chronic inflammation all over the body is the root cause of many illnesses, taking curcumin supplements is an easy and potentially effective way to prevent diseases,” says Ajay Goel, Ph.D. who researches curcumin and cancer at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.

A teaspoon of turmeric contains only about 100 mg of the active ingredient. You need anywhere from two to 10 times that to get the biggest benefits. For supplements, Goel recommends taking ones that contain 250 or 500 mg once or twice a day.

There is a wide range of turmeric supplements available at Amazon’s online store.


Walnuts And Fat Loss Link

walnutsWalnuts , one of the top 20 Sirtfoods actually help you shed weight according to a new study.

Eating too many nuts is often noted as one of the mistakes people make that stop them losing weight. However, a new study suggests that walnuts may actually help you shed fat.

The study’s lead scientist, Dr. Cheryl Rock of the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine compared various diets and was surprised to find, ‘that even though walnuts are higher in fat and calories, the walnut-rich diet was associated with the same degree of weight loss as a lower fat diet.’

The research looked at 245 overweight women giving them one of three diets: A lower fat and higher carb diet, a lower carb and higher fat diet and finally a walnut-rich, higher fat and lower carb diet.

Not only did the walnut-rich group see good weight loss, they also saw a decrease in bad cholesterol and an increase in the good stuff!

Dr. Rock also explained: ‘In addition to these findings, we hope to explore the effect of walnuts on satiety, as we believe satiety is a critical factor for maintaining weight loss.’

The Benefits Of Walnuts

Walnuts are naturally low in sugars, sodium, and packed with nutrients: healthy fats (plant omega-3 ALA), protein, fiber, antioxidants, as well as vitamins and minerals – folate, thiamin, magnesium, potassium, manganese and copper.

Enjoying a handful of nuts (35g) as part of a healthy diet every day will contribute:

  • Protein – needed for growth and repair of tissues such as bones, muscles and skin as well as being a plant protein source for vegetarians

  • Fiber – keeping you regular and helping control appetite

  • Plant omega 3s called Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA) – just four or five walnuts a day can provide 100 percent of daily adult ALA needs

  • Antioxidants – which protect cells against free radical damage (polyphenols, copper, manganese)

  • Nutrients for energy production – thiamin, copper, manganese, magnesium

  • Nutrients for brain and neurological function – magnesium, copper, folate, thiamin

  • Folate – needed during pregnancy and for blood formation

  • Arginine an amino acid and polyphenol antioxidants – both help keep blood vessels elastic.

A healthy diet low in sodium, but with a variety of foods such as walnuts, can help reduce blood pressure and contribute to heart health.

Further information on walnut products is available from the following links.


Sirtfood Science

sirtfood scienceLooking At Sirtfood Science

Consuming foods rich in “sirtuin activators” — including red wine, kale, arugula, buckwheat, apples, blueberries, capers, red onions, walnuts, strawberries, extra virgin olive oil, parsley, dark chocolate, green tea, and coffee among others — will upregulate the expression of SIRT genes, increasing the producing sirtuin proteins that will retard the accumulation of fat. You’ve likely heard of the most famous of the sirtuin activators: Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine.

In 2003, David A. Sinclair, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School, published the results of the first study to suggest that resveratrol slows aging in a way similar to calorie restriction — that is, by stimulating the SIRT2 gene, which promotes DNA stability, increases the production of the body’s own antioxidants, and puts the brakes on fat production. Since then, many more sirtuin activators (and the foods in which they’re found) have been identified in sirtfood science studies, and the list of potential benefits from consuming them keeps growing.

Potential Benefits of the Sirtfood Diet

Sirtuins have also been linked to the functioning of the nervous, cardiovascular, and immune systems, as well as liver, bone, muscle, stem cell, and tissue regeneration, according to 2014 article “The Controversial World of Sirtuins” published in the journal Drug Discovery Today: Technologies. Sirtuins have also been credited with helping to fight many age-related diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, osteoporosis, neurodegenerative diseases, and arthritis.

Sirtfood science studies have also revealed that sirtuins can reduce inflammation, hypoxic stress (as might be caused by poor circulation), heat shock, and genotoxic (DNA damaging) stress, according to 2011 article “Sirtuins at a Glance” in the Journal of Cell Science, which notes that inflammation is a major cause of aging and aging-related diseases.

If this all sounds confusing, you can download the “Official Sirtfood Diet Planner” app from Google Play. The app kicks off your “Sirtification” with a “7-Day Sirtfood Challenge,” and includes a customizable shopping list, a weight loss tracker, a daily meal planner, and recipes that incorporate the top 20 sirtfoods. Participates who complete the challenge can move on to the 14-day maintenance phase.

Does the Sirtfood Diet Work?

So far, the diet has received ringing endorsements from many celebrities, most of whom are British, including (reportedly) Grammy-winning music artist Adele, model Jodie Kidd, TV cook Lorraine Pascale, boxers David Haye and Anthony Ogogo, Olympic sailor Ben Ainslie, and rugby player James Haskell.

Matcha Green Tea: A Sirtfood Superfood to Supercharge You!

matchaWhat is Matcha?

Matcha (pronounced MA-cha), has been part of the Japanese culture since the 12th century. It is one of the most prized beverages in Japan. Matcha green tea differs from regular green tea due to the way the leaves are produced. All teas originate from the same plant known as Camellia sinensis, which is a shrub native to China. The shrub produces all types of leaves for tea, including white, green oolong, black, and pu-erh tea. Depending on the region and how they’re processed, these types of teas differ in their antioxidant content, their caffeine content and other nutritional properties.

How is Matcha Different  From Regular Green Tea?

Matcha is a type of tea that’s far less processed than regular green tea because the leaves are never heated and kept under shade to preserve the natural nutrients found in the leaves. Regular green tea goes through much more processing during production and is also left to dry in the sun, versus in the shade like matcha is. Matcha green tea is a bright, green powder that’s also stirred into warmed liquid instead of boiling and brewing methods used when making regular green tea. Since you’re consuming the leaves whole in a milder powder with matcha, you’re also taking in more nutrients than just throwing the leaves away in a tea bag or straining them out in a strainer as you would with regular tea.

How Does Matcha Taste?

Like all green tea, matcha has slightly grass notes, but with a much richer, almost buttery flavor. It’s especially tasty when blended with some non-dairy milk and stevia, along with a little vanilla extract.

Superfood Benefits of Matcha:

  • Matcha green tea far outranks even some of the most powerful superfoods we know of today. It contains over six times the antioxidants in goji berries, seven times the antioxidants in dark chocolate, 17 times more antioxidants than blueberries, and 60 times the antioxidants found in spinach. And that’s just in one teaspoon!
  • Matcha contains  137 times more of the popular antioxidant EGCG found in regular green tea. EGCG is a part of the antioxidant family known as catechins, which have been linked to better heart health, a healthy metabolism, and improved aging.
  • Matcha is a great tool to improve your workouts since it’s energizing and anti-inflammatory.
  • The beautiful bright green tea has even been found to prevent cancer because the antioxidants in the tea are so high, they help fight off immune system invaders known as free radicals.
  • Matcha is five times higher in chlorophyll than regular tea. Chlorophyll is the green pigment found in plants that can help give you clear skin, protect your blood and heart, and also help prevent joint inflammation.
  • One glass of matcha green tea is equal to the amount of nutrition found in 10 cups of regular green tea.
  • Matcha green tea has been found to raise the metabolism, provide a long stream of energy versus a crash you get with coffee, and possibly help with weight management. Of course matcha isn’t a replacement for an unhealthy diet, but it is a much smarter, holistic way to raise your metabolism and gain energy.
  • Matcha also lowers anxiety due to the high, raw amounts of L-theanine found in matcha. L-theanine is an amino acid that promotes a state of relaxation and is the reason regular green tea is thought of as a calming beverage.
  • Matcha only contains 35 milligrams of caffeine per teaspoon, which is almost a third less than a cup of regular black coffee.

Sounds pretty amazing for a tea, right? That’s because matcha, like all plant-based foods, has unique properties that make it special in its own light. Remember that matcha isn’t a quick-fix magic pill to perfect health, but it sure beats out other teas and is a better, less-processed option.

 Enjoy Matcha Green Tea:

Traditional use: Matcha can be enjoyed the same way you would use regular green tea, you just have to brew it a bit differently. Boil a cup and a half of water, pour it in your favorite tea mug, and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Then whisk in 1/2 teaspoon of matcha green tea powder. You’ll notice it starts to foam a bit, and this is completely natural. You can also add a little non-dairy milk if you like, which will give it a creamier flavor. Or blend it all together in your blender to make it frothier like cafe-style beverages.

Other uses: Matcha is also amazing in a green smoothie. You can use it to replace your normal green superfood powder with a pinch, or just use it in any other regular smoothie. Since it’s so high in nutrition, you don’t need a lot of it to get the health benefits. A half to a whole teaspoon is plenty.

You can also use matcha in energy bites, vegan ice cream,truffles and even  bake brownies and cupcakes. Or, keep things simple and blend it with some ice and non-dairy milk to make an iced matcha latte. Get creative and see how you can incorporate matcha into your life!

Where to Find Matcha and What to Look For:

It’s important not to buy just any old brand of matcha tea. Many brands market matcha tea that aren’t true matcha. The better brands will be slightly pricier than cheap versions you find at the grocery store, and this indicates their higher quality. Check the label on all matcha you buy. It should only include 100 % matcha green tea leaves and preferably be organic and ceremonial grade, which indicates it’s produced in the same, minimally-processing method of green tea consumed in Japan and will ensure it contains no pesticides.

The color should also be a bright green, not a muddy greenish-brown color, which indicates it’s been more heavily processed or is a cheaper variety of matcha.

Most matcha is sold in 2-4 ounce containers and ranges anywhere from $15.00-$50.00 per container. These are definitely not cheap but will last at least three months if you use a half teaspoon per day.

 

 

 

Kale 5 Health Benefits

kaleKale is one of the recommended Sirtfoods.

It is definitely one of the healthiest and most nutritious plant foods in existence.

Kale is loaded with all sorts of beneficial compounds… some of which have powerful medicinal properties.

Here are 5 health benefits of kale, that are supported by science.

1. Kale is Among The Most Nutrient Dense Foods on The Planet

Before we get to all the benefits, let me briefly explain what kale is…

Kale is a popular vegetable, a member of the cabbage family.

It is related to cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts.

There are many different types of kale. The leaves can be green or purple in color, and have either a smooth or curly shape.

The most common type of kale is called curly kale or Scots kale, which has green and curly leaves and a hard, fibrous stem.

A single cup of raw kale (about 67 grams or 2.4 ounces) contains (1):

  • Vitamin A: 206% of the RDA (from beta-carotene).
  • Vitamin K: 684% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin C: 134% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B6: 9% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 26% of the RDA.
  • Calcium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Copper: 10% of the RDA.
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 6% of the RDA.
  • Then it contains 3% or more of the RDA for Vitamin B1 (Thiamin), Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Iron and Phosphorus.

This is coming with a total of 33 calories, 6 grams of carbs (2 of which are fiber) and 3 grams of protein.

Kale contains very little fat, but a large portion of the fat in it is the omega-3 fatty acid called alpha linolenic acid.

Given the incredibly low calorie content, kale is among the most nutrient dense foods in existence. Eating more kale is a great way to dramatically increase the total nutrient content of your diet.

 

2. Kale is Loaded With Powerful Antioxidants Like Quercetin and Kaempferol

Kale, like other leafy greens, is very high in antioxidants.

This includes beta-carotene, vitamin C, as well as various flavonoids and polyphenols.

Antioxidants are substances that help counteract oxidative damage by free radicals in the body..

Oxidative damage is believed to be among the leading drivers of aging and many diseases, including cancer.

But many substances that happen to be antioxidants also have other important functions.

This includes the flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol, which are found in relatively large amounts in kale.

These substances have been studied intensely in test tubes and animal studies. They have powerful cardioprotective, blood pressure lowering, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-depressant and anti-cancer effects… to name a few.

3. It is an Excellent Source of Vitamin C

fresh-kale-in-a-brown-bag

Vitamin C is an important nutrient.

It is a water-soluble antioxidant that serves many vital functions in the body’s cells.

For example, it is necessary to synthesize collagen, the most abundant structural protein in the body.

Kale is much higher in vitamin C than most other vegetables, containing about 4.5 times much as spinach.

The truth is… kale is actually among the world’s best sources of Vitamin C. A cup of raw kale even contains more vitamin C than a whole orange.

4. Kale Can Help Lower Cholesterol, Which May Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease

Heart and Stethoscope

Cholesterol has many important functions in the body.

One of them, is being used to make bile acids, which are substances that help us digest fats.

The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then released into the digestive system whenever we eat a fatty meal.

When all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have served their purpose, they are reabsorbed into the bloodstream and used again.

Substances called bile acid sequestrants can bind bile acids in the digestive system and prevent them from being reabsorbed. This reduces the total amount of cholesterol in the body.

Guess what… kale actually contains bile acid sequestrants, which can lower cholesterol levels (11). This should lead to a reduced risk of heart disease over time.

One study found that daily consumption of kale juice for 12 weeks increased HDL (the “good”) cholesterol by 27% and lowered LDL levels by 10%, while also improving antioxidant status.

According to one study, steaming kale dramatically increases the bile acid binding effect. Steamed kale is actually 43% as potent as cholestyramine, a cholesterol lowering drug that functions in this way .

 

5. Kale is One of The World’s Best Sources of Vitamin K

Vitamin K is an important nutrient.

It is absolutely critical for blood clotting, and does this by “activating” certain proteins and giving them the ability to bind calcium.

The well known anticoagulant drug Warfarin actually works by blocking the function of this vitamin.

Kale is one of the world’s best sources of vitamin K, with a single raw cup containing almost 7 times the recommended daily amount.

The form of vitamin K in kale is K1, which is different than vitamin K2. K2 is found in fermented soy foods and certain animal products. It helps prevent heart disease and osteoporosis.

Here is a range of kale product sources that are available online

 

Sirtfood-What are Medjool Dates?

medjoolMEDJOOL DATES are a type of tree fruit that originate in the Middle East and North Africa, but they can be cultivated with some success in a number of desert-like regions around the world. Dates in general make up an important part of Middle Eastern cuisine, but medjools particularly are prized for their large size, their sweet taste, and their juicy flesh even when dried. They are often enjoyed on their own as a snack or as a flavoring element within a larger meal or baked confection.

Difference from Other Sorts of Dates

There are many different varieties of dates, though all share some basic characteristics. They grow on date palm trees, for instance, and are native to hot, arid climates. Their fruit can be eaten fresh but is more commonly dried, which lengthens its lifespan and prevents early spoilage. Medjool dates are widely regarded as the “best” variety of dates. They are certainly the largest and are usually also the most expensive to buy. Many consumers believe that they have the richest flavor as well.

Medjools are often informally known as the “king of dates,” the “diamond of dates,” or the “crown jewel of dates” in reference to their elevated position. They are what is known as a “soft” date. The fruits are usually categorized as soft, dry, or semi-dry in reference to their texture and taste. Soft dates are usually considered to be the most exquisite in part because of how much harder they are to grow, as well as how much more susceptible they are to loss by birds and insects.

Taste Basics Of Medjool Dates

Most people describe medjool dates as having a rich, almost caramel-like taste, and mentions of honey and cinnamon are also common. They are usually served dried, but this drying happens naturally in most cases. The most traditional way to prepare dates of any kind is to allow them to ripen and then sun dry while still connected to the tree. When picked at the right time, medjools need no additional treatment or care before serving.

Nutritional Profile

Medjool dates only contain about 66 calories each. They are a good source of fiber and contain high levels of the essential minerals,potassium, magnesium, copper, and manganese. Most do contain a significant amount of fruit sugar, but this can make them a good alternative to more caloric desserts. In the Middle East where they grow wild, they are a popular food for nomadic travelers as they provide a lot of energy and healthful nutrients with the added benefit of being readily available.

How to Enjoy Medjool Dates

One of the easiest ways to enjoy medjool dates is to eat them on their own, either as an independent snack or alongside other finger foods like hard cheeses, crackers, and crusty breads. The dates do contain a pit, but it is big and generally very easy to remove.

The fruit’s large size also lends well to stuffing once the pit has been removed. Walnuts,almonds, and honeycomb are some of the more traditional things that cooks can put inside, but there is a lot of room for creativity. Some people put other fruits, small pieces of chocolate, or savory meats into the pit cavity in order to create a one-of-a-kind taste.

Use in Cooking

Medjool dates also feature in a number of recipes. Many North African stews call for sliced medjools, for instance, and they are commonly mixed with yoghurt for breakfast in countries like Iraq and Iran. They add sweetness to a number of cooked meat dishes and can also be incorporated into the batter of many different breads and baked goods.

Where They Grow

Date palms that give rise to medjool fruit are believed to be indigenous to the North African coast and Arabic Peninsula. Fossil evidence suggests that the fruits were enjoyed by ancient people in countries as far apart as Saudi Arabia and Morocco, and the land between these countries remains the primary growing area. Many California farmers have had some luck cultivating the trees, however, as have some people in Australia. They are often much harder to grow than other date varieties because of how sensitive the fruits are to air quality and soil moisture. They often take a tremendous amount of work to grow on demand, which is part of the reason for their relatively high price.

Cultivation at Home

The most basic way to grow a medjool date palm is to plant a pit and wait for it to sprout, though this is also the most time-consuming and potentially frustrating method. It can take up to 20 years for a sprouted pit to yield a tree that actually bears fruit. Home gardeners wanting to try their hand at growing medjools are usually better served by purchasing established plants from nurseries or local distributors or grafting branches from existing palms onto new plants. Trees typically need a lot of care, as well as close attention to sunlight and soil quality, in order to thrive. Some gardeners have had success cultivating the plants in indoor greenhouses, though the best fruits tend to come from trees exposed to more natural outdoor settings.

Here are a range of Medjool Dates you can buy online.