The humble, sweet and tasty medjool date, or the Phoenix dactylifera if we want get all scientific about it, has a lot more going for it other than being the main star in just about every energy ball recipe known to mankind… This little nugget of nutrients has recently been found to be a source of great value for those wanting to regulate hormones, improve fertility and provide the nutrients to get you moving into and through the delivery of your precious little bundle of joy.
The medjool date has it’s origins in the regions of Iraq and ancient Persia, and has since spread to becoming a popular fruit around the world. It’s popularity has stemmed from it’s sweet taste and long shelf life that allows for its many uses. The medjool date is packed full nutrients that provide many health benefits including dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, copper, B family vitamins, vitamin A, magnesium, and calcium. However, what is most interesting about the date is the research behind it and what the science is showing this delicious fruit may assist with when wanting to start or grow your family.
Studies using rat models have found that date fruit extracts can improve the process of spermatogenesis and the concentration of male sex hormones. (2) It is suggested this may be due to the fruit containing various phytochemical compounds such as genistein, vitamin A and selenium which are known to protect testicular function from oxidative stress as well as have gonadotropin activity. Date fruits contain potent antioxidants such as flavonoids, phenolic, vitamin C, E, and A, all of which have been found to decrease the percentage of dead sperm and maintain normal sperm morphology.
The antioxidant nutrients in date fruits have also been shown to improve female fertility by reducing the oxidative effects on oogenesis (the formation of mature female eggs) and embryonic microenvironment, thus may have a direct effect on improving female egg quality, implantation and early embryonic development. (3) The High polyphenol content in the date fruit (50.2 mg/g) could potentially boost fertility in women due to its incredible antioxidant activity that has been demonstrated in both vivo and in vitro studies. (1) The phytochemical compounds in date fruit, such as phytosterols and phytoestrogens may be useful in modulating estrogen in the body as well as have a pro-apoptotic and anti-oxidant activity. (4) Another study found that date pollen could significantly increase the levels of estrogen and progeseterone. (5) Oh, go you mighty date you..
As the nutrient needs of a women during pregnancy increase to support healthy fetal growth, the many mineral resources in dates, such as selenium, magnesium, manganese and copper may reduce the risk of bone density and bone strength issues in the fetus as well as avoid prematurity. (6) Furthermore, and what I would say is the most exciting aspect of all of the date fruit research, is what scientists have found in its use for supporting the transition from final trimester into labour. One study found that when women consumed 6 dates everyday in the last 4 weeks of their pregnancy, they significantly reduced their need for labour induction and additional delivery time. (1) Now who wouldn’t want a shorter labour whilst getting to enjoy this sweet delight that has been sent down from the heavens. Hand me the dates I hear every heavily pregnant women say right now..
Using food as medicine is the number one thing that will not only improve your fertility and pregnancy outcomes, it will improve your entire life. But hey, who wouldn’t want to take their medicine if it tasted as good a medjool date. Now you have an excuse, happy date eating everyone!! Learn more about our IVF Support Program or Natural Fertility Support Program here.
Leigh is the founder and primary practitioner at Spring Acupuncture, Fertility and Pregnancy Clinic. She is a passionate and qualified acupuncturist and expert in natural fertility, IVF support, pregnancy and women’s health.
Leigh has worked many years as an Anaesthetic Technician at the Mater Mothers and Adults Hospital here in Brisbane and is currently completing her Masters in Reproductive Medicine through the University of New South Wales. Through combining her vast Western and Eastern medical knowledge, Leigh is able to assist her clients to achieve their fertility and health goals. Leigh strongly believes that through optimizing your health on a physical, physiological and psychological level you will be in the best state possible as you travel along your personal fertility journey.
- Saryono, Mekar DWI Anggraeni and Eni Rahmawati, EFFECTS OF DATES FRUIT (PHOENIX DACTYLIFERA L.) IN THE FEMALE REPRODUCTIVE PROCESS, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of JenderalSoedirman, Central Java, Indonesia
- Adaay and Mattar, 2012; Saryono, et al., 2016
- Safarnavadeh and Rastegarpanah, 2011
- Engel et al., 2006
- Mokhtari et al., 2008; Moshfegh, et al., 2016
- Szeto et al., 2009
Spring Acupuncture is an integrative Chinese medicine and acupuncture clinic committed to providing the best outcomes for our patients, and empowering them along their journey to optimal fertility, pregnancy health, IVF success and general wellness. We are located in Springwood, Brisbane, and are conveniently situated right next door to The Fertility Centre, IVF clinic.
We are humbled to be able to assist patients from local suburbs and all over Queensland. Proudly servicing Springwood, Brisbane, South Brisbane, Acacia Ridge, Algester, Annerley, Archerfield, Beenleigh, Burbank, Calamvale, Coopers Plains, Darra, Doolandella, Drewvale, Durack, Dutton Park, Eight Mile Plains, Ellen Grove, Fairfield, Forest Lake, Greenslopes, Heathwood, Holland Park, Holland Park West, Inala, Karawatha, Kuraby, Larapinta, MacGregor, Mackenzie, Mansfield, Moorooka, Mount Gravatt, Mount Gravatt East, Nathan, Pallara, Parkinson, Richlands, Robertson, Rochedale, Rocklea, Runcorn, Salisbury, Seventeen Mile Rocks, Sinnamon Park, Stones Corner, Stretton, Sumner, Sunnybank, Sunnybank Hills, Tarragindi, Tennyson, Upper Mount Gravatt, Wacol, Willawong, Wishart, Yeerongpilly, Yeronga, Bahrs Scrub, Bannockburn, Beenleigh, Belivah, Berrinba, Bethania, Boronia Heights, Browns Plains, Buccan, Carbrook, Cedar Creek, Cedar Grove, Cedar Vale, Chambers Flat, Cornubia, Crestmead, Daisy Hill, Eagleby, Edens Landing, Flagstone, Flinders Lakes, Forestdale, Glenlogan, Greenbank, Heritage Park, Hillcrest, Holmview, Jimboomba, Kagaru, Kairabah, Kingston, Logan Central, Logan Reserve, Logan Village, Loganholme, Loganlea, Lyons, Maclean, Marsden, Meadowbrook, Monarch Glen, Mount Warren Park, Mundoolun, Munruben, New Beith, Park Ridge, Park Ridge South, Priestdale, Regents Park, Riverbend, Rochedale South, Shailer Park, Silverbark Ridge, Slacks Creek, Stockleigh, Tamborine, Tanah Merah, Underwood, Undullah, Veresdale, Veresdale Scrub, Waterford, Waterford West, Windaroo, Wolffdene, Woodhill, Woodridge and Yarrabilba.