The Benefits of Red Dates
Red dates, known as hongzao, are labelled by the Chinese as ‘the king of nuts’ for their super nutritional value. Dried Chinese red dates are soft and moist with a sweet smell. Heralded as a superfood, red dates are often present in traditional chinese medicine (TCM) prescriptions and brewed herbal tonics. Local Chinese kitchens frequently use red dates to cook with porridge, soups, desserts and even decorate buns.
What’s so good about red dates?
If you think your daily intake of grapes and apples are good sources of Vitamin C, think again. Chinese red dates have 70x to 80x higher levels of Vitamin C!
Red dates also contain loads of Vitamin A, B1, B2, protein, calcium, phosphorous, iron and magnesium. This makes them great for people suffering and recovering from serious health conditions. In particular, red dates help to stimulate the production of white blood cells – which improves immunity and protects the liver. It is believed that they also suppress cancer-causing cells and reduce cholesterol. In all ancient traditional Chinese herbal text books, red dates are always mentioned for strengthening the spleen and stomach Qi (energy) – which in turns helps to digest food, tonify blood and tranquilize the mind.
Something for women
Renown for enriching and replenishing blood, many Chinese women eat red dates during their special time of the month. But that is not the only draw for ladies – red dates have also been labeled as the herbal elixir of life as people claimed it guarantees youthful looking skin. For women who are trying to conceive, some swear by red dates! Apparently, drinking red dates regularly for a few months can help to re-balance the body’s Qi and blood deficiency. This allows for period regularity and higher chance for pregnancy!
…and new mommies
Red dates and longan tea is a one of the most common confinement drinks. Dried longan is ‘warm’ and extremely beneficial to the heart and kidneys. Combined with the superpower of red dates in nourishing the blood, this drink is brewed to revitalize overall body and health wellness.
I have had many versions of red date tea over the years. And I have not been much of a fan. But it was not until recently, I tasted red dates and longan tea at a local Peranakan restaurant. Their version of the red date and longan tea was divine! I must have had six cups within the hour. I asked for the recipe: red dates, dried longan, brown sugar and pandan leaves.
Here are a few simple boil variations you can do at home, read Red Dates & Dried Longan Tea (to improve blood circulation, digestion and overall health) & Red Dates, Longan & Goji Berry (to warm the ‘womb’ for fertility and overall well-being) ♥