Sunday, June 23, 2024

 Prof. Nyarkotey: Dates; natural oxytocin in Childbirth

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By Prof. Raphael Nyarkotey Obu

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 Prof. Nyarkotey: Dates; natural oxytocin in Childbirth

Dates (Phoenix dactylifera) are the sweetest fruits native to Iraq.  Studies have found numerous impacts of eating Dates on pregnant women.  In this article, I examine the impact of dates on pregnant women.

Nutritional Profile

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The US Department of Agriculture reports that date calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs.  The following is the nutritional profile of a 100-gram date:

  • Calories: 277
  • Carbs: 75 grams
  • Fiber: 7 grams
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Potassium: 15% Daily Value(DV)
  • Magnesium: 13% DV
  • Copper: 40% DV
  • Manganese: 13% DV
  • Iron: 5% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 15% DV

Dates, Pregnancy, and Labor

Dates have been studied for their potential to promote and ease late-term labour in pregnant people.  One study by Kordi et al. (2017) confirmed that consuming dates in the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labour. And reduces labour time.

A previous meta-analysis by Al-Kuran et al. (2011) examines studies on pregnant people who consumed dates before their due date and revealed that pregnant women who ate dates were in labour for less time than those who did not eat them, but also notes that the link between eating dates and a faster delivery needs to be researched further.

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Another by Razali et al.  (2017) of 154 pregnant women also found that those who ate dates were less likely to be induced compared to those who did not.

In a third study,  Kordi et al. (2017) also found similar results in 91 pregnant women who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily at the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labour for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates.

Dates could act as a natural oxytocin, a hormone that causes labour contractions during childbirth (Kordi et al. 2017).

Furthermore, dates contain tannins, compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor (Kordi et al. 2017). Hemorrhoids are a common complication during pregnancy. Dates are excellent sources of fiber. They may help prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Take Home

  • Consuming dates fruits may encourage cervical dilatation and lessen the need for an induced delivery. They might be useful for speeding up labour.
  • Dates include tannins, which are substances that have been demonstrated to aid in contraction facilitation. They are also a good source of calories and natural sugar, which are essential for sustaining energy levels throughout labour.
  • Minerals including phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium can all be found in dates. Thus, support osteoporosis in women.
  • Proteins found in dates help to maintain your muscles strong and healthy. If you enjoy exercising, eat a few dates every day to keep healthy.
  • Dates, which are high in vitamin C, enhance skin elasticity and keep it supple, velvety, and smooth. Eating dates will improve skin texture and combat several skin issues. Date consumption regularly will ward off wrinkles and fine lines.
  • Dates increase female stamina sexually because they are a powerful and abundant source of iron, vitamin C, folate, and numerous other essential minerals and nutrients.
  • Dates are efficient at modulating the female hormone estrogen because they lessen oxidative effects.
  • They are well-known aphrodisiacs for women, and in Iran and Nigeria, dates are believed to enhance one’s sex life.
  • Women’s sexual performance and libido would improve with dates consumption.
  • Dates are a natural aphrodisiac, therefore eating them can help treat sexual issues.
  • Dates increase female stamina sexually because they are a powerful and abundant source of iron, vitamin C, folate, and numerous other essential minerals and nutrients.
  • Dates are efficient at modulating the female hormone estrogen because they lessen oxidative effects.
  • They are well-known aphrodisiacs for women, and in Iran and Nigeria, dates are believed to enhance one’s sex life.
  • Dates improve the hemoglobin level in women during pregnancy.

NB:

Prof. Nyarkotey has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations to justify his write-ups.  My articles are for educational purposes and do not serve as Medical advice for Treatment. I aim to educate the public about evidence-based scientific Naturopathic Therapies.

The writer is a Professor of Naturopathic Healthcare, a Medical Journalist, and a science writer. President, Nyarkotey College of Holistic Medicine & Technology (NUCHMT), African Naturopathic Foundation, Ashaiman, Ghana. E. mail: [email protected].  Currently, BL candidate at the Gambia Law School, Banjul, The Gambia.

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