The Role of Date Palm Fruit in Improving Human Health OE01-OE06
Muneera Qassim Al-Mssallem,
Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Nutrition, King Faisal
University, Al-Ahsa, Saudi Arabia.
Despite the fact that date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) fruits are characterised by a high content of carbohydrates, the quality of their carbohydrates results in a low glycaemic response. In comparison to common fruits consumed such as strawberries and guava, Date Palm Fruits (DPFs) have exhibited the highest antioxidant activity. DPFs have been shown to act effectively as free radical scavengers due to their content of bioactive compounds such as phenolic acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, and polyphenols. These bioactive substances can absorb and neutralise free radical intermediates resulting from oxidation reactions in the human body. The vital action of DPF constituents contributes significantly in reducing physiological cellular damage and protecting the human body against oxidative stress-related diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer. From this point, it can be concluded that regular consumption of DPFs may be associated with a reduced risk of some chronic diseases due to the antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anticancer, and antimutagenic activities of DPFs. In fact, DPFs have been widely used since ancient times in folk medicine to treat various health conditions, demonstrating the importance of DPFs as a nutraceutical and a source of functional nourishment. This review aims to consolidate most of the work carried out on DPFs in terms of their contents of nutrients and biologically active components such as phenolic compounds, with special emphasis on their functions in improving general health.