Eat More - MEDJOOL DATES
Best Health|August/September 2021
You always remember your first good date. One nibble, and you’re courted by a deep caramel flavour, soft texture and delightfully sweet taste. For me, it was love at first bite.
LAURA JEHA

Growing up with a Middle Eastern parent, I was introduced to dates at a young age. Lazy Sunday afternoon lunches were often finished with dates that were hoisted down from a high-up cupboard like a secret stash. They were also always a part of the holiday dessert table along with trifle and fruit cake, an edible representation of my parents’ two cultures merging. From then on it was clear to me that no matter when I ate them, dates were a delicacy.

Having been traced as far back as 50 million years, dates are the world’s oldest cultivated fruit. They are the fruit of the date palm tree, which thrives in desert climates and is native to the Middle East and North Africa, where they’ve been a staple in the diets of Arab countries like Morocco, Egypt and Saudi Arabia for centuries.

Dates grow in large clusters, like grapes, and are suspended up to 75 feet in the air on palm trees. Date palm trees are unique in that even though male plants produce pollen, birds and bees aren’t attracted to it, so female plants have to be carefully hand-pollinated by date farmers. The plum-sized fruit starts off bright yellow in colour and then deepens to amber as it ripens. Each individual date matures at its own pace, so those that are still yellow are set aside and left to ripen further in the sun.

In the 1900s, American botanist Walter Swingle travelled to the Middle East in search of exotic foods to bring back. He discovered that the temperatures required for growing dates were similar to that of the Coachella Valley in Southern California and brought back a cutting of a date palm tree to plant. The palms thrived in California, and have been grown there ever since, currently producing 95 percent of the dates grown in the U.S.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BEST HEALTHView All

ECO-FRIENDLY YOGA MATS

Do It For The Climate

5 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

SKIN FEELING OILY, PARCHED OR STRESSED? CONSIDER AN ACID TRIP

When it comes to skin care, knowledge is power, and we’re all getting smarter. “Since the pandemic, people are actively seeking information through online tutorials and master classes,” says Patricia Clare, a Vancouver-based national trainer for NeoStrata, an anti-aging skincare line. “They’re really trying to put it together. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.” Knowing that different results come from different ingredients is part of the journey toward building a skin-care routine that works for you, and that means getting more familiar with acid ingredients.

3 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

We Tried It: A PRICEY AT-HOME LED FACE MASK

For three minutes every evening, I lie on my couch with an absolutely terrifying mask placed over my just-cleansed face while red and blue lights allegedly work their magic to give me line-free, blemish-free skin. The mask is the latest innovation from Dr. Dennis Gross, a board-certified dermatologist and dermatological surgeon known for his at-home peeling masks. The DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro is an LED mask that uses red light to boost collagen and reduce fine lines, and blue light to kill bacteria to help heal and prevent future breakouts and redness.

2 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

The story behind a misunderstood and often misdiagnosed heart condition that's affecting Canadian women.

Sudi Barre is a young, healthy, fit woman who, immediately after giving birth, suffered a heart attack. Then she had seven more.

10+ mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

PSYCHOLOGIST JANINE HUBBARD ON SUPPORTING KIDS (AND PARENTS) AS THEY HEAD BACK TO SCHOOL

This September, as we cautiously ease out of a year-and-a-half-long pandemic, we’re heading back into a school year that’s unlike any other. School has changed. We’ve changed too.

5 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

IS THERE EVEN SUCH A THING AS A HEALTHY BREAKFAST CEREAL?

Quick Question

3 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

HOW THE PANDEMIC HELPED ME OPEN UP ABOUT MY PARKINSON'S

Recently, my family and I ventured north of our home in Ajax, Ont., to the Bruce Peninsula to go hiking at Greig’s Caves.

6 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

Eat More - MEDJOOL DATES

You always remember your first good date. One nibble, and you’re courted by a deep caramel flavour, soft texture and delightfully sweet taste. For me, it was love at first bite.

4 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

AT YOUR LEISURE

WHAT YOU DO WITH YOUR FREE TIME IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU MIGHT THINK. HERE’S WHY HAVING A HOBBY IS GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH - AND HOW TO FIND ONE THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU

10 mins read
Best Health
August/September 2021

We Tried It AN ACUPUNCTURE FACIAL

As a beauty writer, I’m invited to try all sorts of new treatments. But I also get a bunch of inspiration through Instagram scrolling—and that’s where I found my latest task. French influencer Mathilde Lacombe posted a filter-free self ie highlighting her ridiculously smooth forehead, which she claimed wasn’t the result of Botox. Instead, she said her ironed-out guise was thanks to cosmetic acupuncture.

4 mins read
Best Health
June/July 2021