According to Islamic traditions, dates are an important item for breaking the fast during Ramadan and the increase in their consumption comes as a good sign, especially in matters related to health.
“Dates are the most popular item compared to any other fruit in Ramazan and mostly the fruit sellers offer dates exclusively at their stalls and carts,” said a date seller.
Besides breaking fast with dates, people prepare many dishes and use dates in deserts during Ramadan feasts, he said.
As the demand for dates increases in Ramadan, so do the prices. One the first day of Ramadan, date prices went up by 50 percent, making it difficult for the common man to purchase these important items.
“The most popular type of dates being sold in the market include Iranian dry dates, Arabian dates, Pakistani Aseel, Karblain, Iranian Rabai, Mazafati, Shareefa and others,” said Rashid Ali, a date seller in Sunday Market.
There are more than 150 varieties of dates produced in Pakistan. Out of these, a large number of varieties, dates of Balochistan, Aseel of Sindh and Dhakki of Dera Ismail Khan are the varieties which are sought after all over the world due to their exotic taste, the one date seller said
Wonderfully delicious, dates are one of the most popular fruits with a list of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals required for normal growth, development and overall well-being. According to Health experts, dates are rich in natural fibres, several vitamins and minerals. They contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are all advantageous for health. It is believed that consumption of one date daily is necessary for a balanced and healthy diet as dates help in fighting many diseases. It gives extra energy to a tired human body within half an hour after consumption.
Breaking fast with eating dates help to avoid overeating of the food after the fast. When the body absorbs the nutritional value of the dates, the feeling of hunger gets pacified.