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Story by Brian Rossiter - Fruit-Powered

Supersweet and sticky, dates are a high-calorie fruit that stay fresh for several months, making it an ideal backup fruit in a raw fooder’s kitchen. Dates score a 90 out of 100 in Dr. T.C. Fry’s “A General Guide to Food Selection.”

Dates are in peak season in September and October. An average pitted Medjool date weighs 24 grams and contains 67 calories.

Dates comes from the family of Arecaceae, of the genus Phoenix. The fruit is thought to have originated on the banks of the Nile and Euphrates Rivers of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Three main cultivar groups exist: soft (Medjool), semi-dry (Deglet Noor) and dry (Thoory).

Dates, which are very low in protein and fat, even for fruit, are a rich source of fiber, copper, magnesium manganese and potassium.

Egypt produces the most dates, with 1.47 million metric tonnes in 2012. Iran and Saudi Arabia each produced almost 1.1 million metric tonnes in 2012. Algeria and Iraq round out the list of the leading five producers, with 789,000 metric tonnes and 650,000 metric tonnes, respectively, grown in 2012.

Stats for 100 Grams of Dates, Medjool

  • 277 calories

Notable Nutrients

Percentages based on the Reference Daily Intake for a 2,000-calorie diet

  • Fiber: 26.8%
  • Vitamin B3: 8.1%
  • Vitamin B5: 8.1%
  • Calcium: 6.4%
  • Copper: 18.1%
  • Magnesium: 13.5%
  • Manganese: 14.8%
  • Phosphorus: 6.2%
  • Potassium: 19.9%


  • Carbohydrates: 97.4%
  • Protein: 2.2%
  • Fat: 0.5%

Food Type

  • Sweet fruit


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