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Health benefits of dates are uncountable, as this fruit is affluent in natural fibres. These natural products also contain oil, calcium, sulphur, iron, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, copper and magnesium which are advantageous for health. Dates are even rich in several vitamins and minerals. It is said that one date is minimum requirement of a balanced and healthy diet. It helps in fighting constipation, intestinal disorders, weight gain, heart problems, sexual weakness, diarrhoea and abdominal cancer.

Health benefits of dates have made them the best nourishment for muscles development. People consume dates in several ways, like mixing the paste of the dates with milk, yoghurt or with bread or butter to make the food tasty and healthy. This paste is beneficial for both adults and children, especially during the time of recovery. According to the modern medicine survey, it is known that dates are useful in preventing abdominal cancer. It is also seen that many Muslims break their fast by eating dates and water according to their traditions. Breaking fast with eating dates helps us 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.

Dates are termed as a crown of sweets and ideal food which easily balances and digests food. It gives extra energy to a tired human body within half an hour after taking it. Dates are considered to be the best diet for confinement of the women. American Cancer Society recommends intake of 20-35 grams of dietary fibre in a day, supplied through dates. It is said that taking one date in a day will help you to maintain your healthy eyes for your lifetime. They are quiet effective in guarding the night blindness problems.

Benefits of Dates

  • Constipation: Date is termed to be a laxative food. This is the reason that dates are beneficial for people suffering from constipation. For getting the laxative effect from dates, you need to soak dates for one full night in water. You should consume these soaked dates in the morning like syrup to get their actual advantages.
  • Intestinal Disorders: The nicotinic content that is present in the dates is said to be beneficial for curing any kinds of intestinal disorders. Continuous intake of dates helps to maintain a check on the growth of the pathological organisms and thus, helps in the rise of friendly bacteria in the intestines.
  • Weight Gain: Dates are said to be a part of healthy diet. They consist of sugar, fats, proteins as well as many essential vitamins. If the dates are consumed with the paste of cucumber, one can easily come out from the problem of over-slimming. One kilogram of dates contains almost 3,000 calories. These calories alone are sufficient to meet the daily requirements of a human body.
  • Heart Wealth: Dates are quite helpful in maintaining your heart in healthy condition. When soaked for whole night and crushed in the morning and consumed, they prove to be quite advantageous for weak hearts. They help to fortify heart, if taken twice in the week.
  • Sexual Weakness: Dates are even beneficial for increasing sexual stamina in the human body. A handful of dates, when soaked in fresh goat’s milk for the night and then grinded in the same milk with the mixture of cardamom powder and honey, becomes a very useful tonic for increasing sex endurance and sterility due to functional disorders.
  • Diarrhea: Ripe dates contain potassium. Potassium is beneficial for controlling diarrhea. They are easily digestible, which helps to cope up with the problems of diarrhea.
  • Intoxication: Dates are known as an excellent remedy for alcoholic intoxication. Dates provide quick relief in the case of alcoholic intoxication. They should be rubbed and soaked overnight for getting more nutritious values from them.
  • Abdominal Cancer: Dates are beneficial for curing abdominal cancer. They work as useful tonic for all age groups. They work as better as the medicines, and are natural and do not bear any side effects in the body. They can be easily digested and used for supplying extra and needed energy.

Although dates carry tremendous nutritional values, great care should be taken in their selection because they consists of sticky surface which attracts various impurities in them. Hence, you should consume only those dates that are packed nicely. Make sure to wash them thoroughly before consuming. This will help to remove the impurities present in them.

This article is contributed by Seema Adnani.

References: American Cancer Society

Article: http://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-dates.html

Picture: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/senior/fruits/images/large/date.jpg

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Mark 2:1-12 – The Healing of the Paralytic
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Sunday Gospel Reflection

Today’s gospel narrates to us  the cure of the paralytic who was brought on a mat by his four friends to Jesus. Since it was physically imposible for them to approach Jesus they went to the roof, made a hole in it where they could bring the paralytic down through the rope to where the Lord was teaching. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven” (v. 5). This scandalized the Pharisees for it is only God who can forgive sins ((v. 8). In order to show them that He is indeed God and a Messiah who has the power  to forgive and to heal, he said to the paralytic :  “Stand up, pick up your mat and go home” (see v. 11).

What is something unusual about this incident is that most miracle stories in the gospel occur because of the faith of the one who is helped. Such was the case of the Canaanite woman, for example, or the blind Bartimaeus. In today’s Gospel story we seem to have a miracle occurring almost independently of the man being cured. His sins are forgiven and he is cured, not  because of his faith but because of the faith of his friends and their mediation. Let this story be a constant reminder for all of us of the validity and the power of the prayer of intercession.

Along with prayers of adoration, thanksgiving, contrition, there is also another prayer that exists and is effective, That prayer is the prayer of intercession. Prayer of intercession belongs to the prayer of petition. What ‘s the slight difference between the two? Wnen we are praying for ourselves that is prayer of petition. When we are prayer for others or requesting others to pray for us that is prayer of petition.

The Church teaches in her Catechism (CCC 2634) that “Intercession is a prayer of petition which leads us to pray as Jesus did. He is the one intercessor with the Father on behalf of all men especially sinners (cf. Rom 8:34; 1 Jn 2:1; Tim 2:5-8). He is “able for all time to save those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25). The Holy Spirit “himself intercedes for us…and intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” Rom 8:26-27).

In intercession, he who prays looks “not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others,” even to the point of praying for those who do him harm (Phil 2:4; cf. Acts 7:60; Lk 23:28, 34). The intercession of Christians recognized no boundaries: “for all men; for king and all who are in high positions,”  for persecutors, for the salvation of those who reject the gospel (1 Tim 2:1; cf. Rom 12:14; 10:1).

Indeed the prayer of intercession is valid, effective and praiseworthy.  Like Jesus, let us never fail to pray for others especially those who are in need of our prayers.  When we feel  unworthy or inadequate to pray let us request others to pray for us especially the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mediatrix of all graces, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother too.

Pray for peace and unity of the world, healing and reconciliation among nations, groups and individuals whose relationship is characterized by divisions and conflicts. Pray also for the conversion of sinners and for the sanctification and salvation of the whole humanity.

In particular, I exhort you to pray for the Church specially for the priests: “We are used to asking the priests to pray for us. In these trying times for them and for the Church as a whole, I am asking you to pray for them” (Lingayen-Dagupan  Archbishop Oscar Cruz).

Related Gospel Reflection:

by Fr. Jerry Orbos


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