Many would have come across this fruit usually hawked by northerners around the country but only a few would have paid attention to details about this plant.
Dabino as they are popularly called by the Hausas are known as Dates and their mother tree is the Date palm tree.Its botanical name is Phonex dacylifera.
Historically,the date palm tree has been adjudged to be one of the oldest fruit bearing tree on earth.Their production and consumption has been massive in the Middle East , Africa and Asia
The date palm originated from Mesopotamia and Egypt. These are the regions from which plantation was first described and where fossil remains of cultivated areas were found. The main date producing countries of the world are Algeria, Egypt and Saudi Arabia, while in the Sahel, are Dakar/Senegal to Lake Chad and Sudan.
While traveling around the northern states of Nigeria such as Sokoto,Kano,Kaduna and other north eastern states, it is a common sight of traders flaunting different colors of dabino .The fresh dabino appears in either golden yellow or deep purple but are dark brown with honey-like coatings when dry.
Today, dates are enjoyed all over the world in various forms due to its nutritious value. Dates come in different species/variety and are consumed fresh, dry, pitted, and candied, in sweet dishes, savory dishes, and cookies, among others.
Nutritionally,Dates contains natural fibre and a lot of other nutrients like oil, calcium, magnesium and more.
Health experts said dates are easily digestible and contain simple sugar like glucose, fructose and dextrose which are sources of instant energy. Dates are rich in indigestible fibre and can be a good laxative effective in treatment of constipation.
Dates are said to have no cholesterol and low in fat, but the fibre in it binds to low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) in the gut and stops it absorption in the small intestine.
Dates can be used for cooking, commonly used to prepare porridge, e.g. in Libya. It is also used to produce local drink among the Hausas in Nigeria,and are added as component to enhance taste. The seeds are also soaked and ground for animal feeds
It normally takes four to eight years after planting to bear fruits. The fruits ripen in six month after pollination; and it does that in four stages.
Date fruit remains one of the popular natural endowments in Nigeria .Try out a few of the nuts and get those benefits to your health.