The date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is a popular perennial fruit tree cultivated worldwide, especially in West Asia and North Africa. Its fruit (date) is equally liked around the globe. This systematic review critically evaluates past and recent literature from the perspective of nutritional profile and nutraceuticals attributes of different date varieties. A systematic literature search was done using the Scopus, Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), Google Scholar and Web of Science databases for references from 1971 to 2017, with 270 articles meeting the inclusion criteria. Date fruit is an inexpensive source of nutrients including carbohydrates, proteins, amino acids and dietary minerals (selenium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron, dietary fiber, vitamins, carotenoids and fatty acids). It also contains polyphenols, anthocyanins, carotenoids, tannins, procyanidins, sterols, flavonols, flavones, anthocyanidins, isoflavones, phytoestrogens phenolic acids, cinnamic acid derivatives, volatile compounds and have strong antioxidant potential. The β-glucan from date fruits have strong anti-tumor, immune-modulating, anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering potential, and encourage the growth of beneficial gut microflora. Pre-clinical studies have shown the anti-mutagenic, hepato-protective, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-tumor, nephro-protective, cardiovascular disease protective and anti-cancer properties of date fruit flesh, peel and pits.
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