Goji berries. Chia seeds. Acai berries. Quinoa. We know how obsessed Melbourne is with ‘superfoods’. But have you tried our Chinese superfood, red dates? Also known as hong zao in Chinese, this native southeast Asian is used in rice porridge, soup, desserts, buns and in some of our teas.
Red dates are extremely rich in nutrients. They are up to 80 times hght in Vitamin C than apples and chockfull of Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. Red dates are said to improve immunity by stimulating the production of white blood cells, as well as being good for the liver by decreasing cholesterol. There is even research to suggest they suppress cancer cells.
In Chinese herbal medicine, red dates are believed to build up the warm half of the yin-yang balance in the body, strengthening the spleen and stomach, nourishing blood and relaxing the mind. Red dates are also marketed as an anti-aging food for women in Chinese medicine.
Aside from all the benefits, we love the way red dates taste! Especially when they’ve soaked up tea. Next time you order one of our teas with red dates in it, don’t let them go to waste.
Some of our favourite teas featuring red dates include: