About Figs – A Fruit for All Seasons
Largely recognized by their dried variety, figs are enticing fruits that can be enjoyed all year round. Fresh figs are quite a rarity, since in their fresh form figs are especially susceptible to deterioration and damage. Thus, dried figs are preferred so as to preserve the wholesome nutrients and tantalizing flavor of this unique fruit.
A pleasantly sweet flavor is not the only thing that makes this fruit such a delight to eat. The chewy texture of the fruit and the crunchiness of the seeds amplifies the entire experience of eating figs. It comes as no surprise then, that many consider the fig to be a delicacy par excellence. In fact, back in ancient Greece, the export of high quality figs was forbidden by the law!
Numerous fig varieties, up to a hundred and fifty, have been discovered. However, the most popular varieties, some of which you must have had the pleasure of consuming, include black figs (also known as Black Mission), the green Kadota, the Calimyrna with its juicy amber flesh, the purple-skinned brown turkey, and the Adriatic which is largely used to make fig bars.
Figs Nutritional Value
How much do you know about the nutritional value of figs? Here’s something that many people are unaware of: not only fig fruits, but fig leaves also provide a host of health benefits for your body! In fact research has established that substances in fig leaves have healing properties and can cure and prevent a number of diseases.
Fig fruits are also a rich source of nutrients. 50 grams of figs contain a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals including the all-important Vitamin B6 (3%), potassium (3.3%) and manganese (3%).
That’s not all! Figs are an excellent source of dietary fiber (5.8%). Incorporating figs into your daily diet will ensure that your digestive system functions smoothly, without falling prey to digestive problems such as constipation!
Health Benefits of Figs
Let’s see how all the essential nutrients outlined above translate into health benefits for your body!
High Blood Pressure? Eat Figs!
Research indicates that the rich potassium content in figs helps to regulate high blood pressure. Processed food, which is popularly consumed by all, contains a high level of sodium which, if allowed to build up in the body can lead to hypertension. Regular consumption of figs can nullify the effects of sodium and lower high blood pressures. Well, what are you waiting for? Dig in!
There’s more to fiber than you could ever imagine! A research study conducted on post-menopausal women concluded that women who consumed fiber-rich fruits were 34% less likely to develop post-menopausal breast cancer. With its 5.8% fiber content, figs fit the criteria for the best cancer-preventing fruits perfectly!
Give Fig Leaves a Chance!
It is mistakenly believed that fig leaves are inedible. This misconception could not be any further away from the truth! Figleaves are wholly edible, and there are solid reasons to add them to your diet plan. With fig leaves, you can say goodbye to cardiovascular diseases! Moreover, fig leaves have anti-diabetic properties that can reduce the amount of insulin that sufferers need to inject into their systems.
For Stronger Bones!
Since childhood, the importance of consuming calcium-rich foods has been impressed upon us repeatedly. Figs offer a delicious way of fulfilling your daily calcium requirement! The high potassium content in figs also prevents a loss of bone density. Bones with a poor bone density are exceedingly brittle and liable to sustain damage at the slightest impact.
Possible Ways to Enjoy Figs
Figs have been experimented with in numerous kitchens around the world for decades. It comes as no surprise then that countless fig recipes are widely available, and open to your own interpretation and cooking style.
However, if you’re looking for quick and easy ways to incorporate figs into your diet, you can choose from any one of the following: scatter quartered figs onto your morning cereal to get your daily dose of essential nutrients, or poach figs in your favorite juice and add them to a bowl of sweet yogurt for an exotic snack. Additionally, tossing figs into your crunchy green salad will add an unexpected dash of sweetness and chewiness, which will only serve to amplify the flavor of the salad!
Possible Health Concerns
Figs contain oxalates which can cause kidney and gall bladder stone formation in individuals who are vulnerable to the effects of these substances. Such individuals should refrain from consuming figs. Processed dried figs may contain sulfur compounds which can cause adverse reactions in asthma sufferers.