All About Figs – Health benefits, Nutrition, Side effects & History

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Fig is soft and sweet fruit which have hundreds of tiny seeds inside and shape resembles teardrop. The scientific name for common fig is Ficus carica. Fig is considered as Superfood because of its nutritive value & health benefits. It is eaten both fresh and dried. I prefer to eat dried figs. I love the chewy and tough texture of the fruit. And I generally use fresh fig mostly for salads. Like Arugula and fig salad. Nothing can beat this simple healthy and super delicious salad. And if you are cutting carbs this salad is for you, it will provide all supplements you need in a day.

Figs and arugula salad

Short history of Fig

The common fig is indigenous to an area extending from Anatolian peninsula to Northern Indian subcontinent. Fig is the earliest fruit to be cultivated. Sumerians were the first to cultivated figs in the region stretched from Aegean sea throughout levant. Sumerians also recorded the culinary uses of fig in there stone tablets dating back to 2500 BCE. Remains of fig were also found during excavation of Neolithic sites from 5000BCE.

Soon figs spread all over Mediterranean region by romans and greeks. The fig was principle sustenance among greeks. Especially Spartans were very fond of figs and would include it in every public feast and some religious ceremony. In Latin myth fig was believed to be sacred by Bacchus and held in many religious ceremonies. Also fig plant was part of roman emblem for prosperity of roman race.

Fig holds a position of symbolism in every major religion around the world. In Buddhism, it is believe that buddha mediated under banyan tree and got enlightenment. In Hinduism, banyan tree is worship and represents fertility & prosperity. The old and new testament also mentions fig repeatedly. Also some historian believes Adam and Eve ate fig instead of apple in the Garden of Eden. Even in Quran, fig is mention few time and it is believe that Prophet Muhammad used to love figs.

Figs on wooden board

Nutritional value

Figs are good source of natural sugar and soluble fibres. It is also rich in antioxidant vitamins A & K and good source of minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron & copper which contribute to good health and wellness.

A 100g serving of fresh fig approximately

  • 45 Calories
  • 1.3g Protein
  • 0.3g Fat
  • 9.5g Carbohydrates
  • 2g Fibres

A 100g serving of dried fig approximately

  • 210 Calories
  • 3.5g Protein
  • 1.4 Fat
  • 48.6 Carbohydrates
  • 9.1 Fibres

Health benefits of Figs

1. Promotes digestive health

Figs contains fibre which help promotes digestive health by softening and adding bulk to stool, decreasing the risk of constipation and acting as prebiotics.

2. May improve vascular and health health

Figs helps to reduce the level of triglycerides in the body. which are the fats particles circulate in blood vessel and are major reason of heart disease.

3. Promotes bone health

Figs are rich source of calcium, which is the most important element for the bone growth and bone health. We cannot produce calcium in our body so we take by different calcium rich foods. Milk is the most calcium rich food in our diet, but milk solely cannot provide so much of calcium to the body. So we need to add figs to our diet to increase the level of calcium we intake on daily basis.

4. Helps to lower hypertension

Figs contains good amount of potassium. Potassium help regulate sodium intake in our body. Also fibre in figs flush out excess amount of sodium from our body, which help to maintain the blood pressure level.

5. Regulates blood sugar level

The high amount of potassium in figs helps regulating blood sugar level. Research studies found presence of chlorogenic acids in figs which lower blood sugar and control blood glucose level in type 2 diabetes.

Side effects of Figs

  • If take in more quantity figs can cause diarrhea and other digestive issue, since it contains high amount of dietary fibres.
  • Potassium contain in figs can interfere with blood thinning medication and cause them to be less effective.
  • Some people may be allergic to figs, if you are allergic to birch pollen you might be allergic with figs as well.
  • Also figs tree contains natural latex, which some people may be allergic too.

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