The health benefits of figs
benefits of figs
A great source of fibre and full of vitamins and minerals, dried and fresh figs have a long and illustrious history. Known for being a healthy and versatile ingredient they can add a burst of sweetness to all kinds of dishes…
An introduction to figs
Figs are the fruit of the ficus tree, which is part of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Figs have a unique, sweet taste, soft and chewy texture and are littered with slightly crunchy, edible seeds. Fresh figs are delicate and perishable, so are often dried to preserve. This produces a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed all year round. There are multiple different varieties of fig, all of which vary widely in colour and texture. Their unique feature is a little bud-like opening called an ostiole at the top that helps the fruit develop. Their natural sweetness meant that, before the days of refined sugars, they were often used as a sweetener.
One of the world’s oldest trees, the fig tree can be traced back to the earliest historical documents and features prominently in the Bible. Figs are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean and were held in such high regard by the Greeks that laws were once created to prevent their export.
Figs are high in natural sugars, minerals and soluble fibre. Figs are rich in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper and are a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K that contribute to health and wellness.
Figs are often recommended to nourish and tone the intestines and act as a natural laxative because of their high fibre content. Many of us consume too much sodium (salt), found in processed foods. High intakes of sodium can lead to deficiencies of potassium and this imbalance between the two minerals can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure). A diet rich in fruit and vegetables – including fresh figs, naturally increases potassium and is therefore encouraged to help lower blood pressure.
Naturally high in dietary fibre, figs can be a useful food to include in the diet for those watching their weight. High fibre foods provide feelings of fullness and can reduce hunger and cravings. Figs also contain prebiotics, which help support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut, improving digestive wellness.
Figs are a good fruit source of calcium, a mineral that is involved in bone density. Their high potassium content may counteract the urinary excretion of calcium caused by high salt diets. This in turn helps to keep calcium in bones and lessens the risk of osteoporosis.
3 Health Benefits of Nuts Nuts are a very popular food. They’re tasty, convenient and can be enjoyed on all kinds of diets. Despite being high in fat, they also have a number of impressive benefits for your health (and weight). What Are Nuts? Nuts are technically considered a fruit. However, unlike most types of […]
4 Health Benefits of Pistachios Not only are pistachio nuts tasty and fun to eat, they’re also super healthy. Technically a fruit, these edible seeds of the Pistacia vera tree contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. They also contain several essential nutrients and have benefits for weight loss, […]
Hazelnut Benefits It’s not breaking news that tree nuts are some of the most nutrient-rich snacks you can choose to add to your diet, and in a world filled with overly fatty, preservative-filled, downright harmful snack options, nuts like hazelnuts are filling, delicious and nutritious. Sometimes called filbert nuts, hazelnuts are a particularly good option because these […]