10 Wonderful Health Benefits of Figs – Nutrition, Uses, Calories & More

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10 Wonderful Health Benefits of Figs - Nutrition, Uses, Calories & More

Isn’t it wonderful to know that you can lose weight without completely minimizing your sugar intake? Figs contain natural sugar that do not lead to weight gain if taken in moderate quantities. It is also a natural laxative that helps you get rid of indigestion and constipation. Not only that, but you can continue your weight loss journey without having to completely cut down on your sugar intake.

Figs are rich in anti-oxidants which help prevent the formation of free radicals in your body. Thereby, preventing the occurrence of several diseases like cold, fever, flu, etc. According to a study in The Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, 2014 Figs contain anti-oxidants, flavonoids and phenols that provide numerous health benefits to the body.

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Interesting Facts About Figs

  • Figs are a sweet fruit obtained from the Ficus tree, member of the mulberry family which is a native to Asia.
  • Figs have multiple seeds and soft skin, that can be eaten ripe or in dried form (common in India)
  • They are also referred to as a natural candy as they are high in natural sugar content
  • Different varieties of fruits have different colours like purple, yellow, red, green and golden.
  • Figs are oval or pear-shaped fruits and there are different types of figs available in the market like black mission figs, brown turkey, Sierra figs and Kadota figs

Health Benefits & Uses of Figs

1. Helps in Weight Loss

Figs are fibrous fruits that contain dietary fibre and just the right amount of natural sugar. It is recommended for obese people. According to a study in The International Journal of Food Properties in the year, 2014, figs contain crude fibre of 5.5% weight per weight which is good for human health.

How to Use: You can soak 4-5 figs at night and have it in the morning with your breakfast. This improves your digestion as well as helps you shed those extra kilos! Soaked figs help you reduce belly fat as well.

2. Helps Stimulate Bowel Movements

Figs contain an enzyme named ‘Ficin’ that strengthens your digestive system and helps regulate your bowel movements. Dietary fibre present in Figs initiates the secretion of other important enzymes that aid in digestion. According to a study in The Journal of Food Science and Technology in the year 2014, physio-chemical properties of dietary fibre improve digestion and metabolism.

How To Use: Soak 2-3 figs overnight and have it in the morning with honey to say goodbye to your digestion woes!

3. Prevents Cardiovascular Diseases

Figs help you restore sodium-potassium balance in your body and reduces stored cholesterol in your arteries. It prevents the formation of free radicals in your body as they tend to damage blood vessels. Regular consumption of dried figs reduces the level of triglycerides which helps reduce the risk of coronary heart diseases. Omega-3 content in figs reduces the chance of occurrence of any cardiovascular diseases in your body.  A study in The Journal of Nutrition, 2006 states that including figs in your diet reduces the risk of heart diseases as it contains vitamin, minerals, folate and several other nutritional characteristics.

How To Use: Prepare a fig jam with less sugar and add lemon to it for best results. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes until it attains gooey-jam like texture.

4. Strengthens Your Bones

Dried Figs contain 3% of calcium that fulfils your daily calcium needs. A study in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, 2006, states that figs are a rich source of calcium that helps improve bone density and also provides strength to your bones.

How To Use: Dice the Avocado in the form of slices and place it on brown bread with figs and spinach to make a healthy snack for your evening breakfast! Do not worry about the intake of calories as it is a low-calorie snack!

5. Cures Anaemia  

Figs are iron-rich fruits that help in the production of blood cells in your body. One dried fig can give you 2% of your daily iron requirement. Increasing the level of iron in your body helps you increase the haemoglobin content.

How To Use: You can add figs to your bacon and chile recipe to convert it into a healthy meal. Make your taste buds drool over this healthy fig meal.

6. Improves Reproductive Health

Figs have natural aphrodisiac properties which help improve your reproductive health. It improves fertility and libido in a woman. Figs are rich in zinc, manganese and magnesium content that help boost reproductive health. A study in The African Journal of Reproductive Health in the year, 2014 states that zinc, manganese and magnesium improve the reproductive health of a person.

7. Reduces premature signs of ageing on your skin

Figs contain anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce  fine lines and the appearance of premature signs of ageing on your skin. It helps rejuvenate your skin and clears acne. According to a study in The Journal of Food and Nutritional Sciences in the year, 2014 figs are rich in anti-oxidants  which reduces the occurrence of various skin diseases.

How To Use: Take two small figs, slice it in halves and mix it with yoghurt and honey to prepare a face mask. Apply it on your skin to enhance its texture.

8. Promotes Hair Growth

The presence of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and magnesium  promotes hair growth and brings back  lost shine to your hair. Proper nourishment keeps your hair moisturized and stimulates blood circulation.

How To Use: Add few drops of Fig oil in your carrier oil and apply it on your scalp. Leave it overnight and shampoo your hair in the morning.

9. Boosts Immune System

Figs contain anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that  boost your immune system. It helps kill bacteria, viruses and ringworms in your stomach which causes certain common diseases.

10. Prevents Macular Degeneration

Figs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals that help prevent macular degeneration. They help improve your vision and prevent eye diseases like cataract and night blindness.

Also Read: Grapefruit BenefitsBenefits Of Orange

Nutritional Value of Figs

Nutrition Type Value
Calories 74 Kcal
Carbohydrates 19.18 g
Protein 0.75 gm
Dietary Fibre 2.9 gm
Vitamin C 2 mg
Vitamin E 0.11 mg
Calcium 35 mg
Magnesium 17 mg
Zinc 0.15 mg
Sodium 1 mg

 

Source: IOSR Journal and Pharmacy of Biological Sciences

Figs have anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent the occurrence of various diseases like cold, fever, flu, nausea, etc. Regular consumption of figs rejuvenates your skin and bring back the lost glow. You can also use it as a hair mask to increase hair volume  and quality.

Also Read: Kiwi Nutrition

Risks While Consuming Figs

Figs are 100% natural and it do not possess any potential risks or harm to your body. However, you can keep the following things in mind before starting to consume Figs on a regular basis:

  • People who have sensitive skin should avoid the consumption and application of figs to stay away from various allergic reactions
  • Never consume un-ripe figs as they produce white latex that tends to cause severe allergy around your mouth and lips which might spread to the rest of the body
  • Over-consumption of figs can promote weight gain. If you’re headed for your weight loss journey, you can restrict the consumption of figs
  • Diabetic person should consult their doctors before the consumption of figs as it may increase blood sugar levels

How To Consume Figs

You can find fresh figs in the market from June to November. Only ripe figs should be consumed as they are tender and plump. Fresh figs generally emit a sweet fragrance when they are slightly pressed. Do not pick green and unripe figs as they are not suitable for  consumption. Always consume figs within 2-3 days of purchase as they do not have a long shelf life.

  • Before eating figs, wash them gently under running water and remove the stem
  • You can add dried figs to your salads or smoothies for a healthy snack
  • You can mix figs with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for a healthy dressing on your salad
  • You can add figs to cakes and ice creams for a sweet and crunchy taste
  • Add figs while cooking meat to enhance its taste and to give a healthy twist

Some Facts About Figs

  • Fig trees do not contain any flowers. The flowers are present inside the fruit the seeds of which make it crunchier
  • Dried Figs are added to bakery items to keep them fresh for long
  • Figs are known by various names such as ‘Anjeer‘ in Hindi, ‘Athi Pallu‘ in Telugu, ‘Atti Pazham‘ in Tamil and Malayalam, ‘Anjura‘ in Kannada, and ‘Dumoor‘ in Bengali.Fig trees are deciduous and can grow up to 7-10 meters in height
  • Figs are native to the Middle East and Western Asia but are now grown throughout the world

Conclusion

The above-mentioned benefits of Figs make it crystal clear that if you include figs in your diet, you can prevent the occurrence of various diseases. Do not want to cut down on your sugar intake? No issues, grab on some fresh figs and shed those extra pounds!

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