Benefits of 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 andare 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 budlike 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.
. Figs are not only the main ingredient in a very popular cookie, the fig bar, but are a culinary delicacy par excellence. Part of the wonder of the fig comes from its unique taste and texture. Figs are lusciously sweet and feature a complex texture that combines the chewiness of their flesh, the smoothness of their skin, and the crunchiness of their seeds. In addition, since fresh figs are so delicate and perishable, some of their mystique comes from their relative rarity. Because of this, the majority of figs are dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process, creating a sweet and nutritious dried fruit that can be enjoyed throughout the year.
. Figs can trace their history back to the earliest of times with mentions in the Bible and other ancient writings. They are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt. They spread to ancient Crete and then subsequently, around the 9th century BC, to ancient Greece, where they became a staple foodstuff in the traditional diet. Figs were held in such esteem by the Greeks that they created laws forbidding the export of the best quality figs. Figs were also revered in ancient Rome where they were thought of as a sacred fruit.
What Is a Fig
. A fig is the fruit of a species of ficus tree. There are over 600 different types of figs, bred for different colors, flavors and uses. Figs mayhave beenone of the first plants to be cultivated and were raised in orchards in the middle east. They are still a traditional part of meals around that area.Figs can be eaten whole and raw, including the seeds and the skin, and have a sweet, mild flavor. Some cultivars have a brilliant coloring and are used decoratively in desserts.
Help Lower High Blood Pressure
. Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure. Since many people not only do not eat enough fruits and vegetables, but do consume high amounts of sodium as salt is frequently added to processed foods, they may be deficient in potassium. Low intake of potassiumrich foods, especially when coupled with a high intake of sodium, can lead to hypertension. In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) study, one group ate servings of fruits and vegetables in place of snacks and sweets, and also ate lowfat dairy food. This diet delivered more potassium, magnesium and calcium.
A Sweet Way to Lose Weight
. Figs are a good source of dietary fiber. Fiber and fiberrich foods may have a positive effect on weight management. In one study, women who increased their fiber intake with supplements significantly decreased their energy intake, yet their hunger and satiety scores did not change. Figs, like other high fiber foods, may be helpful in a weight management program.
Fruit and Cereal Fiber Protective against Postmenopausal Breast Cancer
. Results of a prospective study involving 51,823 postmenopausal women for an average of 8.3 years showed a 34% reduction in breast cancer risk for those consuming the most fruit fiber compared to those consuming the least. In addition, in the subgroup of women who had ever used hormone replacement, those consuming the most fiber, especially cereal fiber, had a 50% reduction in their risk of breast cancer compared to those consuming the least. Fruits richest in fiber include apples, dates, figs, pears and prunes. When choosing a high fiber cereal, look for whole grain cereals as they supply the most bran (a mere 1/3rd cup of bran contains about 14 grams of fiber).
An InsulinLowering Leaf in Diabetes
. The leaves of the fig tree as one of figs edible parts. But in some cultures, fig leaves are a common part of the menu, and for good reason. The leaves of the fig have repeatedly been shown to have antidiabetic properties and can actually reduce the amount of insulin needed by persons with diabetes who require insulin injections. In one study, a liquid extract made from fig leaves was simply added to the breakfast of insulindependent diabetic subjects in order to produce this insulinlowering effect.
. Fig leaves have been shown to lower levels of triglycerides (a form in which fats circulate in the bloodstream), while in in vitro studies, fig leaves inhibited the growth of certain types of cancer cells. Researchers have not yet determined exactly which substances in fig leaves are responsible for these remarkable healing effects.
Dried Figs and Sulfites
. Commercially grown dried figs may be treated with sulfur dioxide gas during processing. They may also be treated with sulfites to extend their shelf life. Sulfurcontaining compounds are often added to dried foods like figs as preservatives to help prevent oxidation and bleaching of colors. The sulfites used to help preserve dried figs cause adverse reactions in an estimated one out of every 100 people, who turn out to be sulfite sensitive.
How to Select and Store
. Since fresh figs are one of the most perishable fruits, they should be purchased only a day or two in advance of when you are planning on eating them. Look for figs that have a rich, deep color and are plump and tender, but not mushy. They should have firm stems and be free of bruises. Smelling figs can also give you clues into their freshness and taste. They should have a mildly sweet fragrance and should not smell sour, which is an indication that they may be spoiled.
Tips for Preparing Figs
. Before eating or cooking figs, wash them under cool water and then gently remove the stem. Gently wipe dry.Dried figs can simply be eaten, used in a recipe as is, or simmered for several minutes in water or fruit juice to make them plumper and juicier.
A Few Quick Serving Ideas
. When preparing oatmeal or any other whole grain breakfast porridge, add some dried or fresh figs.Poach figs in juice or red wine and serve with yogurt or frozen desserts.Add quartered figs to a salad of fennel, arugula and shaved Parmesan cheese.
. Figs are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturallyoccurring substances found in plants, animals, and human beings. When oxalates become too concentrated in body fluids, they can crystallize and cause health problems. For this reason, individuals with already existing and untreated kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating figs.
. Figs are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and pantothenic acid. Figs or Anjeer as it is popularly referred to in India originated in Arabia. It grows well in areas with hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters. Although considered a fruit, it is actually an inverted flower and its seeds are the real fruit. It is a nutrient rich fruit which can be consumed in fresh or dried from.
InDepth Nutritional Profile
. To the nutrients highlighted in our ratings chart, an indepth nutritional profile forFigsis also available. This profile includes information on a full array of nutrients, including carbohydrates, sugar, soluble and insoluble fiber, sodium, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids and more.
The health benefits of figs
. The health benefits of figs or anjeer include its use as a treatment for sexual dysfunction, constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It is also used as a quick and healthy way to gain weight back after suffering through an illness. Figs are seasonal fruits that are found in the western parts of Asia, but dried figs are available almost everywhere, at any point during the year. The fig tree is a member of mulberry family.
Prevention of constipation
. There are 5 grams of fiber in every threefig serving. That high concentration of fiber helps promote healthy, regular bowel function andprevents constipation. Fiber works to add bulk and mass to bowel movements, so it not only prevents constipation, but also eliminates diarrhea and unhealthy or irregular bowel movements.
. Figs contain Pectin, which is a soluble fiber. When fiber moves through the digestive system, it basically mops up excess clumps of cholesterol and carries them to the excretory system to be eliminated from the body. As a soluble fiber, pectin from figs also stimulates healthy bowel movements. Figs can have a laxative effect, as they are one of the mostfiberdense foodsavailable. High amounts of fiber in your diet can benefit your overall health by preventing certain types of abdominal cancer, as well as colon cancer.
Prevention of coronary heart disease
. Dried figs contain phenol, Omega3 and Omega6. These fatty acids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Furthermore, the leaves of figs have a significant effect on the level of triglycerides in a persons system. Fig leaves have an inhibitory effect on triglycerides, and makes the overall number of triglycerides drop. Triglycerides are another major factor behind various heart diseases.
Prevention of colon cancer
. The presence of fiber helps to stimulate the elimination offree radicalsand other cancer causing substances, particularly in the colon, since fiber increases the healthy movement of the bowels. the health benefits of figs are numerous it must be consumed in moderate quantities only. Excessive consumption of figs can cause diarrhea. Also dried fits are rich in sugar capable of causing tooth decay.
Prevention of hypertension
. Figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are a perfect defense against the appearance and effects of hypertension, making figs a relaxing food as well, which can settle the nerves and bring some calmness to your day.
. The natural chemicals in fig leaves make it an ideal component for a tea base. Fig leaf tea has been popularly prescribed for various respiratory conditions like bronchitis, and it is also used as a way to prevent and lessen the symptoms of asthmatic patients.
. Figs have been traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and a few other areas of the world as a calming salve for venereal diseases. Ingestion or topical application both work for relief from sexually transmitted diseases, although further research needs to be done on the exact range of symptoms and diseases which figs positively effect.
. Figs have been recommended as a way to correctsexual dysfunctionlike sterility, endurance, or erectile dysfunction. It has been a major part of mythology and culture, and most of the time, it is referenced as a powerful fertility or sexual supplement. Its actual success as an aphrodisiac is questionable, but the huge amount of valuable vitamins and minerals might result in the sudden boost in energy and stamina that people mistake for a sexual surge.
. Figs are rich incalcium, which is one of the most important components in strengthening bones, and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. It is also rich in phosphorus, which encourages bone formation and spurs regrowth if there is any damage or degradation to bones.
Urinary calcium loss
. People that maintain a highsodium diet may be affected by increasedurinary calcium loss. The high potassium content in figs helps to avoid that condition and regulates the content of waste in your urine. It minimizes the calcium you lose, while increasing the amount of uric acid and other harmful toxins which you want to get out of your body.
Prevention of macular degeneration
. Vision loss in older people is normally due to macular degeneration. Fruits and figs are particularly good at helping you avoid this very common symptom of aging. . Fig leaves are not used as much as they should be. Most of the remedies for the fig leaves use the sap or the milk of the sacred tree. Fig tinctures or poultices should be used immediately and fresh batches made daily.
Relief for throat pain
. The high mucilage content in figs helps to heal and protect sore throats. The soothing nature of figs and their natural juices can relieve pain and stress on the vocal chords. ) Fig leaves are best known for treating diabetes, but there are many other uses for the fig leaves. There are many homemade remedies from treating diabetes to treating bronchitis, genital warts, liver cirrhosis, high blood pressure, skin problems and ulcers.
. It is possible to have too much of a good thing, and eating too many figs can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, dried figs are high in sugar and can potentially cause tooth decay. Also, there are those who are allergic to figs, or certain chemical components within them, and the resulting allergic reactions can be mild to severe. As always, before making a major change in your behavioral patterns or lifestyle, speak with your doctor or usual medical professional.
Fig fruit nutrition facts
. Delicious, sweet fig fruit is one of the prime fruits enjoyed since antiquity in the human history. Fig is naturally rich in much health benefiting phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins. Dried figs, indeed, are highly concentrated source of minerals and vitamins. A fully developed fig features bell or pear shape with succulent flesh inside.
. Coumarin content of the figs, may also reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer.Eating figs regularly can help reduce the risk of breast cancer and colon cancer. of fig leaves is that they have antidiabetic properties. The diabetic needs less insulin when on a treatment of using the fig leaf extract. The diabetic should take the extract with breakfast, first thing in the morning. An additional remedy is to boil the leaves of the fig in some freshly filtered waster and drink this as a tea.
Prevent high blood pressure and heart attack
. The content of Potassium, Omega 3 and Omega 6 on fig fruit helps to maintain blood pressure and coronary heart attacks. Figs promote good sleeping habits and protect the person against insomnia. They increase your energy, promote stronger bones, and are helpful in treating constipation, due to their laxative effect. If the leaves are mashed, they can be used as a skin cleanser for acne and pimples.
. Apply mashed fresh figs all over your face and let it dry for 1520minutes. This remedy is useful for curing acne.Also milky juice of fig stem and leaves can be applied daily several times to cure cwarts.
. A 1/4 cup serving of dried figs contains 93 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0.4 gram of fat and 24 grams of carbohydrate, including 4 grams of fiber, or 16 percent of the daily value for fiber. Dried figs have more fiber per serving than any other fruit, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
. Each serving of dried figs provides 253 milligrams of potassium and 6 micrograms of vitamin K, or 7 percent of the DV, along with 60 milligrams of calcium and 25 milligrams of magnesium, or 6 percent of the DV for these nutrients. Potassium is necessary for proper heart, muscle and digestive function. Your body uses vitamin K for blood clotting, calcium for strong bones and teeth and magnesium for immune system, heart and nerve function.
Potential Health Benefits
. Figs contain a type of antioxidant called phenols, which may lower your risk for heart disease and cancer by preventing cell damage by dangerous free radicals. Fiber lowers your risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and constipation. The fiber in figs may also help you lose weight since it makes figs more filling, helping you eat fewer calories.
Use in Traditional Medicine
. Figs have been used in traditional medicine for lowering cholesterol levels and treating diabetes, constipation and skin problems like vitiligo, psoriasis and eczema. The safety and effectiveness of figs for preventing or treating these conditions has not been tested using highquality clinical studies, so dont attempt to use figs in place of any treatment prescribed by your doctor.
. Early stages of chicken pox can be treated with figs. : fig leaves work by naturally stimulating the antioxidant status and restoring the blood sugar balance that is severely impacted in diabetes. Keep in mind, that people with diabetes need to use fig leaves strictly under a doctors supervision.
. Consume 23 soaked dried figs with a tablespoon of honey. Use this continuously for a month every morning to relive constipation. fig leaves are strong antioxidants and antiinflammatory in nature. Fig leaves lower the oxidative stress
Figs for the Skin
. A fig is not just a delicious and healthy fruit but is a great natural ingredient for your skin care. It helps you to stay young and beautiful inside and out.Some of the benefits of figs for the skin are
Figs for the Hair
. Fruits rich in Vitamin C and E fight hair loss problems and maintain the proper health of the hair. Figs contain hairfriendly nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin C and E which promote hair growth. The essential nutrients present in this fruit stimulate blood circulation in the body to accelerate hair growth.
. sweet figs are seasonal fruits which are enjoyed by one and all. Figs are extremely juicy and sweet, and have a chewy flesh and crunchy seeds. Theyare eaten in both the raw and dry forms. Fresh figs are more nutritious than dry figs, so try to include more of fresh figs in your diet than the dry ones. Before eating or using figs, wash them under running water and gently remove the stem. You can eat fresh figs whole or peeled. Simmer frozen figs in water to make them plumper and juicier.
Some Important Tips
. Dried figs (anjeer) are available throughout the year. Figs grow on the ficus carica tree which belongs to the mulberry family. Dried figs are better concentrated sources of minerals and vitamins. Here are some of the healthbenefitsof figs.
High in Fiber
. A 1/2cup serving of dried figs contains 7.3 g of fiber. Including more fiber in your diet can help lower your risk of chronic illness such as heart disease and diabetes. Dried figs contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber slows digestion for appetite and blood sugar control and also helps lower blood cholesterol levels. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to stool, improving bowel function. According to the Institute of Medicine, healthy adult women need 25 grams of fiber a day, and adult men need 38 grams.
Good Source of Iron
. Dried figs can also help you meet your iron needs. A 1/2cup serving of dried figs contains 1.5 mg of iron. Iron is an essential mineral needed to help transport oxygen in your blood. Without enough iron in your diet, delivery of oxygen to your cells decreases, causing you to feel tired and weak and more susceptible to infection. Adult men and women over the age of 51 need 8 mg of iron a day, and women between the ages of 19 and 50 need 18 mg of iron a day.
. Anjeer is rich in dietary fibre. 3 pieces of dried figs contain 5 grams of fibre, which accounts for about 20% of our daily requirement. Its a natural laxative for preventingconstipationand other digestive problems likeirritable bowel syndrome(IBS).
. When you eat more salt, the level of sodium in your body increases. This disturbs the sodiumpotassium balance of the body and in turn results inhypertension. Anjeer is an ideal fruit for helping to restore this balance. One dried fig gives you 129mg of potassium and just 2mg of sodium. This helps to prevent hypertension.
Rich in antioxidants
. Dried figs are rich inantioxidants. A study by Vinson JA and colleagues suggested that processed, dried figs are superior to natural figs when it comes to antioxidants. The study also mentions that dried figs have superior quality of antioxidants, called phenols, compared to other fruits that attribute their antioxidant property tovitamin Cand E.
. Dried figs are a rich source of iron. One dried fig can give you 2% of your daily iron requirement. Iron is an important mineral that carries hemoglobin throughout your body. So eating anjeer is a natural way to raise your hemoglobin levels indirectly by increasing the levels of iron in your body.
Improves reproductive health
. The Greeks used fig as a natural aphrodisiac. Figs were considered as a sacred fruit and were closely associated with fertility and love. Scientifically, figs improve fertility and libido because they are loaded with minerals like zinc, manganese and magnesium which play an important role in boosting reproductive health.
Long and luscious hair
. Considering the present lifestyle and eating habits, hair problems are pretty common these days. The main reason behind this is the deficiency of vital minerals and nutrients.
Cautions about Figs
. Figs are a very safe food, although they do have a slight laxative effect and so should not be consumed to excess, particularly when dried. When picking figs, a small amount of fig latex may be produced from the stem. Some people have an allergy to this white fluid and should wear gloves when picking figs. This fluid is not present in the fruit itself, but only the stem.
Food Value of Figs
. An analysis of the fresh figs shows it consists good amount of moisture and little protein, fat and carbohydrate. The dry figs have a high nutritive value. Its most important food element is sugar which forms s1 to 74 percent of the whole fruit. Figs are excellent source of potassium, dietary fiber and manganese. Potassium is very helpful tocontrol high blood pressure; dietary fiber supports bowel regularity and helps to maintain sugar and cholesterol levels normal. Manganese helps to control infertility, weakness, heart disorders, memory loss, muscle contraction.
Heals Bronchial Infections
. Fig juice is effective in clearing bronchial infections as it soothes the mucous membranes in the throat and helps reduce irritation. Fig juice can also be used in curing constipation. Fig juice combined with oat milk helps in relieving constipation symptoms. For this purpose, you can take around 300 ml of oat milk and 90 ml of fig juice with some licorice extract. This should be consumed soon after waking up for quick relief.
. Fig juice can also be used in curing constipation. Fig juice combined with oat milk helps in relieving constipation symptoms. For this purpose, you can take around 300 ml of oat milk and 90 ml of fig juice with some licorice extract. This should be consumed soon after waking up for quick relief.
Fights Bladder Stones
. Bladder stone can be caused due to accumulation of mineral deposit in the bladder. Concentrated fig juice is a good source of minerals and nutrients besides being low in cholesterol and sodium. Thus, it can be effective in fighting bladder stones.
Natural Body Builder
. Being rich in carbohydrates and natural sugars, fig juice acts as a natural body builder. Drinking fig juice can boost your vitality, enabling you to exercise more and burn off extra calories. One serving of fig juice provides around 250 kcals of energy and 3 grams of protein. The high glucose content of fig juice can fuel the muscles in course of a workout whereas protein is a muscle building and body building nutrient.
Helps in Burning Excess Calories
. This juice is conducive to weight loss due to its high fiber content. Drinking fig juice as part of a weight loss diet will help in cutting down unnecessary calories but still provide the body with the required nutrition. In some countries, fig extract is used instead of sugar in desserts meant for diabetics.
Good Substitute for Breast Milk
. Freshly squeezed organic fig juice is similar in composition to breast milk and can even double the size of the infant in six months. This is particularly beneficial for HIV/AIDS infected women who cannot nurse their infants. Fig juice is also an alternative for those infants who are allergic to substances such as whey and soy contained in infant formulas.
Prevents Macular Degeneration
. Fig juice can help in preventing macular degeneration i.e. age induced weakness of vision. In addition to the benefits given above, fig juice reduces the risk of breast cancer, cures haemorrhoids and regulates blood pressure.
Heals Sores Warts Acne & Pimples
. This juice has good healing properties and can heal skin sores and warts. Applying the juice of mashed fresh figs on your face for 10 to 15 minutes is useful in treating acne and pimples.
Prevents Signs of Ageing
. Figs also contain vitamin C. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant by fighting free radicals that damage your skin, thus preventing signs of ageing. Fig juice can be taken to get this benefit.
KEEP THE COLON HEALTHY
. Regular consumption of figs protects the colon from various inflammatory diseases. It ensures healthy bowel function and can provide protection against colon cancer.The fiber content in figs is extremely high, so regular consumption of figs will keep constipation at bay, as it encourages bulky stool formation. Thus, it aids in healthy bowel function. Regular consumption of the fruit will prevent further recurrence of the problem.
. The good levels of vitamin B6 make it a perfect choice as a laxative that regulates the bowel movements. Drinking fig juice on a daily basis will ensure that you keep away from constipation and have proper bowels. Since it is quite mild as a laxative, it can be given to children as well.
Treats Bronchial Infections
. The soothing qualities of fig juice helps in reducing the irritation caused in the throat and nasal passages due to bronchitis and thus help in treating the problem quite effectively and in a 100 percent natural way.
. The tough skin and the cellulose content found in figs make them a natural and dependable laxative.People can choose to eat either fresh figs or dried figs, depending on their preferences. However, dried figs could be quite high in sugar and therefore, weight watchers and diabetics should opt for fresh figs instead. Moreover, despite all the health benefits of figs mentioned above, it is essential to check with a doctor, before adding them to a daily diet.
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