Fig is the common name given to the fruit from the tree of Ficus carica L. It is also known as Anjeer in the Asian countries.
The plant is cultivated for many years, whereas the tree has been cultivated to fulfill ornamental purposes. The tree is mostly grown in dry, sunny regions such as the middle east. Figs are eaten in fresh and dried form. When fresh, the figs have a unique texture. Tiny seeds are present in the pulp of the fruit. Figs are extremely sweet in taste so much that they can replace honey in many food recipes.
Health Benefits of Figs
1. Rich in nutrition
Figs are enriched with sugars, minerals, and fiber. It also contains a variety of minerals, antioxidants, and vitamins. All of which, when combined, produce an overall positive effect on the health of a person.
Because of their high fiber content, figs are often prescribed for their laxative effect. It helps the digestive system to work right on track.
3. Sodium potassium balance
Due to our busy lives, we often dive towards the more comfortable option; processed food. Processed foods are high in sodium content. It results in increased blood pressure. Figs are naturally rich in potassium, and it helps in maintaining a balance of sodium.
4. Weight loss
Fibrous foods are also good for people who are trying to lose pounds. The fiber in figs will help to get rid of belly fat in no time. Plus, it will make you feel full so that you don’t have a craving for food.
5. Healthy gut
Figs help with the digestive system via the probiotics that it has. It helps to maintain a pleasant environment in the gut by supporting the microbial flora.
6. Weak bones
It contains calcium that is important for people who are suffering from osteoporosis. And people who feel weak in their knees can definitely start adding fruits to your diet to prevent from developing osteoporosis.
People with diabetes often look for alternative traditional medicines to cure diabetes. According to a study, people who ate figs had lower levels of glucose after their meals.
The same participants in the study also required a low dose of insulin. All of this leads to one fact that figs are helpful in the management of diabetes.
People who have hypertension have high levels of sodium in the body. 100grams of figs have 232 mg of potassium. Hence they are the ideal fruits to be eaten if you wish to manage high blood pressure. Potassium works by dilation of blood vessels, thus reducing the build-up pressure on them.
3. Erectile Dysfunction
Figs are also used for their aphrodisiac properties. They have the potential to sexually arouse rats. However, these properties are still not backed by proper researches.
Osteoporosis is a condition that is developed due to weak bones. Figs, especially dried ones, are particularly helpful in this condition due to their high calcium and phosphorus content.
Calcium strengthens the bones. Phosphorus, on the other hand, aids in the formation and regeneration of stem cells.
Naturally, high content of fiber is recommended for people who wish to lose weight. Dried figs are rich in fiber.
Therefore, it helps to prevent obesity. However, excessive consumption of fig is not advised. This is because of the high calories present in figs. High calories might reverse the effect and result in weight gain instead. Consult your dietician on the right quantity to be consumed.
6. Constipation and Hemorrhoids
Figs are rich in dietary fiber, which helps to produce a laxative effect. It allows people to get relief from constipation.
It is also useful for those individuals who are suffering from piles. For this purpose, the patient should soak dried figs overnight in water. Drink the water along with the soaked figs. This helps relieve pressure on the anus.
7. Skin and Hair
Figs are rich in polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. They help to get rid of free radicals and toxins from the body. The fruits are helpful in a number of skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. It also contains a high content of iron, which is crucial for the maintenance of healthy hair.
8. Macular Degeneration
Figs are essential in maintaining vision. Figs are rich in vitamin A which is very important for the eyes. People who eat approximately 3 servings of fruit have fewer chances of developing macular degeneration with age.
Health Benefits of Figs:
Both fresh and dried forms of figs are safe when eaten in moderate quantities.
It is best to avoid figs and fig leaves from touching the skin. Since it increases the sensitivity of the skin, which might later cause irritation when exposed to the sun.
According to research carried out in 2010, it was found that people who were allergic to rubber latex were also allergic to figs. The same effect was also seen in people who were allergic to pollen from the birch tree.
Figs may interact with blood thinners. People who are on warfarin, which is a commonly used blood-thinning medication should avoid eating figs. This is because of the blood thickening effect of figs.
Figs help with constipation, but eating figs in large amounts can even lead to diarrhea or loose stools.
Figs are one of the miracle fruit that is provided by nature. It has high nutritional content. All of which are essential in maintaining daily health. Figs can be eaten in any form that a person likes. Extract from fig leaf is also useful for several conditions and helps treat medical diseases. Apart from this, figs have also found their way in many desserts and sweet dishes. Fig jam is commercially produced all over the world.
Figs should be eaten in moderate quantities. Excess eating of figs might reverse some of the effects that you are looking for. This is specifically important to note in cases when the person is looking to lose weight or relieve constipation. Excess eating of figs may even result in weight gain and diarrhea. Therefore, ask your dietician for the optimum quantity of figs that should be consumed to help you.