Today We Tell You about Health Benefits of Figs.The fig fruit (Ficus carica L.) is native to western Asia. In the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, figs symbolize longevity and have been consumed since ancient times.
Figs have been called “flowerless fruits” because they do not bloom externally. However, figs produce hundreds of tiny edible flowers that form, grow, and bloom on the internal cavity of the fruit. Their peels, which range from green to black-violet, are edible and their tiny seeds provide a subtle crunch.
There are many types of figs and unlike wild figs, most commercially available varieties do not require pollination by wasps. This is contrary to the common belief that all figs have wasps that die inside the fruit after collecting pollen from another fig.
Figs provide fiber, antioxidants, and small amounts of vitamins and minerals. Fig consumption is linked to several positive health outcomes, including reduced inflammation, less painful periods, and healthy weight management.
Keep reading to know more about the main health benefits of figs.
Health Benefits of Figs Rich in Antioxidants
Both the pulp and peel of figs contain many antioxidants, mainly phenolic acids and flavonoids. Phenolic acids, which are absorbed into the bloodstream from the digestive system, have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in the body. They repair damage caused by compounds called free radicals.
Free radicals are produced through normal metabolism and in response to exercise, sunlight and environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke and smog. Over time, the build-up of free radicals is largely responsible for aging and can contribute to the development of diseases such as cancer and heart disease, as well as arthritis.
Support Digestive Health
The fiber in figs supports bowel regularity. Figs also contain prebiotics, which help feed the anti-inflammatory beneficial probiotic bacteria in the gut. 10 Figs may also be helpful for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), who most likely have constipated IBS, also known as IBS-C.
In one study, people with the condition who ate about four dried figs twice a day experienced less pain, bowel movements and harder stools than those who took a placebo.
May Support Menstrual Health
A recent study looked at the effects of eating dried figs on the symptoms of primary dysmenorrhea, or menstrual cramps, which more than half of menstruating women experience one or two days a month.
The researchers found that participants who ate dried figs had significantly less pain, menstrual discomfort, and stress intensity and duration over three periods than those who ate cinnamon or a placebo.
May Improve Inflammatory Conditions
A 2022 research review concluded that anti-inflammatory compounds in both figs and olives, when eaten separately or together, can reduce or block the effects of pro-inflammatory compounds called cytokines. are Cytokines are known to damage cells in the lungs, kidneys, brain and other tissues in patients with COVID-19.
Figs’ ability to counteract cytokines can help those suffering from a wide range of inflammation, from allergies to rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), sinusitis and tuberculosis.
May Help Support Weight Management
Although research is limited, studies show that eating dried fruits, including figs, can help reduce body weight. Additionally, regular consumption of figs supports healthy weight management by improving post-meal satiety and blood sugar regulation.
May Help Reduce Cancer Risk
A 2022 research review looked at figs’ potential effects on tumor formation and their ability to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. Researchers have concluded that natural compounds in figs can help prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading in the body. However, most of the studies reviewed were conducted on cancer cells in laboratories rather than in humans, and two were conducted in animals, so further research is needed to investigate the potential link between figs and reduced cancer risks.
Nutritional Facts of Figs
Figs provide energy-giving carbohydrates, fiber and small amounts of some important minerals. A medium fresh fig provides:
Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 0.5 grams
Carbohydrates: 9.6 grams
Fiber: 1.45 grams
Naturally occurring sugar: 8.15 grams
Protein: 0 grams
One quarter cup of dried figs provides:16
Fat: 0 grams
Sodium: 3.75 grams
Carbohydrates: 23 grams
Fiber: 3.65 grams
Naturally occurring sugar: 17.85 grams
Protein: 1.23 grams
Although the amount of minerals per serving is low, figs provide the highest mineral content of any other common fruit. They provide a small portion of the daily requirement of potassium, calcium, magnesium, manganese, iron and zinc.
Risks of Eating Figs
Although rare, it is possible to be allergic to figs. People who are allergic to latex or birch pollen may also experience an allergic reaction to figs.
Figs are also a high FODMAP food. FODMAPs are sugars that are not completely digested or absorbed from the gut into the bloodstream. When FODMAPs reach the large intestine, they are fermented by bacteria, producing gas. This can cause stretching and stretching of the intestinal wall, causing discomfort or pain, especially in people with IBS, who have a very sensitive digestive system.
Tips for Consuming Figs
Figs can be eaten fresh, dried and can be eaten raw or cooked. Healthy ways to enjoy figs include:
Chop fresh or dried figs and toss with nut butter.
Add fresh or dried figs to garden salads or salads.
Pair fresh figs with dairy-based or plant-based yogurt and nuts.
Use minced dried figs as a garnish for cooked vegetables such as stir-fries and oven-roasted vegetables.
Fry the fresh figs and drizzle with the balsamic glaze.
Add minced dried figs to energy balls made with nut butter and rolled oats.
Pair sliced fresh figs with sweet hummus or maple-sweetened tahini.
Dip fresh figs in melted dark chocolate.
A Quick Review
Figs are rich in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and provide a small amount of fiber and a variety of minerals. They can also help with digestive, intestinal and menstrual health, improve inflammatory conditions, aid in weight management and protect against cancer.
If you have IBS or are allergic to latex or birch pollen, talk to your healthcare provider before adding figs to your diet.