A fig is a small, edible fruit that is somewhat bulbous in shape and very sweet. The color can vary from yellow to purple with a red to brown interior, were seeds are also found. Figs are used in several food products, the most well-known being the cookie bars containing fig jam, Nabisco brand’s Fig Newton.
Fresh figs are very fragile and will not keep for more than a few days. Storing them in refrigeration can extend their shelf life, but usually only about 4 days. They do not transport very well, making them hard to find fresh in the produce section of your favorite supermarket. Most of the time figs are available dried.
Figs are available during the warm summer months. They aren’t acidic, and are easily digested, and contain a number of important vitamins and minerals while also being high in natural fiber and antioxidants. The vitamins and minerals include vitamin-A, vitamin B-1, vitamin B-2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, potassium and chlorine.
The Health Benefits of Figs
Because of the health benefits of figs, they are used 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 have 5 grams of fiber, soluble fiber which clumps cholesterol together and removes it from the body. They also contain pectin, which stimulates healthy bowel movements. The fruit can help prevent colon cancer because of the continued healthy bowel movements.
Earlier we mentioned figs are commonly found dried and dried figs contain phenol, Omega-3. This fatty acid reduces your risk of coronary heart disease.
Because figs are a high fiber food, it can help promote functional control of diabetes. They state fig leaves reduce the amount of insulin needed by a diabetic patient who have to regularly take insulin injections.
Because of the potassium content in figs, it helps to regulate the amount of sugar absorbed into the body after meals. Potassium in large amounts prevents frequent blood glucose spikes and falls.
Potassium also helps with hypertension. When the heart beats fast or you have heart palpitations, eating a fig can calm the sensation, much like a banana does. The recommended daily intake of potassium for ages 14 and over is 4,700 milligrams or 5700 milligrams for a breast-feeding mother.
If you are eating a high-sodium diet (not recommended), which causes increased urinary calcium loss, the high potassium content of figs can help minimize the calcium loss, and also increase the amount of uric acid and harmful toxins to be excreted from the body through the urine.
Figs, when available should be part of your diet. Figs really do help fight against common ailments.