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Benefits of Eating Fig Fruit
Health Benefits of the Fig Fruit
The fig tree is one of the earliest fruit trees cultivated. There is a chapter in the Quran called the Surat al-Tin which mentioned this fruit and it is also mentioned in the bible. It is believed that the fig tree is native to Turkey and other eastern Mediterranean regions.
Fresh figs are sweet and succulent and are eaten raw or cooked. The fruits can be made into fig jam or fig preserves, smoothies and to add flavoring to tea and coffee. Dried figs are eaten as a snack and added in cooking and baking. Both fresh and dried figs contain lots of nutrients. Take a look at this chart on figs nutrition based on 100g of the fruit. The data is obtained from the USDA National Nutrient Database.
||Uncooked Dried Figs
|Vitamin B1 or Thiamine
|Vitamin B2 or Riboflavin
|Vitamin B3 or Niacin
|Vitamin B5 or Pantothenic Acid
|Vitamin B6 or Pyridoxine
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin
Some of the Benefits of Eating the Fig Fruit
- Dried figs contain a high amount of soluble fiber. What's good about it is that it absorbs water in your intestine, bulk the food, makes it easy to move through the bowel and thus prevents constipation. It is helpful in treating diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. Fiber also slows down the rate of glucose digestion and absorption in the bloodstream and will help control blood sugar levels for diabetics. And because fiber binds with cholesterol, eating fig may help support normal cholesterol levels.
- Figs contain carotenoids namely beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. Beta carotene is beneficial for vision and eye health. Lutein and zeaxanthin from natural source are always found together. They are helpful in reducing the risk of macular degeneration which is one of the leading causes of blindness in the elderly.
- Dried figs contain a high amount of calcium. So, the benefits of eating the fig fruit include building and maintaining healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. Calcium may also prevent PMS, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. And together with the presence of magnesium, eating figs support strong teeth and bones.
- The B vitamins present in the fig fruit are beneficial for brain function, the production of antibody, improving circulation and many other bodily functions.
- Women and girls will benefit from eating fig because it contains iron and it helps replace iron that is lost in the blood during menstruation. Girls between the ages of 14 to 18 require 15mg of iron per day and adult women who are not pregnant and below the age of 50 need 18mg per day which is a lot less compared to the RDA for men.
- Figs are also high in potassium content. The National Library of Medicine suggests that a person consumes 2 to 2.5 grams of potassium a day. You can get some of the potassium your body needs when you eat figs. Potassium is necessary for proper kidney functions, skeletal and heart muscle contractions and in reducing the risk of hypokalemia which among the symptoms include abnormal heart rhythms, breakdown of muscle fibers and fatigue.
Fig leaves have medicinal values too. Drinking a decoction of the leaves stimulates appetite and digestion in the stomach and may lower blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes when used with the correct insulin dosage. Fig leaves release certain chemicals when added to boiling water and it is used as a steam bath to provide relief from painful or swollen piles or hemorrhoids.