Figs aren't only delicious and easy to find year-round, but they're also a great way to get fibre, calcium, potassium and magnesium, all of which are nutrients that many of us don't get enough of regularly. Below we have highlighted welcomed benefits easily extracted from a simple tasty fig.
A Natural Sweetener
The fig is the fruit of the ficus tree, a part of the mulberry family (Moraceae). Figs have a unique, sweet taste and soft texture. Lightly crunchy, the inside of the fruit is filled with edible seeds. However, fresh figs are sensitive and tend to spoil quickly and so they are often dried or canned in the forms of jam and preserves. Dried figs are a sweet and nutritious fruit that you can enjoy year-round and there are many kinds in a wide variety of colours and textures.
Brimming With Antioxidants
It is not exactly known when the fig tree appeared. However, as one of the oldest trees in the world and the most important exported fruit in the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, figs are high in minerals and soluble fiber content, thus making the fruit highly preferred by many countries.
Figs, especially dried ones, are rich in antioxidants thanks to their high polyphenol content. Research shows figs' polyphenol content is higher than both red wine and green tea. Remember, antioxidants are beneficial to your health because they mop up harmful free radicals. Figs are also rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, Iron and copper, containing antioxidant vitamins A, E and K.
Regulate High Blood Pressure
Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps regulate blood pressure. Many people do not consume as much fruits and vegetables as they should, and when salt consumption is added, they are nourished rich in sodium. However, high sodium levels can cause potassium deficiency in the body, and eating inadequate amounts of potassium-rich foods can lead to hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure.
In a study conducted by Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), a group consumed vegetables, fruit and low-fat dairy products instead of snacks and sweets. After adhering to this diet for some time, the subjects of the group showed higher levels of potassium, magnesium and calcium. As a result, the study strengthened the argument that figs also have a positive effect on blood pressure.
Being rich in nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, copper and magnesium, figs can help in increasing metabolism. This will help you in weight loss and keeping your body slim.
Protect Against Breast Cancer
According to a study conducted on menopausal women, the risk of breast cancer is reduced by 34 percent in women who consume fruits that are high in fiber. In addition, the study indicated that women who consume the most grain fiber had a 50 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer compared to those who consumed the least amount of fiber. The fruits that have the highest level of fiber are apples, figs, pears and plums.
Fig Leaf Against Diabetes
Contrary to popular belief, the leaves of the fig tree are edible, and in some cultural traditions fig leaves are considered a common part of the daily menu. Studies have shown that fig leaves have antidiabetic properties. In one study, the liquid extract of fig leaves was added to the menu of insulin-dependent diabetic patients and was shown to lower insulin levels.
Protect The Heart & Bones
Studies have shown that fig leaves lower triglyceride levels and prevent the growth of certain cancer cells, and that dried figs contain Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, alongside phytosterol (the oily substance found in plants,) and cholesterol-lowering activity. Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids cannot be produced in the body and must be taken from food supplements. It is known that fatty acids have many positive benefits on cardiovascular and brain health. Phytosterol, on the other hand, blocks the path of cholesterol and allows it to be removed from the body without interfering with the blood.
Figs contain calcium and magnesium—two minerals that play a role in keeping your bones healthy and strong. In fact, ½ cup dried figs delivers almost as much calcium as ½ cup milk. But also, they contain a compound called strontium, which research shows contributes to bone health. In fact, a patented form of strontium is used to treat postmenopausal osteoporosis.
Promotes Healthy Skin + Hair
Figs are not only a delicious and healthy fruit, but also a wonderful natural ingredient for your personal skin and hair care routine and can help you stay young and beautiful. Applying fig paste to the face allows important nutrients to be transported to the dermal layers of the skin. Mix a tablespoon of yogurt and two figs thoroughly in a bowl, apply this to your face and massage your skin gently for a few minutes. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash with warm water. You should notice that your skin has been renewed.
Figs also contain nutrients that promote hair health, such as magnesium and Vitamins C and E, which help hair growth. The nutrients in this fruit stimulate blood circulation in the body to speed up hair growth.
As calcium contributes to the formation of collagen that forms our hair and head skin, they are very popular in the hair care industry, and fig extract is used in some hair creams, providing moisture to the scalp and slowing hair loss, while moistening the hair without aggravating it.
Fig oil is ideal for wavy and curly hair, rehydrates the hair and makes it shinier. Add 10 drops of fig oil to a selected hair mask and apply it to your hair. Wait an hour and then shampoo as usual. Or, you can mix fig oil into your hair creams for silky, smooth hair. After shampooing, rinse your hair thoroughly. You can also promote hair health by consuming figs at least twice a week.