A lot of what we love is not necessarily that good for us so is always nice to find out that something so tasty can be so good for your health. I absolutely love the fresh figs that I can buy here at certain times of the year but if you cannot get them fresh, they are readily available in dried form the year around.
The fig tree belongs to the mulberry family and produces a delicious sweet fruit that is popular the world over. Not only are they great to eat but figs contain a variety of minerals and vitamins and provide you with many great health benefits. They are simply too good to pass up so if you are interested in finding out more about this wonderful , healthy fruit…read on.
Figs, also known as anjeer, are so good for because they are loaded with healthy nutrients. They are a good source of vitamins including vitamins A, B1 and B2 as well as minerals like manganese, potassium, iron, calcium and phosphorus. And let us not forget they are a great source of fiber and we all know how important that is for our health.
Health Benefits of Figs
1. For Constipation
Figs are an excellent source of fiber and a three fig serving contains around 5 grams of fiber. We are aware of the need to get more fiber into our diets but many people struggle to do so. Being so delicious and easy to eat, figs are a great way to increase your overall fiber content. I especially enjoy them chopped up with oatmeal in the morning.
Fiber has a great effect on your overall health, your digestive health and is especially important if you are prone to constipation. Fiber helps to promote regular and healthier bowel movements and can ease constipation. It adds mass to the stools and helps promote easier passage through the body. Not only is it a great remedy for constipation, but fiber like that found in figs can also help treat diarrhea and soothe your overall digestive system.
2. To Reduce Cholesterol
Figs contain a soluble fiber called pectin and when this type of fiber which is known to help reduce cholesterol levels. When you eat high fiber food like figs, the fiber makes its way through your digestive system clearing up excess deposits of cholesterol before carrying them to the bowels where they get safely eliminated.
Being a soluble fiber, pectin stimulates regular, healthy movements of the bowels and is a great remedy for constipation as well as protecting you from serious illnesses like colon cancer.
3. For Weight Control
There is plenty of evidence that adding more fiber to your diet can help you to shed a few unwanted pounds or at the very least to keep your weight under control. Figs are a valuable source of fiber and are often recommended as part of a high fiber diet plan. Fiber can help you to feel more full and less likely to overeat throughout the day.
Unfortunately, they are also relatively high in calories which can have the opposite effect if you are not careful. It is better to consume them in moderation as part of an overall diet plan.
4. Suitable For Diabetics
According to the American Diabetes Association, figs are a great option to help control the symptoms of diabetes. They are a rich source of potassium which helps regulate the level of sugar absorbed by the body after eating a meal. The potassium found in the fruit helps prevent blood sugar levels from spiking and falling dramatically.
5. For the Heart
Fresh and dried figs possess phenol as well as healthy Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids which are known to reduce a person;s risk of developing heart disease. Fig leaves also have a major beneficial effect on triglyceride levels. They are able to inhibit triglycerides and reduce the overall triglyceride level in the system. This is significant because of the relationship between high triglycerides and the risk of heart disease.
6. Cancer Prevention
There is a known relationship between increased fiber consumption and a reduced risk of cancer especially colon cancer because of the away in which fiber improves the overall health of the bowels.
Experts also believe that figs can help protect against breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Following the menopause, women’s hormones fluctuate causing an imbalance. The body’s health is inextricably connected to a person’s hormones. Proper hormonal balance can affect the body’s immune response and ability to fight off free radicals.
Because free radicals are a known factor in the development of cancer, the fibers in figs can offer some protection against the deadly disease.
7. Blood Pressure
Many people have diets which are high in sodium and too low in potassium. This balance can lead to elevated blood pressure levels or hypertension. Having a high potassium content but a very being very low in sodium, eating plenty of figs can help protect you from high blood pressure.
This is especially the case if you replace your usual high sodium snacks for this healthy alternative. Reducing your blood pressure levels has numerous knock on effects including heart benefits and promoting calm.
8. For Healthy Bones
Figs are a great source of calcium which the bones and teeth need to maintain their health. Eating food rich in calcium can help keep your bones stronger for longer into your life and reduce the risk of bone weakening conditions like osteoporosis.
As well as being high in calcium, figs are also a good source of phosphorus which is known to promote bone formation. Phosphorus can also stimulate the regeneration of bones following injury or other types of damage.
9. Fig Leaves for Respiratory Health
You may not be aware that fig leaves can be made into a soothing hot drink similar to a herbal tea. This is an ideal beverage for treating respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma. Figs also contain mucilage which can help to treat a sore throat.
Next time you feel a sore throat coming on or you are having difficulties with your breathing because of illness, why not give a soothing fig leaf tea a chance?
10. For the Eyes
Figs are among the healthy fruit and vegetables that are regarded as beneficial for your vision and general eye health. As we age, our eyes tend to degrade but adding healthy fruit like figs to the diet can help protect your eyes and maintain your vision longer into your old age.
11. For Sexual Dysfunction
I would take this one with a pinch of salt but many people claim that eating figs can help with various types of sexual dysfunction including sterility, erectile dysfunction and sexual appetite. There is no scientific evidence that proves this to be the case but according to folklore, figs have long been regarded as a symbol of fertility in certain cultures.
Whether or not it works is debatable but the fact that figs are so nutrient dense may provide you with the energy boost that many people need before making love.
There are no serious health concerns from adding figs to your diet but be aware that some people may be allergic to them. They are also fairly high in sugar and calories so it is better to eat them in moderation especially if you are concerned about gaining weight or you are on a calorie controlled diet.