Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Benefits of Figs

Members of the Mulberry family, figs (Ficus Carica) first originated in Northern Asia Minor. Probably one of the earliest fruits that man has ever known, figs are small and luscious fruits, with a chewy texture and a very sweet smell. Believed to be the favorite fruit of Cleopatra, they occupy a very important place in many cultures around the world. Romans were the avid lovers of the fruit and considered it as a gift from the fertility God ‘Bacchus’. Consumed both fresh and dried, figs are available in dramatic shades of colors, like purple, green and brown. Read on to know more about figs, including its nutritional value and various health benefits associated with eating the fruit.

Nutritional Value of Fresh Figs
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 100g of fresh figs.
  • Carbohydrates - 19 g
  • Sugars - 16 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 3 g
  • Fat - 0.3 g
  • Protein - 0.8 g
  • Vitamin B6 -110 mg
  • Energy - 70 kcal / 310 kJ
Nutritional Value of Dried Figs
Given below is the amount of nutrients present in 100g of dried figs.
  • Carbohydrates - 64 g
  • Sugars - 48 g
  • Dietary Fiber -10 g
  • Fat - 1 g
  • Protein - 3 g
  • Energy - 250 kcal / 1040 kJ
Health & Nutritional Benefits of Eating Figs
  • The rich potassium content of figs helps to maintain the blood pressure of the body.
  • Figs are rich in dietary fiber, which makes them very effective for weight management program.
  • Even leaves of the fig plant have healing properties. Eating fig leaves helps diabetic patients reduce the amount of insulin intake.
  • Consuming figs helps to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Calcium and potassium present in figs prevent bone thinning and help to promote bone density.
  • Tryptophan, present in figs, induces good sleep and helps get rid of sleeping disorders like insomnia.
  • Eating figs relieves fatigue and boosts memory power.
  • Drinking fig juice helps to soothe irritated bronchial passages.
  • Consumption of figs with milk cures illness like anemia.
  • Due to their laxative effect, figs are helpful for treating chronic constipation.
  • Daily consumption of soaked figs (2-3) is an effective remedy for curing hemorrhoids or piles.
  • The soluble fiber, called pectin, in figs helps in reducing blood cholesterol.
  • When applied on skin, baked figs can cure inflammations like abscesses and boils.
  • Due to their high water content, mashed figs act as a very good skin cleanser and help in preventing and curing acnes and pimples.
  • Figs are rich in calcium and are excellent calcium alternatives for people who are allergic to dairy products.
  • Consuming figs also helps in aiding digestion and taming various stomach and bowel-related problems.
  • The juice obtained from green figs is effective for softening and treating corns.
  • Figs promote the overall well-being of an individual and are excellent aphrodisiacs.
More readings About Fig
Dr. Oliver Alabaster, Director of the Institute for Disease Prevention at the George Washington University Medical Centre, refers to figs in these terms:

… [H]ere is an opportunity to add a really healthy, high fiber food to your diet. Choosing figs and other high fiber foods more frequently means that you'll naturally choose potentially harmful foods less frequently-and this is great for your lifelong health.119

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