The health benefits of figs or anjeer fruit are many and include its use in the treatment of different diseases. Figs are superstars in the nutrition category. It is not so appetizing eating dried figs but the fresh ones are definitely recommended. Here is a look at what they are and why half the world is crazy about them.
Table Of Content
1. What are figs?
2. Nutritional value of figs
3. 11 Amazing Benefits of Figs
4. Side Effects of Figs
5. How to eat fresh figs?
6. Should figs be soaked before eating?
7. Are figs good for sperm count?
8. Do figs help you lose weight?
What are figs?
What is a fig? We get the common figs from the ficus carica tree. This is a member of the mulberry family and has its origins in the Middle East and Western Asia.
They have a sweet and mild flavor and grow in all the regions of the world having temperate climates. Another name for figs is Anjeer. The fig fruit can have a variety of colors ranging from red, purple, golden yellow, to green.
Nutritional value of figs
Among plants, figs give us a rich range of vitamins and minerals. They form a rich antibacterial and anticancer nutritive elements.
As per USDA National Nutrient Database, Figs are full or fiber, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and calcium. They promote bone density and lower blood pressure.
Dried figs contain phenol, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids that aid in improving health.
Also Read: Top 10 best omega 3 capsule brands
The content in 100 grams of figs is like this:
- Fiber – 3 gram
- Energy – 74
- Vitamin A – 142 IU
- Thiamine – 0.1 mg
- Vitamin C – 2mg
- Vitamin K – 4.7 µg
- B6 Vitamin – 0.1 mg
- Carbohydrates – 19 gram
- Potassium – 232 mg
- Magnesium – 17 mg
- Zinc – 0.5 mg
- Calcium – 35 mg
- Copper – 0.3 mg
- Protein – 0.7 gram
- Manganese – 0.1 mg
- Iron – 2 mg
- Fat – 0.3 gram
- Pantothenic acid
Thus, figs form a healthy snack that benefits many body systems.
11 Amazing Benefits of Figs
In addition, people use it for getting relief from venereal diseases and help for controlling the calcium loss through the urine. Vision loss due to macular degeneration can be prevented by eating figs. Let us discuss all health benefits of figs in detail below.
1. Eating figs for weight loss
Do figs help you lose weight? Figs form a convenient and superior source of nutrition. For weight loss, the fruits are taken in dried form. But, one must not eat too many figs because they have high-calorie content.
Eating too much dried figs can result in weight gain. Snacking on dried figs when one is feeling hungry will help kill the appetite.
Eating figs will prevent the person from eating too much and gaining weight. You can keep a supply of dried figs handy to meet this contingency. Or, one may add sliced figs to fruit juice to help increase the nutritive value of the afternoon drink.
Also Read: 10 foods to help you lose weight fast
2. Prevent Constipation
Constipation is a common complaint in many parts of the world. People suffer from this and it leads to poor health. To prevent constipation, one must eat healthy food items like raw figs that help bowel movement.
If you suffer from constipation, fiber in figs will help if you eat some figs. Better still, prepare a snack using fig fruits and your favorite fruits like apple or oranges.
You can even make a juice with lemon or watermelon and add the pieces of raw figs and apples to it. This will improve the nutritive content of the drink enormously. Eat one or two figs after your afternoon meals daily. This is one of the best benefits of figs.
3. Control Diabetes with Figs
Figs for diabetes: The high fiber content in the fig fruit is useful for movement of food in the intestines. Also, it helps to decrease cravings and decreases hunger pangs.
Eating figs regularly will help you overcome pangs of hunger and cravings so you can bring your sugar levels under control. Figs have a high sugar content so do not eat too many of them.
Else, your sugar levels will rise to new heights. Use figs medicinally after consultations with your doctor. The fiber in figs helps promote a feeling of satiation in the person. This is one of the advantages of fig fruit.
A study in 2003 on animal showed that fig extract can contribute to diabetes treatment by normalizing blood fatty acid and vitamin E levels
4. Strengthen Bones
The high mineral content helps improve the health and formation of bones. Figs are rich in magnesium, proteins, and calcium that are essential for bone health.
Calcium and collagen make up 99% of the bone tissue. Magnesium is needed to absorb calcium. It also helps in calcium transportation and so one must take a good amount of magnesium on a regular basis.
More than 80% of the people remain deficient in this mineral and this can lead to osteoporosis. Vitamin K makes up a small but important part of the bone structure. Figs have lots of Vitamin K. Bone mineral density improves due to a good intake of proteins.
5. Antioxidant Property
Polyphenols are antioxidants that play an important part in our body health. Good amounts of antioxidants will help offset the tissue damage due to radicals.
Vitamin C is also an important antioxidant that helps preserve the integrity of tissues. By improving the intake of food items that contain good amounts of antioxidants we improve body health and the capacity to resist diseases.
Eating figs regularly will help improve the health of the person. Eat raw figs for the best benefit.
6. Figs Augments Skin Health
Used in folk medicines, figs are used to treat a variety of skin ailments such as psoriasis, vitiligo, and eczema. Though there isn’t any documented evidence yet, the anecdotal evidence is promising.
It does show anti-wrinkles capabilities when one used creams made from fig fruit and fig leaf extracts. There was a decrease in the length and depth of the wrinkles after figs were used in the treatment.
They attribute this to the anti-collagenase and antioxidant properties of the fig. A study also concluded that the fig extract can be used to treat hyperpigmentation. There is also evidence to show that it proves useful for treating skin cancer.
Also Read: How to cure eczema fast?
7. Treatment for Sexual Dysfunction
Since the olden days, the figs have been used to treat low endurance and sterility. They are referred to in mythological works as a powerful sexual and fertility supplement.
There might be doubts about their value as an aphrodisiac but they have invaluable vitamin and mineral content that keep a person virile.
It boosts the energy and stamina of people of all ages. You can make fruit juice and add figs so as to increase the vitamins and mineral content. Drink the juice one hour before going to bed to give your body time to assimilate the nutrients. Ayurveda uses figs for men’s health.
8. Anjeer Fruit is Good for the Hair
Figs form an important constituent in shampoos and hair preparations. It moisturizes hair and makes it strong. The rich content of minerals and vitamins help promote hair growth.
There is insufficient evidence to show that it directly affects the hair growth but in general, it is observed that the use of figs will make the hair healthy.
The zinc and copper are useful for preventing hair loss and improving hair growth. This is because the zinc helps speed up hair follicle recovery. And, zinc deficiency might be the reason for hair loss.
Women undergoing menopause will benefit from eating figs because of the good content of Vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
Also Read: Natural remedies to treat menopause
9. Lower blood pressure
Salt is needed in minimal amounts by the body. But, high levels of sodium and low levels of potassium will lead to hypertension and all its associated problems. Figs have good amounts of potassium while being low in sodium.
This will help offset hypertension if you eat figs often. When your blood pressure is lower, it helps you relax. Soak figs in milk overnight and have it mashed in the morning.
Potassium in figs will soothe your nerves and make you calm. Being calm is useful for keeping your body healthy.
10. Treating Piles – One of fig fruit benefits
People suffering from piles will benefit from eating figs. For this remedy, one can use dried figs. Soak the figs in water and crush them completely. Have this in the morning and fiber in figs will make you pass motion easily.
This will help ease the symptoms of piles. The pressure on your anus will reduce considerably. Do this two to three times a week to get the best benefit. Figs have anti-inflammatory properties that will further reduce the pain. This is one of the great benefits of figs.
11. Lower Cholesterol Levels
Pectin is the soluble fiber in figs that help to improve bowel movement. This fiber will absorb excess cholesterol so that you will have a lower cholesterol level.
This action also helps improve anticancer properties so it is recommended that one has figs at least once a week.
Side Effects of Figs
Due to the high level of oxalates, it is possible that one will have loose motion if one eats too much of figs. Oxalates can crystallize in body fluids and cause health problems such as gallbladder and kidney stones. So if you have kidney or gallbladder issues than try to avoid eating figs.
Allergy due to figs or side effects is not so common. So, there is no danger of that. People who are allergic to sugar apple and jackfruit must be careful because there is a chance that they will develop an allergic reaction on eating figs.
Also, figs have a high content of Vitamin K and this is a blood thickener. If one is taking blood thinner medications like Warfarin (Coumadin), you must maintain a regular time to eat figs. This will help you stick to your regular intake levels of Vitamin K.
Dried figs are high in sugar and calories relative to fresh figs so if you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, eat figs carefully and only after your doctor’s advice.
Farmers may use sulfur dioxide gas to treat figs during processing to help prevent oxidation or use sulfites to extend their shelf life. So if you are sensitive to sulphites, you should avoid figs. If you are asthmatic, you may suffer a reaction when exposed to sulfites.
Also Read: Home remedies for Loose Motion
How to eat fresh figs?
Figs are mildly sweet in taste and have a notably sweet aroma. We mostly prefer to eat when dried, but fresh figs are also quite tasty. You can eat raw figs, pair them with other foods or make fig jam, fig bruschetta, or just slice them up and add them to your salad. Eating 6-8 figs in a day is fine like 3-4 in the morning and 3-4 in the evening.
- Always choose ripe figs for consumption.
- Size and color of a ripe fig fruit varies from variety to variety, but all varieties are soft when ripe.
- Ripe figs have sweet smell.
- Avoid figs with mold or scratches on them. Avoid hard figs.
- Ripe figs color can be green, brown, yellow, or deep purple. Always use fresh fig fruits with in maximum 2-3 days.
- Always wash figs before eating them. Ripe fig fruits are soft so wash them gently and do not scrub them hard.
- Remove the stem from fig gently by twisting them off with your finger.
- You can eat whole fig fruit because skin of the fig is edible. If you do not like the skin than you can peel it easily.
- If fresh figs are not available than you can eat dried figs. This is the simplest way most people use. Soak dried figs in water overnight. Next morning eat soaked figs and drink one glass of milk on it. As per Ayurveda, this combination makes your body stronger. You can also drink the water in which they are soaked because this water has all the benefits of fig.
- You can mix fresh fruit or soaked fig in your salad and enjoy.
- There are a lot of recipes available online to use figs but we recommend to eat raw figs to get all benefits.
Should figs be soaked before eating?
People mostly recommend eating soaked figs. According to experts, soaking figs in water helps the body to absorb them better. There is no issue in eating dried anjeer fruit either. There are two types of Fiber: Soluble fiber and insoluble fibre. So when you soak figs in water, soluble fibre gets broken down and gets easier to absorb.
Are figs good for sperm count?
Figs are helpful to improve male fertility by increasing the sperm count and motility. The nutritive content of fig is overloaded with vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, copper and a lot of fibre which increase fertility in man. Figs are a great source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which improves your heart health. This is one of the amazing benefits of figs.
Do figs help you lose weight?
Figs Has high fibre content which make figs amazing for weight loss. It contains high amount of dietary fibers that can fill your stomach for a long time which helps you to control your total calorie intake in a day.
It has a digestive enzyme named Ficin that helps you to digest food quickly. A healthy digestive system helps to lose weight and reduce belly fat. Omega-3 fatty acids in anjeer fruit are helpful to burn a lot of calories in the muscles during exercises.
Figs are sweet in nature so you can use figs as an alternative of sugar. You can easily control your craving for something sweet which comparatively adds lesser calories to your body.
Because of high calcium, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, magnesium, and vitamins content, figs improves the metabolism of the body. They are low in calories.
Eaten in moderation, benefits of figs are helpful for preserving one’s health. We can eat them when they are fresh or preserve them in dried form and eat them. Since raw figs help fight a variety of illnesses, it is a preferred snack option in most countries including India.