Fig trees have been cultivated by humans for a very long time. They are native to ancient Caria, a region of Western Anatolia, Turkey. It is a subtropical plant that can tolerate both hot continental summers and moderate seasonal frost.
The scientific name for the fruit itself is Ficus Caria.
There are more than a thousand different types of figs. They vary in color, shape, taste, and aroma. Some are good for drying and canning, while others are best consumed fresh.
Health benefits of figs
Improve the functions of the nervous system
Figs are high in tryptophan — an essential amino acid, the precursor of vitamin B3 and serotonin — which has the following positive effects:
- increases the quality of sleep;
- provides relief from depression and anxiety;
- improves emotional well-being;
- helps to reduce headaches and migraines;
- improves memory.
Boost the immune system
Figs are famous for their anti-inflammatory properties, so adding figs to your diet may help to reduce inflammation.
for your health and
balanced meal plan
As Hippocrates said, you are what you eat. The meaning of this phrase concerns every person, who takes care of his health. The food we eat has a big impact on our vital activity, state of health and quality of life.
Nowadays healthy diet is very popular and everyone knows that he should give up junk food. But not everyone knows what he must eat except for grain, vegetables and protein food.
It's essential to diversify your diet. Every bite of food should provide you with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that are necessary for good health.
So how can we have a proper nutrition plan?
We prepared a PDF-file to help you. It contains TOP-10 ingredients, which should be added to everyone's diet.
In some cultures, concentrated fig decoction is consumed to relieve:
- severe coughs;
- sore throat;
- inflammation of the respiratory tract and gums;
- inflammation of gums.
Have potential anticancer properties
The fig fruits are shown to be beneficial in fighting cancer. For example, according to a report published by the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Chinese University of Pharmacy, certain natural chemical components present in figs are toxic to some human cancer cells. These findings have prompted scientists to take a closer look at the bioactive chemicals in figs and their potential use in fighting the disease.
Promote gut health
Figs are often used as a home remedy for digestive problems, e.g., constipation. They are a great source of fiber, helping to increase stool consistency and to soften it. Regular consumption of figs can reduce symptoms of bloating and constipation caused by insufficient fiber in the diet.
Benefits of fig leaves
Fig leaves are a powerful antioxidant and are incredibly important to our health. The fig leaves have anti-diabetic and anti-aging effects.
The leaves can be dried and used to make teas or syrups.
Recommended daily dosage
The most beneficial way to consume figs is to eat them raw, with the skin and seeds intact. This way you get the maximum nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from the fruit.
It is recommended to eat 2-3 raw figs per day.
Figs can be also dried, baked, or preserved. For those looking to lose some weight, figs are an excellent alternative to sweets and can be used as a low-calorie snack or a dessert.
Keep in mind that dried figs are relatively high in sugar, and as a result, higher in calories than fresh figs. It is thus recommended to limit the portion size to about 1-2 dried figs per day.
Who should not eat figs
Figs are very beneficial to our health. However, people with the following conditions should limit their consumption of figs:
- insulin resistance;
- diabetes mellitus;
- acute inflammatory bowel disease.
Dried figs are strictly forbidden if you have pancreatitis as they may worsen the condition.
How to choose your figs
These days it is difficult to find good quality figs. When buying fresh figs, we highly recommend that you carefully examine each fruit using our 3 handy tips:
- Look at appearance and color: the fig should be bright in color, with smooth and unbroken skin.
- Smell each fig: if the fruit has a slightly sour smell, this means that it has already begun to ferment, in which case it is better to choose another fruit.
- Touch: the fig should be soft.
How to store figs
Fresh figs contain a large number of enzymes and so they go off rather quickly. As such, unless properly refrigerated, fresh figs should be eaten within hours after purchase.
You can extend the shelf life of your fresh figs by storing them in the fridge inside either a glass container or a plastic bag. Make sure to place them in the coldest part of your refrigerator. This way, figs can be stored for up to 14 days.
Dried figs will last between 4 and 18 months, depending on the climate. Dried figs can be stored the longest in dry conditions, and it is best to keep them away from humidity.
Fig salad recipe
- 1 packet of curly kale;
- 1 tbsp raw sesame oil;
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice;
- 1 tsp finely chopped ginger root;
- 8 dried figs, sliced;
- 1⁄2 avocado, peeled and diced;
- 1⁄4 cup cashew nuts;
- 2 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and sliced;
- sesame seeds.
Wash the kale leaves, remove the stems, and slice the leaves. Place the leaves in a steamer or sauté pan, and steam for 2-3 minutes.
Remove the kale from the heat, transfer it to an ice bath and allow it to cool. Strain through the colander to drain the water.
For the dressing, whisk together with a fork the sesame oil, lemon juice, and ginger.
Place the kale, figs, avocado, cashews, and eggs into a bowl, and pour the dressing over.
Mix the ingredients and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top before serving.