Nutrition

14 Fabulous Health Benefits of Figs

✅ Evidence Based Article

Figs have an insane amount of vitamins, minerals, and compounds that are so good for your overall health.

Originally from the Middle East and Western Asia, figs are being discovered by many people worldwide. Whether raw or dried, figs provide a myriad of health benefits due to their astonishing nutritional value.

So, why should you add figs to your weekly meal plan and what makes their nutrition so valuable? Read on.

Figs Nutrition Value

Raw and dried figs have a bit different nutrition value. In most cases, people consume dried figs, albeit it doesn’t mean that they’re not healthy enough to provide the health benefits raw figs have. Let’s take a look at the nutrition value of dried figs in 100 grams:

  • 249 calories
  • 9.8 g fiber
  • 0.9 g fats
  • 3.3 g protein
  • 63.9 g carbs
  • 2 mg iron (11 percent of the recommended daily amount)
  • 0.3 mg copper (14 percent of the RDA)
  • 162 mg calcium (16 percent of the RDA)
  • 68 mg magnesium (17 percent of the RDA)
  • 680 mg potassium (19 percent of the RDA)
  • 15.6 mcg vitamin K (19 percent of the RDA)
  •  0.5 mg manganese (26 percent of the RDA)
  •  0.5 milligram zinc (4 percent of the RDA)
  •  0.1 mg riboflavin (5 percent of the RDA)
  •  0.1 mg thiamine (6 percent of the RDA)
  •  0.1 mg vitamin B6 (6 percent of the RDA)
  • 67 mg phosphorus (7 percent of the RDA)

Let’s take a look at the nutrition value of raw figs in 100 grams:

  • 74 calories
  • 3 g fiber
  • 0.3 g fat
  • 0.7 g protein
  • 19 g carbs
  • 2 mg vitamin C (3 percent of the RDA)
  • 142 IU vitamin A (3 percent of the RDA)
  • 0.1 mg thiamine (4 percent of the RDA)
  • 35 mg calcium (4 percent of the RDA)
  • 17 mg magnesium (4 percent of the RDA)
  • 0.1 mg vitamin B6 (6 percent of the RDA)
  • 4.7 mcg vitamin K (6 percent of the RDA)
  • 0.1 mg manganese (6 percent of the RDA)
  • 232 mg potassium (7 percent of the RDA)

14 Best Health Benefits of Figs

Although figs aren’t considered as a superfood, they’re overloaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and compounds that improve the function of many body’s systems. The most impressive benefits you can reap by eating figs daily are:

1.Reduce the risk of many cancers

Figs have been used for centuries as a natural remedy for tons of health problems. Recent studies have revealed that a regular fig consumption can significantly reduce the likelihood of cancer development.

Moreover, several researches have indicated the benefit of figs for people with cancer. Researchers from the Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, from the China Pharmaceutical University found that figs contain the compounds, which are highly toxic to the majority of human cancer cell lines.

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Even though more research is required to prove the anticancer properties of figs, you won’t ruin your health by eating this amazing fruit.

2.Boost your antioxidant intake

Figs are known for their powerful antioxidant properties. Since oxidation negatively affects almost each system of the body, the damage it triggers has been shown to lead to numerous health issues, including premature aging, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. The antioxidants in figs have been suggested to aid in eliminating these health issues and conditions.

Depending on the type, figs have different antioxidant content, yet most are chock full of polyphenols, which are effective in fighting oxidative stress. Unlike other fruits, antioxidants in figs are located in the skin, leaves, fruit, and pulp.

Researches also found that figs dried in a proper way can even have the better levels of the antioxidant activities and be a richer source of the health-boosting phenolic compounds than raw figs or those that are dried improperly. Figs are easy to store and preserve their antioxidant activity for months, making them an excellent snack for long road trips.

3.Fight bacteria and fungus

Figs act as an all-natural antifungal and antibacterial agent. Malaysian review performed by the Drug and Herbal Research Centre, the Universiti Kebangsaan informed that two researches have been recently conducted and concluded that an extract of figs help to fight oral bacteria and various microbes and fungi.

Other studies have been conducted to show the properties and effectiveness in the ability of figs to enhance the immune system response. Scientists suppose that eating figs daily can drastically strengthen the immune system. That explains why this fruit is great at combating common diseases and illnesses, which are caused by bacteria along with many other invaders.

4.Cure common ailments

As mentioned above, figs have been used for thousands of years to cure a variety of common illnesses. The fig fruit, components of the fig tree, and extracts of the fruit are believed to treat up to 40 illnesses and diseases related to the endocrine, digestive, respiratory, and reproductive systems.

Multiple researches have found that figs are effective in treating anemia, diabetes, cancer, liver disease, leprosy, skin diseases, paralysis, ulcers, urinary tract and gastrointestinal tract infections, and many more. The fig tree and the fig fruit are considered as a potential helper in warding off even the minor ailments, like cold and flu.

5.Relieve constipation

Figs are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which helps to ensure regular bowel movement and thus prevent constipation. Whether soaked overnight in water, dried, or ripe, figs can even treat chronic constipation.

A serving of figs (3 to 5 dried or ripe figs) provide the body with 2 grams of soluble fiber and 4 grams of insoluble fiber.

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Related: Constipation: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

6.Manage cholesterol levels

Controlling the cholesterol levels is vital for overall health. Figs have the high content of pectin, which is a soluble fiber that aids in binding cholesterol and removing it from the body’s system via feces.

Plus, figs contain the compounds called phyto-sterols, which are considered as the effective natural alternatives to medications that help to decrease the high triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Even though these benefits come from eating the fruit, in some cases, eating the fig’s leaves can also boost oxidation of triglycerides.

7.Control diabetes

Despite a rich sugar content, figs are considered a diabetes-friendly fruit. Since they have a high fiber content, they have a lower than average glycemic index. No wonder that people with diabetes like to snack on figs to tame their sweet tooth.

Figs usually don’t cause a spike of blood sugar levels if you eat them in moderation. The potassium in figs plays an important role here. Potassium improves an absorption of glucose into the muscle cells, preventing the fall and rise of blood sugar.  The recommended amount for diabetic people is 1 to 2 figs per snack.

Figs have also been shown as an effective treatment for the diabetes side effects. With antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, figs can help to control a lot of bodily functions, which are damaged or slightly affected by diabetes.

8.Keep blood pressure at bay

Although it’s so easy to get potassium from the foods we eat each day, potassium deficiency remains a problem these days.

The thing is, processed foods contain a lot of sodium, which takes its toll on health. The low levels of potassium and high levels of sodium negatively affect blood pressure, leading to cardiovascular diseases and stroke.

Figs can help you increase your potassium intake and thus keep your blood pressure in control. Potassium in figs also helps to promote the excess sodium excretion, warding off many health problems.

9.Boost bone health

The elements and compounds found in figs are essential for bone maintenance and synthesis, even in small amounts. A regular consumption of figs has been shown to boost bone health, especially in people who are lactose intolerant.

100 grams of figs supply the body with 35 mg of calcium. Moreover, figs contain zinc, magnesium, vitamin K, and vitamin D, which are all essential for your bone health.

10.Combat wrinkles

Many studies have been done to figure out the way a fig tree leaf extract can prevent or reduce wrinkles. Several studies have found that figs have powerful anti-wrinkle abilities.

One study conducted by a group of scientists from Republic of Korea found that creams that include fig fruit and fig leaf extracts significantly reduced the depth and length of facial wrinkles due to anti-collagenase and antioxidant activities.

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Another research done in Pakistan and published in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences revealed that creams with a fig fruit extract in them might help to treat hyper acne, pigmentation, and freckles.

11.Keep your eyes healthy

Vitamin A is one of the most crucial nutrients for keeping healthy eyes. Figs contain 71.00 IU of vitamin A as well as 4.50 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin, which help to protect the eyes from dangerous high-energy light waves, such as ultraviolet rays.

When eaten regularly, figs provide a wonderful support to your eye health, improving night vision, reducing your risk of macular degeneration, and lowering the risk factor for cataract development.

12.Lower the risk of coronary heart diseases

Figs contain omega-6 fatty acids, phenol, omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower the likelihood of development of coronary heart diseases.

Plus, fig leaves provide a prohibitive effect on triglycerides, which contribute to cardiovascular health.

13.Prevent sexual dysfunction

Figs have been used as a treatment for sexual dysfunction, such as sterility, erectile, or endurance dysfunction.

Fig fruit extract is used in many sexual supplements and fig fruit is considered as a powerful fertility booster. Some researchers suggest that figs can be an aphrodisiac thanks to their numerous vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that increase stamina and energy.

Soak some figs in milk for several hours or overnight and snack on them during the day to boost your sexual abilities.

14.Promote weight loss

Figs are overbrimming with dietary fiber that helps in the weight loss process and is often recommended for people with weight issues. But, since dried figs are high in calorie, especially when soaked in milk, it’s better to consume raw figs.

Dried figs should be consumed in a strict moderation if you are obese. 1 to 3 figs are usually enough to reap the health benefits this fruit offers without overeating them.

There are many other health benefits figs can offer. They are highly useful in curing a variety of respiratory issues, including asthma and whooping cough.

Figs are also good for digestion and are helpful in eliminating stomach ache, indigestion, and different intestinal conditions. Additionally, figs aid in treating earache, fever, boils, venereal diseases, abscesses, and enhance the liver function.

Due to their rich content of alkanes, figs help to control the pH level of the body. Finally, figs are high in polyphenols and flavonoids, which are the potent antioxidants that stop free radicals from damaging your health. Low in sugar and fat, figs boast laxative and soothing properties too.

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