The Dietary and Wellness Advantages of Incorporating Figs into Your Eating Habits

Suppose you're looking for a simple yet powerful way to boost your health; look no further than figs. These small but mighty fruits contain nutrients that can improve your health and well-being.

In this article, we'll explore how figs can benefit your health. We'll also provide some tasty and easy ways to incorporate figs into your diet, so you can start enjoying the many benefits of this delicious fruit today.

The Nutritional Composition of Figs

Figs are packed with nutrients and relatively low-calorie content, making them an excellent addition to your diet.

According to the USDA, a 40-gram portion of fresh figs contains:

  • 30 calories
  • Carbs: 8 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Copper: 3% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Magnesium: 2% of the DV
  • Potassium: 2% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 3% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 2% of the DV
  • Riboflavin: 2% of the DV
  • Thiamine: 2% of the DV

Even though fresh figs contain some calories, it is relatively lower when compared to other food options. On the other hand, dried figs are much higher in sugar and have a lot of calories.

Health Benefits of Figs

Some of the potential benefits of adding figs to your diet include the following:

Improves Digestive Health

For a long time, people have used figs as a home remedy to treat various digestive problems, such as bloating and constipation. Figs contain fiber, which supports digestive health by softening and adding bulk to stools. Fiber also decreases constipation and serves as a food source for beneficial bacteria in your gut.

Animal studies have shown that fig fruit extract and paste can help food pass faster through the digestive tract, reducing the risk of constipation and limiting the symptoms of digestive disorders. According to another study involving humans, eating dried figs can help reduce bloating, pain, and constipation among people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Supports Heart Health

Eating figs can also help improve blood pressure and regulate cholesterol levels, improving vascular health and decreasing your risk of heart disease. This is due in part to the high levels of potassium found in figs. Potassium is a mineral that plays a crucial role in regulating blood pressure, which is a significant risk factor for heart disease.

One study discovered that fig extract could help lower blood pressure in rats with high levels. In addition, other animal studies show that fig leaf extract can increase HDL (good) cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Promotes Healthy Skin

Figs may also benefit the skin, especially among people with allergic dermatitis, which causes dry or itchy skin. One study found that cream from dried fig fruit extract helped treat dermatitis symptoms better than hydrocortisone cream in children.

Furthermore, research shows that a compound made from fig and other fruit extracts has antioxidant effects on the skin, decreasing collagen breakdown and removing wrinkles. It is still being determined if adding figs to your diet has the same benefits.

Control Blood Sugar Levels

People with high blood sugar levels may also consider adding figs. A 1998 study found that drinking fig leaf tea decreased insulin dependency among people with type 1 diabetes within one week.

Another recent study found that drinks high in fig fruit extract had a lower glycemic index (GI) than those without fig fruit extract. As a result, health experts believe that figs may have a favorable effect on blood sugar levels.

However, dried figs are high in sugar, so they may cause your blood glucose levels to rise temporarily. If you have trouble controlling your blood sugar levels, take fresh figs instead of dried ones.

Anticancer Properties

Scientists have studied figs and other fruits and vegetables for their anti-cancer properties. Figs contain fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, which also play crucial roles in reducing the risk of cancer.

Studies show that fig leaves and natural latex from fig plants have antitumor effects against human colon, breast, cervical, and liver cancer cells. However, more studies are required to show that eating figs has the same beneficial effect.

Adding Figs to Your Diet

Here are some fresh ideas that can help incorporate figs into your diet:

  • Fresh Figs: You can eat fresh figs as a snack or add them to your salads, smoothies, or oatmeal.
  • Dried Figs: You can add dried figs to your trail mix or use them as a sweetener in baked goods.
  • Fig Jam: You can spread fig jam on toast, use it as a topping for yogurt, or mix it into your oatmeal.
  • Roasted Figs: Roasting figs brings out their sweetness. Roasted figs make great additions to savory dishes like roasted chicken or pork.

Bottom Line

All in all, figs' nutritional and health benefits make them a valuable addition to any diet. Eating figs increases your intake of essential nutrients and may lower your risk of certain health conditions.