Coming from the ficus tree which is a member of the mulberry family, figs are so easy to love. They have a sweet-tasting and chewy texture, and littered with crunchy seeds. Since figs tend to have really short shelf lives, they are commonly preserved for longevity. This also allows you to enjoy them all year round as figs are seasonal.
Being high in dietary fiber and containing good amounts of vitamin B6 or pyridoxine, vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, copper, calcium, manganese and potassium, there’s no denying that figs are good for you. However, just like any other fruit, it’s important to eat figs in moderation. That’s because they are rather high in calories — especially dried ones!
When shopping for fresh figs, opt for those that have deep coloration and are plump and tender. You can tell that figs are ripe when they smell sweet. Always stash them in the fridge to keep them fresh. When refrigerated, they can be good for consumption for up to a couple of days only, and this is the reason why dried figs are around.
Speaking of dried figs, feel free to go for them if you are having a hard time getting your hands on fresh ones because of your location or they’re out of season. Definitely, you can consume dried figs as they are. However, some individuals prefer to have them rehydrated first, whether by soaking them in water or even fruit juices for a few minutes.
Let us look at some of the reasons why it’s a great idea to include fresh or dried figs in the diet once in a while:
They Help Keep Your Bowel Movement Regular
Because figs are great sources of dietary fiber, consuming them can help prevent constipation. It’s also a good idea to eat some fresh or dried figs if you have lose bowel movements as fiber in these sweet and healthy treats help add bulk to stools. By the way, fiber also helps reduce your odds of having piles and colorectal cancer, experts say.
Eating Them in Moderation Helps Promote Weight Loss
Fiber in figs helps stave off overeating because it fills up your stomach and makes it feel full for a long time. Also, using fresh or dried figs to sweeten your oatmeal or any other healthy treat helps keep you from using refined sugar. However, see to it that you take figs in moderation to save yourself from consuming more calories than necessary.
Figs Assist in Lowering Cholesterol Levels
There is a particular type of fiber in figs that is said to be very good at sweeping bad cholesterol out of the body, and it’s called pectin. Also, antioxidants present abundantly in figs prevent cholesterol in food from being oxidized and winding up in the bloodstream. Having low cholesterol helps lower your risk of high blood pressure and its complications.
Consuming Them Helps Prevent Heart Disease
It’s not just the cholesterol-lowering properties of figs that make them good for your heart, but also its ability to keep at bay inflammation. Fresh or dried figs, according to experts, have healthy fats that are good for keeping the blood vessels in excellent condition — not to mention their antioxidants neutralize excess free radicals that cause inflammation.
Their Calcium Content Help Ward Off Osteoporosis
One of the minerals present in figs is calcium. We all know that calcium is important for keeping your bones strong and healthy. Regular consumption of calcium-containing foods such as figs is important for keeping osteoporosis at bay. You certainly don’t want to have the said disease because it weakens your bones, making them prone to being fractured.
Figs are Good for the Throat and Airway
Traditionally, figs are used for treating a sore throat because of its ability to reduce inflammation. They are also consumed for healing strained vocal cords. Additionally, folk healers recommend the consumption of figs to those who are suffering from cough, acute bronchitis, and various other problems with the airways that make breathing difficult.