Sweet and delicious, figs are seasonal fruits enjoyed by humanity ever since. Figs, scientifically known as Ficuscarica, belong to the family of mulberry, Moraceae and genus Ficus. It has a pear or bell shape and has a luscious flesh inside that varies in size and color per variety. There are white, red or black figs and its famous varieties are kadota, black genoa, brown turkey mission, Adriatic figs, and calimyrna. This fruit tree originates from Turkey or Asia Minor. Today, figs has become a very important commercial fruits of Spain, United States of America and Mediterranean region.
Known to be low in calories, a 100-gram fig fruit has only 74 calories which is sought after by weight conscious people. Despite the low calorie content it has minerals, pigments, vitamins, and dietary fibers that are essential in maintaining one’s health.
Figs are good source of potassium, iron, selenium, zinc, copper, manganese, magnesium and calcium. Copper is a needed in erythropoietin or red blood cells production. Iron is very essential in the formation and oxidation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body.
Magnesium is good for the hair, while calcium aids in bone formation. Potassium, an electrolyte, is vital in blood pressure and heart rate control. Dried figs have higher mineral content compared to the fresh ones.
Pantothenic acid, niacin (Vitamin B3), Pyridoxine (Vitamin B6) and Folates are vitamins that aid in metabolism of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. Tryptophan that induces good sleep is also found in figs as well aspolyphenol that helps prevent atherosclerosis and other heart-related ailments.
Figs, fresh or dried, also contain phytochemicals, vitamins A, C, E and K, antioxidants, tannins, and lutein that help in detoxifying the body and getting rid of harmful free radicals that causes diabetes, cancers, body diseases and infections. In addition to lowering of blood sugar or glucose in the blood, figs also contain chlorogenic acid that controls sugar levels.
Vitamin C and E are also abundant in figs that help in maintaining healthy skin, hair, nails and eyesight and promote healthy body inside and out.
Carotenoids found in fig fruits promote 20-20 vision and prevents the occurrence or chances of macular degeneration and other eyesight problems.
Anti-tumor agents such as Benzaldehid as phenol and microorganisms that eliminates pathogens, bacteria, viruses, and fungi in the body are also abundantly present in figs.
The Important Health Benefits of Figs
Promotes Bone Health
Figs are very popular because of its impressive calcium content. This fruit provides the body with high amounts of calcium as compared to other types of fruits. Calcium is an essential mineral for the health of the bones. Calcium ascertains that bone tissues are healthy to keep the bones strong and flexible. This fruit is an excellent source of calcium thus its consumption is very beneficial for the health and strength of our bones. In fact, a single cup of it can provide the body with up to 300 mg of calcium. This will result to stronger and healthier bones even as we grow old. Consuming figs regularly will also prevent bone loss and bone disorders like osteoporosis. If you want to be retain good posture and be able to move around even as you age, adding figs to your daily diet is surely of great help.
Boosts Energy Levels
Aside from it richness in calcium, figs also provide the body with significant amounts of iron. Iron is very important to our health. It is important to maintain sufficient iron levels in the body so that our blood carries oxygen all throughout the body efficiently. If our body parts and organs are not oxygenated properly, they tend to weaken and malfunction. These circumstances can cause irregularities in our body that can lead to not only low energy level but sickness as well. If you want to be energetic to be productive with your day to day tasks and duties, it is wise to associate figs to your diet plan. A cup of figs contributes up to 3 mg of iron. This amount is more than enough for the daily iron demand of the body.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Consuming figs also has positive effects when it comes to controlling blood pressure. It is essential to keep blood pressure low because high blood pressure triggers the proper functioning of the heart. High blood pressure can lead to various heart ailments. Figs are rich in potassium which is known to keep pressure of the blood normal. Potassium intake leads to thinner blood and strong blood vessels so that blood flow is normal. Eating figs with foods and drinks low in sodium is very effective in keeping blood pressure low. High potassium and low sodium diet is the key to lower blood pressure and a stabilized heart condition.
Reduces Risks of Diabetes
Figs are one of the fruits that are very low in sugar content. Diabetes is triggered by too much intake of foods high in sugar and insulin. If you want to prevent diabetes or if you are already diabetic, adding figs to your diet will be of great effect. As mentioned, this fruit is low in sugar and on top of that it is also rich in fiber. Fibrous foods also keep blood sugar from sudden fluctuations. Fibrous foods provide the body with insulin to lower insulin intake especially to the diabetics. Lastly, figs contain high amounts of potassium that can also reduce possibility of blood sugar spikes. It has been proved by health institutions that figs effectively help prevent and treat diabetes.
Promotes Healthy Digestion
Figs are excellent source of fiber that plays an important role especially in the digestive process. First and foremost sufficient amounts of fiber assures proper food intake breakdown. This ensures that nutrients are absorbed properly by the body. Secondly, fiber clears the digestive tract for smooth movement of food intake. This is very advantageous to the digestive system as well as help thwart off digestive issues like constipation gastrointestinal issues, and the likes. Last but not the least eating fibrous foods bulks up stool so that bowel movement is regulated. For your digestive health make sure to eat a lot of figs.
Lowers Cholesterol Levels
Figs contain a very effective and unique compound called pectin. Pectin is a special and concentrated type of fiber that provides the body with remarkable amounts. Intake of fibrous foods decreases cholesterol levels as well as remove body toxins. It is important to keep just the right balance or ratio of LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the bad type of cholesterol and HDL cholesterol is the good type. Intake of figs lowers LDL cholesterol at the same time heightens HDL cholesterol. This is very beneficial to the stability of the heart. This is also ideal to keep weight normal.
Protects the Heart Condition
Low blood pressure, low cholesterol, and low blood sugar levels all work together for the stability of the heart. Figs also have Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that protect the heart from various ailments. On top of that, figs also lower triglycerides in the body. High triglycerides compromise the proper functioning of the heart. For your heart’s best condition, it is essential to add figs to your regular diet.
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