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Figs, today eaten fresh in season time or in the dried form round the year, have a rich and interesting history – They are biologically called Ficus trees and are part of the mulberry family, and are believed to have originated in Egypt and then found their way around the world through Greece and Italy. The Romans are said to have considered it a sacred fruit, and till date, the fig forms an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Today, over 150 varieties of figs are produced and consumer around the world.
Since figs are available in their fresh fruit forms only for a few months a year, it is best to have regular amounts of the dried varieties (commonly known as anjeer in India) since these contain the same amount of nutrition and are more easily accessible. For more information on dried figs, click here.
Figs are a treasure trove of good food value, containing a wide variety of nutrients like Vitamins A, B1 and B2, sodium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus, calcium and iron, along with a significant amount of fiber.
Following are some benefits of eating figs regularly:
Dried figs contain a significant amount of antioxidants that help your body get rid of free radicals that damage blood vessels and cause cardiovascular diseases. Like other dry fruits and nuts, figs too work on reducing levels of bad cholesterol and improving those of good cholesterol. Also, they restore the sodium-potassium balance in your body, reducing the occurrence of hypertension, which is one of the biggest causes of heart disease.
While we were force-fed carrots as young children to ensure proper development of our vision, as adults, we have become careless and take no such measures. Figs are the solution to this problem – Include these in your 3 portions of fruit a day to prevent age-related macular degeneration, which is basically the main cause of loss of vision in adults.
Studies around the world show that postmenopausal women are at highest risk of getting breast cancer. In order to fight this, older women should consume dried figs regularly so that the antioxidants and fiber present in these can equip their bodies to flush out harmful chemicals, eliminate free radicals and prevent cell mutation, thereby reducing the risk of cancer.
Dried figs are an excellent source of potassium, countering the heavy sodium levels in our bodies, which are a result of our unhealthy modern lifestyles. This prevents hypertension and helps maintain blood pressure levels in your body. A fluctuation in blood pressure levels, whether high or low, can cause severe consequences, and hence, regular consumption of dried figs goes a long way in keeping you healthy.
Figs are high in fiber, making them a fabulous food to fill you up quickly and keep you full for longer periods of time. This helps avoid those troublesome hunger pangs and cuts down your calorie intake. Figs act as a natural appetite suppressant without any of the side effects caused by their artificial counterparts, while boosting your energy levels to get you geared up for your workout routine.
Dried figs can be enjoyed in their natural form by themselves, either as a healthy snacking option between meals, or as a natural dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth. You can also add them to smoothies for enhanced flavor and nutrition. Another good way to eat figs is to cut them into small pieces and add to your daily bowl of breakfast cereal or porridge. Or go the Greek way by making a gorgeous salad with figs, pine nuts, cheese and greens.
However you prefer to eat them, dried figs are an excellent source of various essential nutrients that keep your body fit and fine, and prevent many diseases, some which could even be fatal.
Explore the wonderful advantages of regularly eating figs by clicking here.
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