5 Fantastic Fig Benefits

This fruit from the ficus tree is loaded with nutrition.

Dec 15, 2020

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Figs, the delicious fruit of the ficus tree, are native to the Middle East and Mediterranean, and people have been eating them – and writing about them – for centuries according to BBC Good Food. The small teardrop shaped fruits have edible purple or green shells with pink sweet flesh inside. You can eat the entire fruit fresh or dried all year long.

The natural sweetness of figs makes it a sweetener that can be used to replace sugar in baking and cooking. Or you can eat them as a healthy snack. It’s actually amazing how many health benefits this small bit of natural goodness contains.

Highly Nutritious

Figs are high in natural sugars, vitamins, minerals and soluble fiber according to BBC Good Food. They are an excellent source of calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, and vitamins A, K, and B6, that all contribute to overall wellness. High in phenolic acids and flavonoids – antioxidants – figs can help prevent or minimize cell damage from free radical stressors. While figs contain natural sugars, fresh ones contain far less than dried.

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Helps Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol

Figs may improve your blood pressure and help lower blood fat levels, according to Healthline, and this can decrease your risk of heart disease. A study that evaluated the antihypertensive (blood pressure) and cardioinhibitory benefits of fig extracts found that it reduced the blood pressure of rats with both elevated and normal levels. So, you can indulge in these heart healthy treats, knowing that the benefits far outweigh the calories.

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Good for Diabetics

While figs are high in natural sugars they are actually good for diabetics. That’s because they are low on the glycemic index and a 1998 study found that participants who drank fig leaf tea with breakfast for a month actually reduced their insulin needs by 12 percent. The World Health Organization has recommended that people can use traditional plants, like figs, to help treat diabetes. But eat them in moderation, especially dried fruits, because of their high sugar content.

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Aids Digestive Health

Figs have been used as a natural treatment for gut issues like constipation. That’s because they are high in soluble fiber which promotes gut health by decreasing constipation and serving as a prebiotic according to Healthline. Eating dried figs can also help people who have IBS by reducing  pain, bloating and constipation.

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Good for Healthier Skin

People with skin conditions like allergic dermatitis and dry skin can also benefit from figs according to a study of 45 children  with allergic dermatitis found that a cream made from dried fig extracts was more effective than using hydrocortisone cream. But fig extracts may help anyone’s skin look and feel healthier, according to Healthline because antioxidants decrease collagen breakdown and may reduce wrinkles.

BONNIE RIVA RAS, EDITOR & WRITER
Bonnie Riva Ras has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.