Figs are a unique fruit rich in health benefits. This fruit is small, maybe the size of an egg or smaller depending on the variety. if I’m not mistaken, figs itself has very many variants of up to 700 variants. The figs are unique, shaped like water drops where the stem is rather small and enlarges in the middle and ends.
Inside it contains many small seeds, fibrous figs flesh with a red or pink color. The skin is yellowish green or black, red, purple or farigata and others. The taste is sweet and legit, depending on the type of figs.
Figs are rich in nutrients, not only in the fruit, but also the leaves are rich in benefits even the health benefits of figs leaves are greater than the fruit. Among the benefits of figs are improving digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease, and good for controlling blood sugar levels.
Here we will discuss more about figs, including their health benefits, nutrition, side effects and even how to add them in cooking. Read on for this article to the end.
Figs Nutrition Facts
Fresh figs are low in calories and rich in nutrients that are important in supporting health. Well, it is great as food for daily diet because it is low in calories.
One small figs (40 grams) already contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 30 cal
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
- Carbs: 8 grams
- Copper: 3% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
- Thiamine: 2% of the DV
- Magnesium: 2% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 3% of the DV
Fresh figs contain fewer calories than their natural sugar content. However, consuming figs is very good for health because in addition to being low in calories, it is also rich in other nutrients that are good for improving health.
Unlike the case with dried figs, dried figs are rich in calories and high in sugar, this is not good for health. If you want to consume figs for health, choose figs that are fresh or freshly harvested from the tree.
In addition to containing sugar, figs also contain other nutrients in small amounts. But there are nutrients that are very high in copper and vitamin B6.
What are the benefits of copper? This is an important mineral that plays a role in several body processes, including copper’s function is involved in the body’s metabolism. Also serves to produce energy, the formation of red blood cells, neurotransmitters and is involved in the formation of connective tissue.
While vitamin B6 is useful for breaking down food proteins and making new proteins. Vitamin B6 is also very important for our brain health.
Health Benefits of Figs Fruit
Figs have many health benefits such as improving digestion, good for the heart, and potentially good for blood sugar management.
To find out more about the benefits of fig fruit, keep reading this article to the end.
1. Figs are good for digestion
This benefit has long been known and since ancient times people consume figs for the purpose of getting these benefits. So, it can prevent constipation. This is thanks to the high fiber content in figs.
High-fiber foods are good for increasing stool mass and making it easier for bowel movements to move stools so they are easy to pass. This is the benefit of consuming high-fiber foods, such as figs. Figs also act as an ingredient for the good environment of good bacteria in the intestines.
Research on figs shows that figs speed up the movement of food through the digestive tract. Good for preventing constipation, relieving indigestion, including eliminating ulcerative colitis. There is a study in those with irritable bowel syndrome in 150 people. The results of this study showed that those who consumed 4 dried figs every two days experienced a significant decrease in symptoms. These included a reduction in bloating, pain, and constipation, compared to those who did not run the trial.
There was also a similar study in 80 people, they found that taking a fig supplement of 10 ounces daily for 8 weeks, significantly reduced constipation, compared to the control group.
2. Good for blood vessels and heart health
Consuming figs regularly is good for high blood pressure. It can improve the health of blood vessels so as to avoid the occurrence of heart problems and high blood pressure. Figs are good for blood vessel health and can reduce fat levels in the blood. In turn this can prevent high blood pressure.
A study in mice showed that eating figs could improve the problem of high blood pressure until it returned to normal. Studies on rats that have excess fat have also shown that figs can lower blood fat levels.
Another study conducted on 83 people who had high cholesterol (HDL), they were told to eat figs. The results found that those who added about 14 figs per day experienced improvements in blood lipid levels. 14 pieces is about 120 grams. These results differed from those in the control of this study.
To get clearer evidence, more research like this should be done in humans, so we really know how the health benefits of figs are.
More: Facts About Lotus Tree
3. Manage blood pressure
Furthermore, the health benefits of figs are great for diabetics. A study of 10 people with type 1 diabetes found that drinking figs leaf tea reduced their insulin requirements. When they consume fig leaf tea, their need for insulin is reduced, this means that fig leaves have many benefits for blood sugar.
In fact, research shows that drinks containing figs fruit extract have a lower glycemic index compared to fruit without figs extract. This shows that figs are good for blood sugar control.
But you have to be careful with the dried figs. Figs that have been dried are said to be high in cholesterol and high in sugar. Well, if your body has trouble regulating blood sugar levels, then you should limit eating figs.
4. Potential as a cancer drug
There has been a lot of research on figs leaves against cancer. The results are very promising where fig leaves contain certain substances that can destroy cancer cells.
Fig leaves and their sap have been shown to kill tumor cells. So it is good for preventing and treating breast cancer, cervical cancer, and liver cancer.
However, it should be noted that this does not mean that drinking fig tea and eating figs can provide the same benefits. So, test-tube studies show a great starting point for cancer drugs, but have to go through a lot more research, including how to make a good fig leaf tea and how the sap can provide great benefits in destroying cancer cells.
5. Figs nourish the skin
Consuming figs is good for skin health, especially for people who suffer from dermatitis or dry and itchy skin. There was a study of 45 children who experienced dermatitis or itching on the skin, they were given a cream from fig extract twice a day for two weeks. The results turned out to be more effective than using hydrocortisone cream, the standard type of treatment for dermatitis.
The fig extract exhibits antioxidant effects that repair damaged skin cells, reduce collagen breakdown, and remove skin wrinkles as shown in test-tube and animal studies. This is also being researched so that it is clearly known that this is the effect of figs.
There are some side effects that may occur, because figs contain good in treating constipation, then this must be limited as well because excess eating figs is said to cause diarrhea.
Figs are also rich in vitamin K, the benefit of vitamin K is to freeze it, so this can affect the effect of blood-thinning drugs. If you are taking blood thinning drugs, then avoid consuming figs.
Another side effect is the possibility of allergies. It is known that there are reports that some people experience allergies when eating figs especially those who are allergic to birch pollen. Another thing you should know is that the figs plant contains natural latex which can also cause some to feel allergic to it.