Figs: Tiny but Loaded with Nutrients

Figs: Tiny but Loaded with Nutrients

Figs: Tiny but Loaded with Nutrients

Share This News
Benefits include supporting digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease and aiding in blood sugar management.

5th June 2024

By Sukhmani Kooner 

Figs are a distinctive fruit shaped like a teardrop, approximately the size of a thumb, containing numerous tiny seeds and an edible purple or green peel. The flesh is pink with a gentle, sweet flavour. Scientifically known as Ficus carica, figs and their leaves are nutrient-rich, offering numerous potential health advantages. These include supporting digestion, reducing the risk of heart disease and aiding in blood sugar management.

Fresh figs are nutrient-dense and low in calories, making them an excellent choice for a healthy diet. With just 30 calories per small (40-gram) fig, they offer a range of essential nutrients. These include 8 grams of carbohydrates and 1 gram of fibre, providing a satisfying snack that won’t spike blood sugar levels. Additionally, fresh figs contain small amounts of copper, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin B6 and vitamin K, contributing to overall health. While they do contain natural sugars, consuming a few figs is a reasonable option for a low-calorie snack or a nutritious addition to any meal.

Dried figs have less water content compared to fresh ones, resulting in a smaller size. However, their sugar and calorie content remain unchanged. Due to their reduced size, it’s easier to consume a larger quantity of dried figs, leading to a higher intake of sugar and calories compared to fresh figs.

A plethora of benefits- 

·        Anjeer is rich in vital nutrients that promote general health and wellness. These include carbohydrates, dietary fibre, calcium, iron and fats.

·        The abundant fibre in anjeer assists in reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease. Moreover, it aids in fat reduction and helps regulate blood pressure.

·        Figs promote regular and smoother bowel movements, aiding digestion. They also help maintain gut health by preventing constipation and other digestive problems.

·        Due to their high potassium content, figs are beneficial for regulating blood sugar levels, serving as a suitable sugar substitute for individuals with diabetes.

·        Figs contain vitamins and minerals that support the immune system, enabling the body to combat infections and diseases effectively.

·        Anjeer contains essential nutrients that hydrate the respiratory system, naturally clearing phlegm, reducing coughing, soothing sore throats and alleviating various lung obstructions.

Numerous encouraging laboratory studies have explored the potential impact of fig leaves on cancer cells. Research indicates that fig leaves and natural latex derived from fig plants demonstrate anti-tumour properties against various types of cancer cells, including those affecting the colon, breast, cervix and liver. 

However, it’s important to note that the findings from these test-tube studies do not necessarily translate to the same effects when consuming figs or drinking fig leaf tea. While these initial studies are promising, further research involving human trials is required to understand the effects of ingesting figs or fig leaves on cancer growth.

Caution:

Figs come with potential drawbacks. While they’re commonly used as a natural remedy for constipation, excessive consumption may lead to diarrhoea or other digestive issues. Additionally, figs are relatively high in vitamin K, which can interfere with the effectiveness of blood thinning medications. It’s crucial for individuals taking blood thinners to maintain a consistent intake of vitamin-K-rich foods, including figs, to minimise the risk of complications. 

Furthermore, some individuals may have allergic reactions to figs, particularly if they have allergies to birch pollen, as there could be cross-reactivity. Additionally, the natural latex found in fig trees may trigger allergies in certain individuals.