This article discusses figs, including their nutrition, benefits, and side effects of eating figs.
Figs are a one-of-a-kind fruit that resembles a teardrop. They’re about the size of your thumb, contain hundreds of tiny seeds, and have a purple or green peel that’s edible. The fruit’s flesh is pink and has a mild, sweet flavor.
Figs were commonly used to sweeten desserts before sugar became popular. Today, as people begin to avoid refined sugars, many are returning to figs as a healthier alternative.
Figs and their leaves are high in nutrients and may have a number of health benefits.
The Nutritional Content of Figs
According to the USDA, 100 grams of raw figs contains:
- Calories 74 kcal
- Carbohydrates 19.2 g
- Sugars 16.3 g
- Dietary fiber 3 g
- Fat 0.3 g
- Protein 0.8 g
- Vitamin A equiv. 7 μg 1% of the daily value (DV)
- Thiamine (B1) 0.06 mg 5% DV
- Riboflavin (B2) 0.05 mg 4% DV
- Niacin (B3) 0.4 mg 3% DV
- Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.3 mg 6% DV
- Vitamin B6 0.1 mg 8% DV
- Folate (B9) 6 μg 2% DV
- Vitamin C 2 mg 2% DV
- Vitamin E 0.11 mg 1% DV
- Vitamin K 4.7 μg 4% DV
- Calcium 35 mg 4% DV
- Iron 0.4 mg 3% DV
- Magnesium 17 mg 5% DV
- Manganese 0.13 mg 6% DV
- Phosphorus 14 mg 2% DV
- Potassium 232 mg 5% DV
- Sodium 1 mg 0% DV
- Zinc 0.15 mg 2% DV
Fresh figs contain some calories from natural sugar, making them a healthy, low-calorie snack or addition to a meal.
Dried figs, on the other hand, are high in sugar and calories because the sugar becomes concentrated when the fruits are dried.
Figs contain trace amounts of many nutrients, but they are especially high in copper and vitamin B6.
Copper is an essential mineral that is involved in a variety of bodily processes such as metabolism and energy production, as well as the formation of blood cells, connective tissues, and neurotransmitters.
Vitamin B6 is a necessary vitamin for your body to break down dietary protein and create new proteins. It also has a significant impact on brain health.
Top 8 Figs Benefits for Health
Here are some of the health benefits you can expect from eating figs.
1. For bone health
Figs are high in both calcium and potassium. These minerals can work together to increase bone density, thereby preventing conditions like osteoporosis.
A potassium-rich diet, in particular, has been shown in studies to improve bone health and reduce bone turnover.
Meanwhile, calcium is an important structural component of bones, and it has been shown that increasing calcium intake improves bone mineral structure in children and adolescents.
2. Figs benefits for skin
Figs may be beneficial to the skin, particularly in people who have allergic dermatitis, or dry, itchy skin caused by allergies.
In one study of 45 children with dermatitis, a cream made from dried fig fruit extract applied twice daily for two weeks was found to be more effective than the standard treatment.
3. Get rid of fever
According to one study, a fig extract dose reduced body temperature in rats for up to 5 hours.
However, more research is required to confirm these findings because researchers are still unsure how to explain the body temperature-lowering effect of figs.
4. Reduce high blood pressure
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, can lead to complications such as heart disease and stroke. A potassium imbalance caused by eating too much sodium and not enough potassium is one factor that contributes to high blood pressure.
Figs are high in potassium and can help correct this imbalance. Meanwhile, the high fiber content of figs can help to flush excess sodium from the system.
5. For digestive health
For many years, figs have been used as a home remedy or alternative treatment for digestive issues such as constipation.
They contain fiber, which may promote digestive health by softening and bulking stools, reducing constipation, and acting as a prebiotic or food source for the healthy bacteria in your gut.
Fig fruit extract or paste has been shown in studies to aid in the movement of food through the digestive tract, reducing constipation and improving symptoms of digestive disorders such as ulcerative colitis.
6. Figs benefits for hair
Figs are high in iron, which is an essential mineral for maintaining healthy hair.
Iron promotes circulation and transports oxygen to the roots of your hair, allowing it to grow faster and longer. Hair loss can be caused by an iron deficiency.
7. Figs benefits for male and female
Some people consider certain plants to be aphrodisiacs because of their potential to stimulate both male and female sexual arousal.
Indeed, some people believe that figs have aphrodisiac properties. More research is needed before doctors can recommend using figs to treat erectile dysfunction.
8. Lower blood glucose levels
Researchers have discovered that the fig has liver-protective and glucose-lowering properties.
One small study from 1998 discovered that taking fig leaf extracts reduced after-meal glucose levels in eight participants.
Researchers discovered that fig leaf extract could improve insulin levels and lower blood glucose levels in rats with type 2 diabetes in a study using rats.
Side Effects of Eating Figs
Figs have some potential side effects. For example, may cause diarrhea or other digestive problems if used as a home remedy for constipation.
It is also high in vitamin K, which can interfere with blood-thinning medications and reduce their effectiveness.
Figs may cause allergic reactions in some people. If you are allergic to birch pollen, you may also be allergic to fig pollen. Natural latex, which some people may be allergic to, is also found in fig trees.