Bright, juicy, and fresh, figs are a popular snack and versatile cooking ingredient. Fresh or dried, they are always tasty, but have you ever wondered about the benefits they can have for your health? Well, apart from being delicious figs are packed with health benefits and essential nutrients!
What Are Figs?
First things first, figs are the fruit of the ficus tree and have a fresh, sweet flavour. They can be eaten fresh, cooked within a variety of dishes, and eaten dried. Fresh figs should usually be eaten soon after purchase as they perish quickly, while dried figs can be stored for much longer.
Nutritional Benefits of Figs
Figs contain a variety of nutrients, but the amounts of these do depend on whether they are fresh or dried. If you are looking to eat them as part of a healthy diet, fresh figs are lower in calories and natural sugar. When dried, the natural sugar becomes concentrated and the figs will have a higher sugar as well as calorie content.
Figs are high in natural soluble fibre, which helps to promote a feeling of fullness after eating as well as helping with digestive health. It is often used as a treatment for digestive problems such as constipation and is also considered to be a probiotic, which supports the healthy bacteria in your gut.
They also contain many nutrients such as copper, vitamin B6, and calcium – all of which are important for your body’s health. Copper is essential for energy production and helps to boost your metabolism. Vitamin B6 helps your body to break down and create proteins and is thought to be crucial for brain health. Calcium is vital for bone density and figs, in particular, may help you to absorb more. Most of us consume too much sodium and this can hinder our body’s ability to process calcium. Still, figs are also high in potassium, which is thought to counteract some of the effects that a high-sodium diet can have.
Figs are delicious and when they are touted as a natural remedy for digestive issues or as a healthy snack, it can be easy to overindulge. However, if you eat excessive amounts, they can have a laxative effect or cause other digestive issues. Figs should also be avoided or eaten in tiny quantities by those who take blood-thinning medications as they are high in Vitamin-K and this can cause these medications to be less effective.
Overall, they are a versatile food that can be eaten fresh or dried as part of a balanced diet. Full of fibre and healthy natural sugar, they will help support your digestive health and provide you will essential nutrients to improve your bodily functions.
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