Figs: Benefits, Virtues, Nutritional Value and Side effects

Figs: Benefits, Virtues, Nutritional Value and Side effects

The sweet, succulent and nutritious fig was prescribed in ancient Greece to Olympic athletes. It provides energy, minerals and abundant fiber.

From the Mediterranean, the fig tree has spread to India and the Middle East, and much later to America. Today, the main producers are Turkey, Egypt, Greece, Morocco and Spain, mainly Huesca, Lleida, Ávila, Cáceres, Murcia or Alicante. Outside the Mediterranean area, the United States and Brazil stand out.

There are between 700 and 800 varieties of fig trees in the world, of which about 300 are for human consumption.

Nutritional value of figs

Perhaps because it's such a sweet and juicy fruit, many people think that it contains a lot of calories. However, its caloric intake if consumed fresh is only slightly higher than that of apples.

And it also comes entirely from its natural sugars (glucose, fructose, sucrose). Its percentage of fats and proteins is negligible.

In addition to energy (74 calories mainly from 14g of carbohydrates found in 100g of fresh figs, or 249 calories in the same amount of dried figs) and fiber, figs provide minerals such as calcium and magnesium, especially concentrated in dried figs.

Minerals in abundance

  • Potassium: it is the most abundant mineral in the fig: 232 mg / 100 g in the fresh state and 680 in the dry state.
  • Calcium: The fig is the fruit that contains the most calcium: 35 mg / 100 g for fresh figs and 162 mg for dried figs.
  • Magnesium: with 17 mg and 68 mg per 100 grams of fresh and dried fig respectively, ensures the fixation of calcium.
  • Phosphorus: provides half of that of calcium, the ideal ratio for the mineral balance of the skeleton and to keep the bones in good condition.
  • Iron: Dried figs help to obtain moderate doses of iron: a 50-gram portion covers 6% of the daily needs of women and 8% of men's.
  • Manganese: this trace element participates in the formation of bones and tissues, blood coagulation, insulin functions and cholesterol synthesis.

In the case of vitamins, fresh figs contain several groups of B vitamins, such as B1, B5, B6 and B7.

Rich in fiber

The contribution of fiber (3 g per 100 g serving) is the most remarkable nutritional characteristic of figs, including soluble and insoluble fiber.

Healthy flavonoids

In addition to the main nutrients found in figs, there are substances that in small quantities are important and give them some of their healthy qualities.

The most notorious group is flavonoids, which are found in greater concentration in dark fig varieties.

Properties of figs

Medicinal properties of figs

The chemical composition of the fig justifies a series of beneficial actions in the body.

Metabolic and digestive health

Soluble fiber helps control cholesterol and blood sugar levels and helps regulate intestinal transit.

Insoluble fiber also facilitates intestinal transit and has a preventive effect against diseases such as colon cancer.

Weight control

Figs can also help control weight through its satiating effect. Eating two or three figs before the meal reduces appetite. A delicious appetizer with less than 70 calories!

Strong bones and nerves

The minerals in figs - particularly calcium (35 mg / 100 g) and magnesium (17 mg / 100 g) - make it a suitable fruit for keeping the nervous and musculoskeletal systems in good condition.

Good for the skin

A compound called psoralen, found in figs, is used successfully in the treatment of skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis.

Benefits of figs

Some of the health benefits derived from figs include:


Natural chemicals in fig leaves make an ideal component for a tea base. Fig leaf tea has been popularly prescribed for various respiratory conditions such as bronchitis, and is also used as a means to prevent and decrease the symptoms of asthmatic patients.

Venereal diseases

Figs are traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and in other parts of the world as a soothing balm against venereal diseases. Ingestion or topical application both act to relieve sexually transmitted diseases, although additional research needs to be done on the exact range of symptoms and diseases that figs positively affect.

Sexual dysfunction

For centuries, figs have been recommended to correct sexual dysfunction such as infertility, resistance or erectile dysfunction. The fig has been an important part of mythology and culture and most of the time it is considered a potent fertility or a sexual supplement. The actual success as an aphrodisiac is debatable, but the huge amount of vitamins and precious minerals could cause the sudden increase in energy and vigor that people make for sexual gain. Soak 2-3 figs in milk overnight and eat in the morning to improve sexual skills.

Prevention of constipation

There are 5 grams of fiber in each serving of three-figs. This high concentration of fiber promotes healthy and regular bowel function and prevents constipation. Fiber can add volume and mass to bowel movements, so it not only prevents constipation, but also eliminates diarrhea and irregular or unhealthy bowel movements.


Fiber in figs also helps reduce weight and is often recommended for obese people. However, high calories can also lead to weight gain, especially when consumed with milk. Some figs are enough to get the recommended amount of nutrients, so do not overdo it!

Lower cholesterol

Figs contain pectin, which is a soluble fiber. When the fiber passes through the digestive system, it spills excess cholesterol and brings it to the excretory system to eliminate it from the body. As a soluble fiber, pectin in figs also stimulates healthy stools. Figs can have a laxative effect because they are one of the rich fiber foods available. High amounts of fiber in the diet can be beneficial to health by preventing certain types of cancer of the abdomen, in addition to colon cancer.

Prevention of coronary heart disease

Dry figs contain phenol, omega 3 and omega-6. These fatty acids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. In addition, fig leaves have a significant effect on triglyceride levels in a person's system. Fig leaves have an inhibitory effect on triglycerides and decrease the total number of triglycerides. Triglycerides are another important factor behind several heart diseases.

Protection against postmenopausal breast cancer

The fiber content of figs is known to protect against breast cancer and, after menopause, hormone balance can often fluctuate in women. The body's systems are so interconnected that hormones affect the immune system, affecting the ability of antioxidants to deal with free radicals. Free radicals are important factors behind the development of cancer, so figs take care of an extra line of defense by providing their fiber wealth.

Good for diabetic patients

The American Diabetes Association recommends figs as a high fiber content that helps promote functional control of diabetes. Fig leaves reduce the amount of insulin needed for diabetic patients who regularly take insulin injections. Figs are rich in potassium, which helps regulate the amount of sugar absorbed by the body after meals. Large amounts of potassium can ensure that peaks and lower blood sugar are much less common, so figs can help diabetics live a more normal life.

Strengthens the bones

Figs are rich in calcium, which is one of the most important components in bone building and reduces the risk of osteoporosis. It is so rich in phosphorus that stimulates the formation of bone and the resurgence of the spurs if there is damage or degradation of the bones.

Loss of urinary calcium

People who have a diet high in sodium may be affected by an increase in urinary calcium loss. The high potassium content in figs helps to avoid this condition and regulates the contents of the waste in the urine. Minimize lost calcium by increasing the amount of uric acid and other harmful toxins released from the body.

Prevention of macular degeneration

Vision loss in the elderly is usually due to macular degeneration. Fruits and figs are especially good for helping to avoid this very common symptom of aging.

Relief of sore throat

The high mucilage content of figs helps heal and protect sore throats. The soothing nature of figs and their natural juices can relieve pain and tension in the vocal cords.

Prevention of hypertension

People usually get sodium in salt form, but below normal potassium and excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are a perfect defense against the appearance and effects of high blood pressure, making figs a relaxing meal that can calm nerves and bring some peace to the day.

Prevention of colon cancer

The presence of fiber helps to stimulate the elimination of free radicals and other cancers that cause substances, especially in the colon, since fiber increases the healthy circulation of the intestines.

Other benefits of benefits

Figs are very useful in the treatment of various respiratory disorders such as whooping cough and asthma. They are also very effective in:

  • Digestive support.
  • Treatment of constipation.
  • Treatment of indigestion.
  • Treatment of stomach pain and various other intestinal conditions.

Figs are good for treating:

  • Fever.
  • Ear pain
  • Boils.
  • Abscesses.
  • Venereal diseases.
  • Liver diseases.

Figs have a high level of alkanes, so they help regulate the body's pH. Figs are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Figs are known for their soothing and laxative properties, and they are also low in fat and sugar.

Figs in the kitchen

Use of figs in the kitchen

In traditional cuisine, there are not many recipes with fresh figs, perhaps because they are so succulent that they have always been appreciated as such. But they combine perfectly with mushrooms like shitake. It also combines with green leaves such as spinach, arugula, escarole or watercress. It can also be combined with nuts.

In terms of condiments, figs can be combined with rosemary, oregano, sage, chives, peppermint and black pepper.

Traditionally, figs were most used without a doubt as desserts. There are many recipes for salads, sauces, jams, cookies, breads and baked goods in general, such as fig breads.

Presentations of figs

The figs can be found as they are, in syrup, frosted or in a canned sweet and sour preparation.

The dried fig can be made by natural, old-fashioned or artificially dried drying in tray evaporators which dry in a few hours.

To avoid fermentation, there are also several alternatives: the oldest, which is still used in small farms, is to immerse them first in salt water.

The other is to do it in a solution of caustic soda. Many producers also spray them with sulfur dioxide, a preservative that gives them a more uniform tone.

Their market presentations are growing in number, though some are hard to find. The most classic and eaten is the whole dried fig at the natural.

Preservation of figs

When the figs tend to have a very ripe taste, with the crumpled neck and a drop of nectar in the apical opening, they are barely 2 or 3 days in the refrigerator.

Figs should not be touched frequently. If they are hard, they can be green.

It is important not to hit them or stack them so they are not crushed, and to go daily to remove those that are starting to deteriorate.

Side effects of eating figs

  • Eating large amounts of figs can cause diarrhea.
  • Dried figs are high in sugar and can potentially cause tooth decay.
  • People with allergies to figs or certain chemical components they contain may have allergic reactions that may be mild or severe.
  • It is best not to consume too much figs during the week or two weeks before surgery, as this can sometimes cause bleeding in the digestive tract in sensitive people.


[1] : Long-Term Dietary Supplementation of Pomegranates, Figs and Dates Alleviate Neuroinflammation in a Transgenic Mouse Model of Alzheimer’s Disease
[2] : The health benefits of figs
[3] : 29 Amazing Benefits Of Figs For Skin, Hair And Health

Posted on 05/14/2018 by Essia Ghorbel Benefits of Vegetables and... 0 37624
Tag: Figs

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