Give a fig about figs: 6 Health benefits of this nutrient-rich superfruit (recipe included)
02/24/2021 / By Brocky Wilson / Comments
Give a fig about figs: 6 Health benefits of this nutrient-rich superfruit (recipe included)

Figs are naturally sweet fruits that grow from the common fig (Ficus carica). With a soft, red flesh and thin skin, these superfruits are sought after for its honey-like sweetness.

But besides their delightful flavor, figs are also an amazing superfood packed with many nutrients like vitamin K, which your body needs for blood clotting, wound healing and maintaining healthy bones.

Figs and their leaves are commonly used in Ayurveda and other traditional healing systems to treat ailments that affect the respiratory, digestive and immune systems. Many researchers also say that figs boast potent antioxidant, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties.

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Here are some of the health benefits of figs and fig leaves: (h/t to MedicalNewsToday.com)

Improve blood sugar control

Fig leaves boast beneficial properties that can help improve blood sugar control. A study of eight diabetic patients showed that taking fig leaf extracts helps reduce blood sugar levels after a meal and lowers insulin levels. Some animal studies also suggest that fig leaf extract can stop or slow down the production of sugar in the liver.

Help overcome erectile dysfunction

Also called impotence, erectile dysfunction is the inability to get and keep an erection firm enough for sex. Sounds like a bummer — but figs are here to help out. In a mice study, researchers found that a mixture of figs, earth smoke (an herb) and Chinese cinnamon can increase sexual activity compared to a placebo.

Help remove warts

Warts are small growths in the skin that look like solid blisters or small cauliflowers. Icky to the touch and unpleasant to look at, they can easily lower your confidence. If you’re going out on a date or just wish to banish those unseemly bumps, the latex of a fig tree (that soft, white substance oozing out of the bark of a tree) may be able to help. In a study of 25 people, fig tree latex was found to completely resolve warts in 11 of the participants.

Maintain healthy hair

Figs are excellent sources of iron, which is important for maintaining healthy hair. Some studies link iron deficiency to several hair problems, including hair loss caused by autoimmunity and male and female pattern baldness.

Be sure to eat dried figs as they contain higher amounts of iron than fresh ones. You can also soak fresh figs overnight to increase their iron content.

Reduce fever

The fig plant can help reduce your body temperature when you have a fever. A mice study found that a dose of fig alcohol extract can reduce body temperature for up to five hours.

Dried figs are also excellent fruits to snack on. That’s because they are loaded with nutrients like vitamins A and C that boost your overall health. They also contain high amounts of water to keep you hydrated.

Boost digestive health

Figs are chock-full of fiber that’s important for digestive health. Fiber helps balance the amount of good and bad bacteria in your gut and promotes regular bowel movement.

Figs can also help reduce symptoms of constipation. One study reported that this superfruit helped soothe stomach pain and discomfort, increased bowel movement and reduced the feeling of incomplete bowel emptying.

Take note that eating too many figs may cause diarrhea because of their rich fiber content. Fresh frigs may also trigger allergies in some people.

Fig and pistachio salad recipe

While figs are already nutritious on their own, pairing them with other superfoods diversifies the nutrients you can get from them. Try this delicious fig and pistachio salad to give yourself a nutritional boost:

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 8 figs
  • 50 grams pistachios, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely sliced
  • 150 grams soft goat’s cheese
  • 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons clear flower honey
  • Salad leaves to serve

Preparations:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Heat up a small amount of olive oil in a pan, add the shallot and celery, then fry for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften.
  3. Add most of the pistachios and keep frying for around 2 minutes. Season well, then let cool in a bowl.
  4. Trim the tops off the figs and cut them into quarters, leaving the bases intact.
  5. Mix the pistachio and shallots with the cheese and press the mixture into the center of the figs. Stand them up in a baking dish and sprinkle the remaining pistachios and thyme.
  6. Bake for 5 minutes, then drizzle with honey.
  7. Serve with salad leaves topped with olive oil.

Figs are a naturally sweet superfood that make a great healthy snack and pack a wide range of important nutrients. Add figs to your diet to experience the health benefits of these delicious superfruits.

Sources:

MedicalNewsToday.com

JAAD.org

OliveMagazine.com

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