The fruit of the ficus tree, part of the mulberry (or moraceae) family, figs have a an amazing reputation when it comes to keeping you healthy. When cut open, the sweet, soft and chewy fruit has a delicious red flesh and edible seeds. Figs come in many colours, textures, shapes and sizes and are native to the Middle East (a fixture since biblical times) and the Mediterranean. Commonly known for being a great digestive aid and a natural sweetener, there’s more to them than you might’ve thought, so let’s discover the Top 5 Health Benefits of Figs!
1. Digestive health
Figs are most commonly known for their digestive benefits. You’ll see them as one of the main ingredients in many herbal remedies for constipation. This is because they are a natural laxative and this, in combination with a high fibre content; makes them a must when it comes to tackling constipation and many other digestive complaints. What’s more, figs act as a prebiotic, which helps to support and keep your gut bacteria healthy.
2.Great for sore throats
Figs contain a substance called mucilage that is known for being a wonderful soother for sore throats. It’s a gel-like fibre that coats, soothes and heals the throat mucosa making eating and talking much more comfortable. Try snacking on some before you reach for the lemsip!
3. Fuel up!
Many dried fruits are a brilliant fuel source during long, bouts of endurance exercise and figs are definitely on that list. Due to the sugar content in the dried form, they make for a quick release of energy proving to be just as effective as eating (would you believe) gummy bears! They are also rich in potassium, which is an essential mineral to consume before, during or after exercise to help keep your body balanced and replace electrolytes. You can find dried and diced versions just about anywhere on the high street stores and in supermarkets.
4. Bone health
Figs are rich in calcium, which is essential for keeping your bones healthy and allaying osteoporosis. As previously mentioned, they also contain potassium which helps reduce the amount of calcium we excrete through urine and phosphorus to aid bone formation.
5. Lowers blood pressure and reduces risk of heart disease
Being high in potassium and low in salt, figs make the perfect snack if you suffer with hypertension. Figs also contain omega 3 and 6, which helps keep your cardiovascular system healthy. In addition to this, drinking fig leaf tea is thought to have a positive effect on triglyceride levels in your body.
Who knew something so sweet and delicious could have so many wonderful healing advantages? Try experimenting with dried figs as a fuel source or as a natural sweetener in your recipes in place of sugar. I find it the perfect sweet snack to settle my post-dinner sweet cravings! How do you prefer yours? Let us know below or @KeepfitKingdom !