People would be surprised to know that figs are teeming with health benefits. Perhaps if they knew, more people would eat them.
In the United States, we mainly only hear of figs in snack form as tasty Fig Newtons. When you can’t get them in their natural state, these treats are a reasonable option, but beware the sugar. Below is just a portion of the benefits of eating figs.
One fig has a good dose of dietary fiber, a few carbohydrates, a little protein, a few calories (just under 50) and barely any fat.
What’s So Great About Figs?
Prevent Heart Disease and Strokes – Potassium in figs help to regulate blood pressure; when you are a person prone to eating salty foods, ingesting more potassium helps to balance things so your blood pressure isn’t affected so much. Fiber in figs lowers cholesterol levels and improves blood circulation, while phytophenols prevent blood clots that could lead to heart attacks or strokes.
Eliminate Constipation & Diarrhea – The high fiber content in figs is what regulates bowel movements and makes them easier to pass through the digestive tract. So instead of hard, compacted stools or loose bowels, you’ll have normal stools that won’t inconvenience you in any way.
Defend Against Cancer – Figs contain antioxidants, fiber and other agents which create a barrier against cancers of the colon, skin and prostate particularly. Antioxidants are known to destroy free radicals that accumulate in the body more and more with age and exposure to harmful foods and substances.
These free radicals will eventually cause diseases like cancer, if left unchecked. Introducing antioxidant-rich foods like figs is how you get rid of them naturally. Substances called coumarins and benzaldehyde in figs also destroy tumors and rid the body of cancer.
Prevent Kidney Stones – Kidney stones are often caused by too much oxalate in your diet, but calcium and potassium have a way of blocking oxalate absorption so that these types of kidney stones cannot form. Surprisingly, oxalate is commonly found in healthy foods like spinach, cranberries, tea and tomatoes.
When you counter the effects of oxalate-rich foods like these by bumping up your calcium and potassium intake, kidney stones are no longer a threat. Figs are rich in both of these nutrients, and you can actually get a third of your recommended daily amount by eating just 10 figs.
Aid in Weight Loss – Figs are low in calories, very low in fat, and full of fiber; which means that eating them won’t offset your dietary goals, and they’ll help you to maintain or even lose weight.
Defeat Diabetes – Because figs are high in fiber and low in carbs, blood sugar levels will go down the more you eat them. Diabetics tend to crave sweets; well, figs are a naturally sweet fruit that diabetics can actually consume regularly without any major threat. Figs are even recommended by the American Diabetes Association.