Dried Figs: Benefits and Harms to The Body
The fig tree is deciduous and can reach a height of 7‒10 meters. Trees grow in dry, sunny areas with fresh and deep soils. They also settle in rocky areas and can survive in less fertile soils. Fig trees live up to 100 years and have long, winding branches that sometimes exceed the height of the tree itself. The homeland of figs is the Middle East and Western Asia.
Fig trees are now cultivated all over the world, including Asia and North America.
Figs grow with an impressive weight of up to 50-70 grams. As they mature, green figs turn either purple or brown. Figs have a unique taste.
The sweet soft texture and crunchy seeds create an unusual and interesting combination. The taste of the fruit also depends on its color. In nature, there are a large number of varieties of figs: oval or pear-shaped, white, green, red, yellow, purple and even black. Fresh figs are available from June to September, and dried figs are available all year round.
Figs are a wonderful and healthy product. Many have tried it fresh or dried, but hardly thought about how useful it is.
Which figs are Healthier – Dried or Fresh?
Without a doubt, fresh fruits are good for your health, but how good are dried fruits?
If we talk about figs, then the difference is minimal. Unlike many dried fruits, dried figs have fewer calories than fresh ones! Approximately 20 kcal – in one dried fig, and in fresh – already 30 kcal. However, fresh figs contain more water and because they take up more volume in the stomach, they satisfy hunger better. One dried fig contains 5 gК of carbohydrates and 4 gr of sugar, and fresh – 8 gr and 7 gr, respectively. The fiber content does not change after drying and is 1 gr.
Figs are a storehouse of beneficial phytonutrients, antioxidants and vitamins.
Dried figs are a source of natural sugars and soluble fiber. They are rich in fiber, potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, calcium, chlorine, sodium, vitamin B6 and K, retinol (vitamin A), thiamine (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2). The use of figs is recommended for asthma, cough, bronchitis, sexual dysfunctions, constipation, gastrointestinal disorders…
Dried figs have a high glycemic index – 62, and fresh – 55. Therefore, eating dried figs quickly raises blood sugar levels. On the other hand, the presence of potassium helps to reduce spikes in sugar. Therefore, people with type 2 diabetes need to be very careful when consuming figs.
It should be noted that not only dried, but also fresh figs contain a large amount of natural sugar – fructose, which, if consumed excessively, may worsen the state of health. Therefore, dried figs are great as a natural and healthy treat for children and adults, but they are recommended to be consumed in moderation.
Sweet-tasting foods, including figs, quickly energize the body. Therefore, it is better to include them in the diet in the morning so that this energy is used up during the day.
Dried figs have many other health benefits. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Due to the large amount of iron in dried figs, the level of hemoglobin in the blood can be significantly increased. This is especially true for the growing body of children and adolescents, as well as during pregnancy in women. One dried fig provides approximately 2% of an adult’s daily iron requirement.
Figs contain tryptophan, an amino acid involved in the synthesis of melatonin and vitamin B3, which are important for proper sleep and improving sleep quality.
Due to the high content of potassium, magnesium, antioxidants, figs stimulate and strengthen the immune system, kill bacteria, viruses and roundworms.
The fiber in figs helps in weight loss. However, its high calorie content can have the opposite effect, especially when consumed with milk. A few pieces a day is enough. Be careful and eat in moderation!
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