April 28, 2021 by D.Fathia
Updated April 28, 2021
What is the nutritional value of figs?
Figs are the sweetest fruits to eat. There are various types of them; the rainbow colors and the different sizes add to the aura of these mouthwatering tiny fruits. Most types thrive during the summer. They ripen quickly, bombarding you with numerous full baskets each day. Yet, there are a few types of fig trees that yield fruits year-round or at least during one or two seasons apart from summer. With this fruit, joy never ends and pleasure is continuous.
These are not only food for the stomach; they are also food for health. You might have been enjoying them because of the honeyed taste, but you should consider the nutritional value of figs. They are the powerhouse of several nutrients and have positive effects on overall health.
Fig nutrition facts
Data from the United States Department of Agriculture reveals the following components of 40 grams of fresh figs:
- Calories: 30
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbohydrates: 8 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Copper: 3% of the Daily Value
- Magnesium: 2% of the DV
- Potassium: 2% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 2% of the DV
- Thiamine: 2% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 3% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 2% of the DV
These nutrients found in one fruit should be highly valued. You can include figs in your daily meals as a dessert or as part of other recipes. A handful is just enough to reap the incredible benefits, absorb the nutrients, and cherish the pleasure.
Dried figs contain the same nutrients; however, their sugar content is higher than fresh figs, and probably more calories as well. Therefore if you are controlling the amount of sugar you are taking then you should probably limit your consumption of dried figs.
Nevertheless, the nutritional value of figs is undeniable, either fresh or dried. Some of the most important landmarks of fig nutritional benefits are their contents of vitamin B6 and copper. Vitamin B6 is said to have vital importance for brain health as well as an essential role in helping the body to break down proteins.
Copper, abundant mostly in figs, is a mineral responsible for many bodily processes such as metabolism, energy production, blood cell formation, and neurotransmitters.
The presence of antioxidants such as vitamin A and K adds to the value of figs. They are truly a treasure to seek. It is only unfortunate that figs perish quickly. To enjoy their benefits and sweetness for longer, nonetheless, ancient people have found a way to beat the working of time and biology. Let’s find out about drying figs.
History of dried figs
The history of dried figs goes back to ancient civilizations and human gatherings. One of the oldest pieces of evidence found regarding this practice has been unearthed in Palestine. A storage jar with carbonized figs was revealed; it dates back to the Late Bronze Age, the first quarter of the 12th century BCE.
The surprising thing about this discovery is that the figs were still intact. They are no longer edible, but they did not deteriorate. Fruits kept that long must have been eaten by warms, to say the least. It is truly an incredible sight. This testifies to the wisdom and utility of ancient techniques.
Luckily, these methods have been passed down through the generations. Today, we can treat ourselves with a handful of sweet tasty dried figs whenever we wish. If you want to reap the benefits of these fruits too, then keep reading to find out how to dry figs in the sun.
With the growing demand for dry figs and the expansion of business in this sector along with the low production in certain areas and lack of necessary conditions, the methods of drying figs have been modernized to meet the market demands. Special dehydrators are now used for this process. But nothing parallels the sun-dried figs. The natural methods are always healthier. So, how to dry figs in the sun?
Once you harvest your figs, rinse them gently with water and then pat them with a cloth. Be gentle so that the fruits don’t cut open as they are very fragile. Place them on a clean cloth under the sun. Make sure you take them inside during the night. Repeat this for two to three days until you notice that the fruits are shrinking and changing color.
Drizzle olive oil on all the fruits; make sure that the whole fig is soaked in olive oil. Then take them out to the sun once again. They need to remain there for at least a week. Remember to take them inside at night time so that they don’t get moister and deteriorate. Thanks to the oil they will turn golden colored and will remain soft. Store them in a sealed jar and consume them whenever you like.
Health benefits of dried figs
Thanks to their fiber content, figs are an excellent food for the digestive system. They can prevent constipation as they serve as a prebiotic.
Animal studies revealed that adding fig extract to rats’ food resulted in a decrease in blood pressure levels and an increase in good cholesterol. Though the studies are promising, more human experiments are needed. What’s important is that figs might have positive effects on heart health.
Studies on the fig leaf extract showed that patients with diabetes had decreased their insulin doses by 12 percent. One more study revealed that the fig extract combined in beverages has a low glycemic index.
Figs have several potential benefits both on the skin and possibly chronic diseases