Are figs healthy
Are figs healthy? In this blog, we will discuss all about figs and their benefits. We are all familiar with the advice of two pieces of fruit a day. A good rule of thumb to aim for, as a fruit is full of fiber, vitamins and minerals that your body desperately needs. But does this also apply to tropical fruits such as dates and figs? And perhaps an even more important question: are they still healthy when you eat them dried?
Today we will discuss in detail the fig, somewhat the neglected child in this family. Are figs healthy? What can you do with it? What should you pay attention to when you buy them? After reading this blog you will know all about it!
Are figs healthy? Vitamins and minerals
Let’s start with the basics: what are the important nutrients in figs? First of all, they naturally contain a lot of vitamins, like all fruits. For example, they are rich in vitamin C, which is good for the immune system. They also contain a lot of vitamin A, which keeps your skin and eyes healthy, and various vitamins from the B complex.
In the field of minerals, these fruits also score very well. For example, they contain quite a bit of calcium, about which more later. It also contains copper, iron, potassium and selenium. All these minerals are important for heart and blood vessels: potassium keeps your blood pressure low and iron helps you to transport oxygen.
Fiber in figs
The second advantage of figs is that it contains a lot of fiber! In fresh figs this is about 2.1 grams per 100 grams, in dried figs about 9 grams. That has many advantages. To begin with, it is of course nice that the sugars from the fruit are absorbed more slowly thanks to those fibers.
This way you prevent an unhealthy high peak in your blood sugar level. In addition, fiber helps you feel full for longer. And finally, they are essential for keeping your gut bacteria healthy. Not an unnecessary luxury, as they have a significant impact on your immune system, overall health and even your mood.
Figs for the bones
As mentioned above, figs for fruit contain relatively much calcium. In 100 grams of figs, you will find no less than 55 mg of calcium. That’s about half the volume of 100 ml of milk, just to give you an idea. Because your bones mainly consist of calcium, you really need calcium to prevent osteoporosis.
However, that’s not the only way the fruit helps strengthen bones. They also contain vitamin C, which ensures that your body can better absorb calcium. And it also contains potassium, which is increasingly clear that it is also important for your bone health.
Figs for sore throats
A final benefit of figs is that they can be a great help in treating sore throats. The reason is that they contain polymers, also called mucilages. You can find the same substances in products such as linseed and aloe vera. The polymers form a protective layer in the throat, as it were and thus reduce pain. Your mucous membranes also recover faster.
And if the sore throat is due to a cold or flu, vitamin C will also help you to recover. It is recommended to eat a lot of it when you suffer from these kinds of diseases!
Fresh or dried figs?
Why figs are healthy, that may be clear by now. Then the next question is of course: which are the healthiest, the fresh or the dried? In general, you could say that the fresh figs are a bit healthier if you look at the amount of sugars. In the fresh version you will find only 19 grams of sugars per 100 grams, while the dried version contains no less than 54 grams. That is quite a difference.
On the other hand, other nutrients are also a lot more concentrated in dried figs: we mentioned above, for example, that they contain much more fiber. You can therefore also opt for dried; in that case, we only recommend that you eat a little less of it.
Buy fresh figs
Nowadays you will often find dried figs in the store. Many organic shops , specialty fruit and vegetable stores and some supermarkets also sell fresh figs. When buying, make sure that the skin is still soft. As soon as it has become hard and stiff, they themselves are also less juicy. Once bought, eat them within a few days to prevent them from getting old.
It is best to store them dry outside the refrigerator. Handy tip: to peel fresh figs, you can first cut them into quarters. You can then easily pull the peel off from bottom to top.
How do you eat fresh figs?
And what do you ultimately do with those fresh figs? First of all, you can of course eat them well as a snack. Thanks to the fiber, they fill up nicely, and thanks to the carbohydrates they quickly provide energy. They are also the ideal seasoning in salads. Preferably combine them with some salty ingredients, such as feta or ham.
Also delicious: warm figs with goat cheese and a drop of honey. In oriental stews, you can also use them as a sweet touch, as is often done with dates and apricots. For example, a tagine with pieces of fresh fig is not to be sneezed at!
Finally, dried figs are also excellent as a sweetener. You do this in the same way as is often done with dates: puree the dried fruits, and you’re done!
Figs or dates?
Figs even have a number of great examples above dates. They contain fewer sugars: 54 against 73 grams per 100 grams. The amount of fiber is higher in figs: 9 grams compared to 7.5 grams in dried dates. The processing is actually exactly the same. So don’t hesitate to use the same amount of figs in recipes with dates. It can only get healthier!