Fresh and juicy figs with the crunchy seeds inside are an absolute delight and stand out for their incredible health benefiting properties. Locally known as anjeer, this small pear-shaped fruit can be consumed fresh as well as dry. Belonging to the mulberry family, fig trees thrive in warm as well as dry climates. The unique characteristic of this tree is that unlike other plants, figs are pollinated internally where the wasp lays it’s eggs inside the fruit.
That’s why fig trees don’t blossom as the flowers itself are on the inside, producing hundreds of tiny seeds that give figs their unique, crunchy texture. Figs are a tasty and healthy addition to your diet given their high concentration of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. In India especially, figs are available throughout the year in their dried form and can be added to salads, halwas, jams, and trail mix. Here’s a look at why figs or anjeer are so great for you
Since figs are a great source of fiber, they help in maintaining smooth functioning of the digestive system. This could also aid in weight management and is linked to reduce the risk of cancer and type 2-diabetes. The high fiber content also make figs an ideal snack to keep you feeling full for longer. But along with fiber, figs are also highly calorific and need to be consumed in small quantities if you want to lose weight. But for people who are looking to put on a few kilos, then consumption of figs is a good source for gaining weight in a healthy way.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Figs are a good source of the mineral potassium, which when taken regularly helps in maintaining blood pressure. Since potassium helps counter the ability of salt to raise blood pressure, it also decreases bone loss and reduces the risk of developing kidney stones. A diet rich in figs may help you fight heart and kidney ailments.
Promotes Reproductive Health
The ancient Greeks used to consider figs to be a sacred fruit ad a natural aphrodisiac. Figs were noted to be a sumbol of female fertility and love. In India too, women undergoing menstruation are advised to have figs soaked in milk. Since they are loaded with minerals like zinc, manganese, magnesium, and iron, figs contribute to improving reproductive health. Some studies have also linked the high anti-oxidant levels in figs to protection against post-menopausal breast cancer and hormonal imbalances.
Benefits Heart Health
Figs have been found to reduce the level of triglycerides in the body, which are the fat reserves responsible for causing major heart problems. The antioxidants in figs also help in eradicating free radicals from the body and lower blood pressure. Patients who have been diagnosed with clogged arteries will find figs as a respite as they ensure a steady supply of blood and prevent coronary heart disease.
The high potassium content in figs, which is responsible to manage the sodium levels in the body, are keep check on the blood sugar levels. A diet rich in potassium is therefore said to help patients suffering from diabetes. Some studies also show that the chlorogenic acid present in figs helps lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-2 diabetes.