|Dried figs Quick Facts|
|Origin||Western Asia and the Mediterranean|
|Colors||Purple, copper or yellow-green|
|Shapes||Round to oval|
|Major nutrients||Carbohydrate (73.21%)
Dried figs (scientifically Ficus carica) are the dried forms of fig fruit which evolve on the fig tree. Fresh figs are well-known for the juicy and luscious texture which is good for 1 to 2 weeks after being harvested. On the other hand, dried figs are available throughout the year. It has longer shelf life in comparison to the fresh ones. It is dried in the sun or excess water is discarded through dehydration process by leaving behind a fiber and nutrient rich snack.
Health Benefits of Dried Figs
- Skin health
Dried figs have high content of Vitamin C, Vitamin E and calcium. The active ingredients found in dried figs act as antioxidants that help to eradicate free radicals and prevent oxidative stress that results age spots, wrinkles and other blemishes. It provides elasticity to the skin and keeps one look younger for longer time period.
- Bone health
This dried fruit offers wide range of minerals that helps to maintain the density of bone. As people ages, body pulls minerals from bones leading to weak joints and promotes the chances of osteoporosis. Dried figs can slow down this process.
- Maintain blood pressure
Dried figs have adequate amounts of potassium that helps to lower blood pressure. Potassium acts as a vasodilator that helps to lower strain on blood vessels and arteries. It also lowers the chances of strokes, heart attacks and atherosclerosis by lowering the chances of coronary heart disease.
- Strengthen immunity
Vitamin C is a crucial to maintain stronger immunity. It stimulates white blood cells production and defends the chances of various infections and foreign pathogens. Other antioxidants lower the workload on immune system.
- Chronic ailments
Inflammation and chronic diseases are the major problems that majority of people faces. Upgrade the intake of minerals and vitamins such as antioxidants to lower oxidative stress in the system. It also prevents the health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart ailments.
- Weight loss
Dried fruits contain significant amounts of fiber that helps to promote the feelings of fullness and prevents overeating and unnecessary snacking. Consume this fruit in moderate amounts.
- Cure for diabetes
Dried figs has fiber in it that helps to regulate the release of glucose and insulin in the body and also the high concentration of natural sugars must be considered by the diabetic patients.
- Healthy cholesterol
Dietary fiber eliminates excess cholesterol from cardiovascular system by protecting the heart against buildup of plaque.
- Prevent hypertension
Sodium level increases with the increase in intake of more salt. This unbalances the sodium and potassium resulting in hypertension. Dried figs helps to restore the balance and prevents the chances of hypertension. A dried fig offers 2 mg of sodium and 129 mg of potassium.
- Reproductive health
Ancient Greeks used figs as aphrodisiac. It was considered to be a sacred fruit and is related with love and fertility. It possesses high content of zinc, minerals, magnesium and manganese that boost reproductive health.
- Its unique texture and natural sweetness makes it a great addition to both sweet and savory dishes.
- Pair it with goat cheese and caramelized onions.
- Add it to breads, biscuits and muffins.
- Use it in ice creams, jams and baked items.
- It is a perfect substitute for dried apricots, prunes and dates.
- Add dried figs to the oatmeal or other whole grain breakfast porridge.
- Use it in cakes, custards and puddings.
- Add it to soup, stews and to enrich, lamb meat and poultry.
- It could be added to muffins, pies, sandwiches and cheesecakes.
- Opened and unopened bags of dried figs could be stored for six months if refrigerated.
- When stored in dry and cool place, it could be used for 3 to 6 months.
- Store it in a freezer in an airtight container to use it for upto a year.
- Transfer the opened dried figs to a sealable plastic bag and store it in a refrigerator.
- Excessive intake of figs can result diarrhea.
- Figs in dried forms have high sugar that can cause tooth decay.
- It might cause allergic reactions that could be mild to severe.
- Do not consume this fruit in the first few weeks of the surgery as it could lead to bleeding in digestive tract in sensitive people.