FIGS – ALL YOU NEED TO LIVE
Figs grow on the Ficuscarica or the Ficus tree, which are part of the Mulberry family. They are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. Dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants. They are a good source of flavonoids and polyphenols.
It’s suggested that the figs be washed before consumption, soaking them eases the digestion too. The color and texture of figs vary. The skin of this fruit can be green, purple or almost black; while the flesh can be red, pink or amber.
Ficuscarica, known to us as the common fig, originated in northern Asia Minor. Spaniards brought the fig to America in 1520.
The fig tree was mentioned prominently in The Bible (some scholars believe the forbidden fruit picked by Eve was a fig rather than an apple), but it has been around much, much longer. Sumerian stone tablets dating back to 2500 B.C. record the usage of figs.
Cooked figs were used as sweeteners in lieu of sugar in historical times, and this usage still continues today in North Africa and the Middle East. The fig tree can live as long as 100 years and grow to 100 feet tall, although domestic trees are kept pruned to a height of about 16 feet.
Figs provide renewed vigor& strength to the body especially after prolonged illness or physical & mental exertion. Figs are an excellent tonic for weak people who suffer from cracks in lips, tongue & mouth. Specific health benefits are listed hereunder.
Figs lower and control high blood pressure because these are packed with potassium, a mineral that can control hypertension.
Figs also help people lose weight. Figs with their high fiber content can help in weight management.
Figs are also great for post-menopausal women and for those who have breast cancer. Research has shown that women, who consume fiber-rich fruits regularly, reduce their chances of getting cancer.
Figs are good for those with diabetes. In some cultures, the leaves of the fig tree are used for its anti-diabetic properties.
Figs increase bone density. Figs are rich in calcium, a mineral that promotes bone density. The potassium in the fruit also counteracts the loss of urinary calcium, thus, preventing bones from thinning out.
Figs are good for cardiac health. The leaves of the fig tree are said to lower the level of triglycerides, which are a form of fat that are found in the blood stream.
Figs are also rich in insoluble and soluble fibers that improve the health of the digestive tract: it prevents constipation.
Figs are rich in benzaldehyde, an anti-cancer compound, beta-carotene, potassium and iron. These also have flavonoids and ficin, a digestive enzyme