Figs, much more to them than an aphrodisiac and linked to fertility read on for more real benefits

some figs

some figs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Said to be Cleopatra’s favorite food, the sweet, purple fruit is sexy in both appearance and texture.They’ve been a synonym in erotic literature for female sexual organs. To the ancient Greeks, they were “more precious than gold” and many cultures associated figs with fertility

Figs are laden with vitamins A, E and K, B-complex, calcium, chlorogenic acid, copper, fibre, iron, manganese, potassium and selenium

WELLNESS

These petite fruits are sumptuously sweet and succulent treats with a whole slew of wonderful health benefits including but not limited to

Blood sugar regulation The chlorogenic acid in figs can lower blood sugar levels

Bone health Figs are calcium-rich and this ever-important mineral does wonders for bone density and can help prevent osteoporosis

Brain health The phytonutrients in figs help protect brain cell membranes from cell damaging free radicals. Its natural antioxidant powers can help stave off brain cancer and tumors

Cancer prevention Figs have cancer-fighting properties. Their wealth of fibre is effective in preventing breast cancer and reducing the risk of colon cancer

Diabetes Fig leaves are actually popular in some cultures as a means of lowering the amount of insulin needed by diabetics. The chlorogenic acid inherent in figs can help lower blood-glucose levels in adults with type-II diabetes

Digestive health There are 2.9 grams of fibre in one fig and this abundance of fibre aids in healthy digestion and waste removal. Munching on figs can actually prevent and ease constipation.  Chewing and ingesting fig leaves is a popular homeopathic remedy for treating ulcers

Heart health Figs are filled with potassium, a mineral proven to lower blood pressure and help regulate the heart rate

 Respiratory ailments Some studies have shown that tea made from fig leaves is quite an effective home remedy for bronchitis and even asthma

Stroke prevention Potassium, as prevalent in figs, can reduce the likelihood of suffering a stroke

BEAUTY

Antioxidant properties Figs are endowed with flavonoid antioxidants, which are champion fighters against cell-damaging free radicals

and can promote healthy, radiant skin, strong nails and lustrous hair

WEIGHT LOSS

Energy Dried figs in particular are excellent sources of concentrated energy making them the perfect workout companions

Fibre These delicious, low-calorie, chewy little fruits are great weight management tools due to their high fibre content. Figs will keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals. This abundance of fibre will flush out toxins and waste and promote healthy and steady weight loss

Metabolism The B-complex of vitamins play an important part in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats

COOKING

Figs can be eaten raw as a sweet healthy alternative to candy or chips, as a leaf extract added to a healthy breakfast, enjoyed in their ever-popular cookie bar form and incorporated into some really tasty apps, side dishes, entrees and desserts

For a tantalizing fig-inspired appetizer, cut a ripe fig in half, fill it with blue cheese, wrap it in some quality prosciutto and bake or grill it

Spend a cozy afternoon with family or friends making home-crafted fig jam and then spread it on your favorite health bread and top with soft creamy goat cheese and fresh arugula. The combo of sweet, salty and slightly bitter makes for a palette pleasing experience

Black mission figs can be chopped and added to low fat butter, low sodium chicken broth and fine port wine to make a delectable, glistening sauce for a fancy herbed pork loin served with roasted potatoes and grilled asparagus

Dried figs can be reconstituted in hot water and added to bread pudding or mixed into your favorite muffin or fruit bread batter.  Fig ice cream is also a unique flavor and very easy to make

“No greater thing is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig, I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”

~Epictetus

 

Figs

Figs (Photo credit: Mundoo)

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