September is considered the peak season for picking figs. These are fruit plantations from ordinary fig trees – trees growing in the Mediterranean basin.
At first, the color is from light green to purple-brown, then as the fruit ripens, it becomes golden or red. The taste is soft at first, then sweet and juicy. There are many varieties of figs in green, brown, purple and even black. In addition to taste, they have many nutritional values and have a positive effect on our health.
Fresh figs contain about 80% water, 12 to 25% sugars (glucose and fructose), 1.3% proteins, pectin, vitamins: groups C, PP and B and carotene. In addition, they are very rich in mineral salts, they contain: potassium (on average 1100 mg%), calcium (230 mg%), magnesium (120 mg%), phosphorus (260 mg%).
They also contain organic acids: citric, oxalic and malic. Dried figs contain 30% water, but the proportion of sugar increases to 50-75%.
Interestingly, drying does not lead to the loss of active substances, but on the contrary, the nutrient content is increased by 3-4 times compared to fresh seed heads.
It is worth knowing that fresh figs contain 61 kcal / 100 g, after drying – 250 kcal / 100 g.
The benefits of figs
Dried figs for strong bones and teeth
Dried figs have the highest calcium content of any other fruit. 100 g of dried fruit contains 162 mg of this element, which is almost the same as in a glass of milk.
Thus, dried figs can prevent osteoporosis. Their frequent use is recommended for the elderly, menopausal women, young children, people with vitamin D deficiency and those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.
Figs for bowel and kidney diseases
It is worth knowing that dried figs are the best source of fiber and contain the most fiber of all dried fruits – up to 10 g per 100 g.
Fiber supports the intestines and helps regulate the digestive system. In addition, it prevents constipation and colon cancer. Figs have a laxative effect. They also help with abdominal pain as well as menstrual cramps. They are recommended for people who are struggling with cystitis and kidney disease.
Figs lower blood pressure and have a beneficial effect on the circulatory system
Dried figs contain a lot of potassium (680 mg / 100 g), which reduces blood pressure. It helps open blood vessels and lower blood pressure. In addition, potassium accelerates the excretion of excess sodium from the body, which accelerates the fall in pressure. Therefore, figs should be eaten by people struggling with hypertension.
In addition, dried figs are rich in fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels. This protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease such as stroke and heart attack. Fig juice is recommended to drink to strengthen the heart and coronary vessels. It is also used to treat anemia.
Dried figs to relieve stress and improve memory
Dried figs contain a lot of magnesium (68 mg / 100 g), thanks to which it has a positive effect on the functioning of the nervous system and brain activity.
They help reduce irritability, nervousness, fatigue, as well as improve sleep, memory and improve thinking. Therefore, they are recommended to people who live in a state of stress, have problems with sleep, work hard physically and mentally.
Fruits for sex drive
Figs are considered an aphrodisiac. They are recommended for men who have erection problems. They contain amino acids that increase sexual desire. They also improve stamina during intercourse.
Which fruits to buy?
When choosing fruits, you should pay attention to the fact that they are tender and soft to the touch. The most delicious – covered with an even white coating. It is a precipitate sugar which indicates that they are quite ripe and juicy. Store them in the refrigerator after purchase.
From fresh figs we can make jams, preserves and add to salads and fried meat, prepare compote. Dried and roasted fruits produce a coffee-like drink with a slight nutty flavor. In southern Europe, they make fig wine. In addition, the figurine is a traditional drink made from dried figs (figs are soaked in water with the addition of juniper berries).
Contraindications for use
Figs, dates, and raisins can trigger migraines and aggravate symptoms due to their tyramine content. People with diabetes should not reach for them either.
Dried fruits have a medium glycemic index (GI = 40), while fresh fruits have a slightly lower GI of 35. They are made up of simple sugars that quickly raise blood glucose levels. Due to the calorie content, people on a diet should exclude dried figs from the menu, and fresh figs should be eaten before lunch.