A weight loss diet needs to keep you feeling full on fewer calories. One way to do that is to increase your fiber intake. A single fig contains 1.9 grams of fiber.
A weight loss diet should never leave you feeling like you’re starving. If that happens on whatever weight loss diet you choose, then you know that you’re wasting your time because you will ditch the diet as soon as you get tired of going hungry all the time.
A Weight Loss Diet Emphasizes Fiber
An effective weight loss diet should emphasize increasing fiber intake. In fact, a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine compared weight loss of participants who tried to follow all the rules of the American Heart Association diet versus those who simply focused on getting 30 grams of protein per day.
The results of the high fiber weight loss diet research suggest that something as simple as aiming to eat 30 grams of fiber each day can help you lose weight. It also lowers your blood pressure, and improves your body’s response to insulin just as effectively as a more complicated diet.
Keep in mind that most weight loss diet studies find that the best weight loss diet is one that the dieter can stick to for a long period of time.
One of the keys to weight loss is to eat foods high in macronutrients that take your body a longer time to break down. Fiber is one of those nutrients. When you eat a fibrous food, you give your gastrointestinal system a lot of work to do to break it down. While it’s working away, not only do you continue to feel full, but your body burns calories.
Figs have a long and illustrious history. They are a great source of fiber and full of vitamins and minerals. Not only are figs healthy, but they’re also versatile and can add a burst of sweetness to all kinds of dishes.
Naturally high in dietary fiber, figs can be a useful food to include in a weight loss diet. High fiber foods provide feelings of fullness and can reduce hunger and cravings. Figs also contain prebiotics, which help support the pre-existing good bacteria in the gut, improving digestive wellness.
Other Health Benefits of Eating Figs
In addition to the high fiber content, there are many other healthy micronutrients in figs, including:
• Figs are often recommended as a natural laxative because of their high fiber content. Many of us consume too much sodium from eating processed foods. High intakes of sodium can lead to deficiencies of potassium and the sodium/potassium imbalance can lead to high blood pressure. A diet rich in fruit and vegetables, including fresh figs, naturally increases potassium and can help lower blood pressure.
• Figs are a good fruit source of calcium, a mineral that is involved in bone density. Their high potassium content may help counteract calcium loss caused by high salt diets. Keeping calcium in the bones lessens the risk of osteoporosis.
• Figs are high in minerals including potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and copper.
• They are also a good source of antioxidant vitamins A, E and K.
Try this delicious recipe and satisfy your craving for sweets.
Simple Spiced Figs
Poaching figs in red wine, sherry vinegar, honey and cinnamon instantly makes your home smell luscious. Serve these warm or cold, alongside a green salad, on a cheese plate or diced and spooned over ice cream or pound cake.
Ingredients: (makes 2 dozen)
• 2 cups dry red wine
• 24 mixed dried figs (about 2 1/2 cups), such as Black Mission and white Turkish figs or fresh
• 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
• 2 tablespoons honey
• 4 cinnamon sticks
• Zest of 1 orange, removed in wide strips using a vegetable peeler
• In a medium pot, combine wine, figs, vinegar, honey, cinnamon and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
• Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until figs are very tender and fragrant, about 30 minutes.
• Serve immediately, or cool and store in the poaching liquid (solids discarded) until ready to use.
Suggestion: If you simmer the poaching liquid until it is thickened, you can drizzle it over figs or desserts, or to stir into hot tea.
Nutrition: (for 2 figs)
Click here for this fiber-packed recipe for weight loss.