Figs are good for you. I have a fig tree in my yard that produces twice a year and I love to eat them as a snack, sliced up in a salad or as a sauce for baked salmon. Figs satisfy a sweet tooth and are very nutritious.
Figs are Good for You
Figs, both fresh and dried, are quite nutritious.
Nutrition in 1 fresh:
• One raw fig has about 37 calories
• 2.5% of the recommended daily amount of potassium
• magnesium (2%)
• iron (1%)
• calcium (1%)
Nutrition in 6 dried:
• about 125 calories
• magnesium (8%)
• potassium (7%)
• calcium (6%)
• Iron (6%).
• Dried figs also contain healthy phytochemicals (plant-based nutrients) and antioxidants, chemicals that can help prevent cell damage.
They Contain Natural Sugars
They are delectably sweet, and there’s a reason for that: lots of natural sugar. Six dried figs have about 24 grams. That’s offset by a reasonable amount of fiber, Stanford Professor Christopher Gardner said – about 5 grams, or more that 17% of the recommended daily value.
That fiber helps slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. Dried figs have a glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16, putting them in the middle of the pack in terms of how they affect blood glucose.
A History Lesson
Figs might have been the first fruit cultivated by humans. In America, they were grown by the earliest European settlers in Florida in the 1500s and were at the Jamestown settlement in Virginia by 1621. Despite such a long history, modern Americans probably know them only from a popular square cookie. Gardner himself used to devour fig bars as a young man.
They have been used in traditional medicine as a laxative, and modern research confirms that effect. Other studies have looked at figs for a variety of potential uses.
A fig extract lowered blood pressure in rats. In another study of 10 adults who were given a high-sugar beverage, fig extracts seemed to moderate blood glucose levels.
They are Part of a Healthy Mediterranean Diet
Figs are part of the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Add them whole to hearty salads or dices them as an ingredient in a signature wheatberry salad that’s popular with his students. A fresh fig sliced in half with a walnut on top makes a great snack.
Dried or fresh, he sees figs as a great way to get more plants in your diet while crowding out less-healthy options.
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