If you’ve ever eaten a ripe fresh fig, you know they taste like a heavenly mix of honey and mild berry with a jam-like texture. But they’re more than just delicious — they’re super nutritious, too. Multiple varieties of figs will beckon from grocery store shelves, like the Black Mission fig, the Brown Turkey fig, and the Green Kadota fig.
Figs are known to have many nutrients that help keep your body healthy. Losing or controlling weight is all about eating healthy and including low fat and low-calorie foods in your regular diet. Also, figs help stimulate weight loss and consuming it as a part of a calorie-controlled balanced diet can cut the bulge in the abdominal area.
They’re high in fiber
One large raw fig has about two grams of fiber. One serving of figs is generally two to three figs, depending on the size. Fiber can help with digestive health by softening stool, making bowel movements more regular, and preventing constipation. It also helps keep cholesterol down, because the fiber binds cholesterol together and ships it out of your body.
They’re a good source of potassium
Potassium is a mineral that’s important for heart health and managing blood pressure. Sure, you can get your fill of potassium with bananas and potatoes. But figs could make an interesting new addition to the mix! One large fig has 148 mg of potassium, and one serving of figs has about 10 percent of your daily requirement.
Figs promote bone strength
Figs have an adequate amount of calcium, which plays an extremely important role in bone development and strength. The amount of calcium in your body needs depends on your age, gender and physical condition. The daily calcium requirement may be specified as 1,000-1,500 milligrams in adolescents and adults and at least 1,500 milligrams in pregnant or lactating women.
A substitute to Sugar
If you have a sweet tooth, you’d know how tough it is to shun sugar completely while dieting. The idea is to not give up sugar but to find healthy substitutes for it. While raw honey, jaggery, date palm sugar and coconut sugar make for healthy alternatives, figs are also counted amongst these substitutes. They are sweet in taste and hence, they can easily control your craving for something sweet. Moreover, it comparatively adds lesser calories to your body than other sugary options. Figs help you keep satiated for longer, thereby, keeping you away from grabbing other sweets.
Low in calories
Figs are low in calories so, whenever you are looking for some snacking, choose to pick some figs than other foods. Figs can be eaten whole, fresh or dried. It is said that figs soaked in water overnight do wonders on your body. In fact, you could also eat them as it is.
Here’s what you’ll get when you eat 1 fresh fig:
- 37 calories
- 0 g fat
- 10 g carbohydrate
- 8 g sugars
- 1.5 g fiber
- <1 g protein
Here’s what you’ll get when you eat 1 dried fig:
- 21 calories
- 0 g fat
- 5 g carbohydrate
- 4 g sugars
- 1 g fiber
- <1 g protein
How to Eat and Enjoy Figs
Figs are incredibly versatile! You can eat fresh ones straight up, chopped and mixed into a salad, quartered on top of a pizza, wrapped in prosciutto, split open and stuffed with cheese, or even dipped in chocolate like strawberries. You can also eat dried figs as is, but they’re particularly delicious when they’re chopped and cooked into baked goods (muffins, bars, cakes) and they also make a sweet addition to stews.
Fig & Ricotta Toast
This easy Mediterranean-inspired toast makes a quick breakfast for any day of the week.
- 1 slice crusty whole-grain bread (1/2-inch thick)
- ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 fresh fig or 2 dried, sliced
- 1 teaspoon sliced almonds, toasted
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Pinch of flaky sea salt
Toast bread. Top with ricotta cheese, figs and almonds. Drizzle with honey and sprinkle with sea salt.
Serving Size: 1 Piece of Toast
252 calories; protein 12.5g; carbohydrates 32.1g; dietary fiber 4.3g; sugars 16.1g; fat 9.1g; saturated fat 3.5g; cholesterol 19.2mg; vitamin A IU 309.2IU; vitamin C 1.1mg; folate 35mcg; calcium 231.2mg; iron 1.4mg; magnesium 55.6mg; potassium 304.5mg; sodium 240.2mg.
1 Medium-Fat Protein, 1 Starch, 1/2 Fat, 1/2 Fruit, 1/2 Other Carbohydrate
Figs aren’t only delicious and easy to find year-round, but they’re also a great way to get fiber, calcium, potassium and magnesium, all of which are nutrients that many of us don’t get enough of regularly.