Next time you bite into a Fig Newton cookie or other chewy fig treat you might consider its sweet filling. Figs are among the oldest fruits known to man. They have given tasty nutrition since nutrition history and make figs make an excellent snack food.
A little known fact is that the fig tree is a member of the mulberry family. Figs produce hundreds of tiny female flowers, which ripen into a soft, purplish, brownish or greenish pear-shaped fruit. The inside holds masses of tiny seeds.
Figs are native to the Mediterranean area and have been cultured since the beginning of time. The Greeks, Egyptians and Romans all fancied the fruit, eating it both fresh and dried. The fig has symbolic and religious significance in both their ancient and modern cultures.
Today the world’s best figs come from California’s San Joaquin Valley. Fresh they are quite different from the dried figs that you see packaged on the store shelves. Figs are ripe when they become soft to the touch and should be picked immediately. The fruit must be tree ripened before it is picked.
When growing figs it helps to cover the trees with fruit netting before the fruit ripens, to keep birds from eating the fruit before you can pick the fruit. After all, the birds enjoy the sweet tasty fruit ever bit as much as their human neighbors and avid fig cookie lovers.
Vitamins in Figs:
Figs are rich with fiber, sugars, acids, vitamins B1, vitamin B3, vitamin PP, vitamin C; and also sodium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus. They contain potassium and iron as much as nuts. Fig nutrients enhance cardiovascular and digestive systems.
Benefits of figs:
Here is how the fig can benefit:
Lowers Your Cholesterol
The fig is an excellent source of fiber and everyone knows that you need fiber, especially soluble fiber, in order to keep you LDL cholesterol levels down. The skin of the fig is loaded with pectin, an especially beneficial for fiber. Fiber also helps to keep you regular and aid your digestive system. All this translates into better health which then leads to better sex.
Along with fiber, figs are also high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in addition to phenol. These essential fatty acids help keep your joints lubricated, maintain your skin and hair and will even help you build muscle and tissue more efficiently. Also, omega 3 and 6 are known to help prevent the onset of coronary heart disease.
Figs contain a cocktail of amino acids that includes leucine. Lysine, valine and arginine. These amino acids are vital for the transport of blood and nutrients and play a role in hormone secretion. Arginine in particular is thought to help increase testosterone and is thought to help with vasodilation making it popular with body builders and a natural way to increase sexual stamina. Figs are loaded with these powerful amino acids making it a natural aphrodisiac.
Beside making you “more up to it” figs have other health benefits. Their high levels of potassium make them great for helping to control blood sugar levels and they are also high in calcium making them good for healthy bones and muscle. They are also packed with sugar, making for a quick energy snack on the go. Figs are very rich in iron and great for preventing anemia. They are highly alkaline and help with PH balance.
Even fig leaves are used in home remedies and great for bronchitis, ulcers and constipation.