Figs, popularly known as ‘Anjeer‘ in Hindi, ‘Athi Pallu‘ in Telugu, ‘Atti Pazham‘ in (Tamil and Malayalam), ‘Anjura‘ in Kannada and ‘Dumoor‘ in Bengali. Figs are bell shaped fruits with wrinkled and leathery skin. They are one of the sweetest fruits and also have a very sweet aroma. They can vary in size, shape and colour. Figs are mainly classified by colour – white, black or red. These are some more popular varieties of fig:
- Black genoa
- Adriatic figs
- Brown TurkeyMission
Let us quickly see the most well known benefits of Figs:
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Citrus Fruits ]
Nutritional Value Of Figs:
Figs contain many vital minerals and vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, Figs also include variety of antioxidants and omega fatty acids.
Health Benefits Of Figs:
Chew 2-3 tender fig leaves and gargle with water to overcome bad breath and ulcer (1).
2. Sexual Vitality:
Fig is an orthodox remedy to increase sexual weakness. Soak 4-5 figs in milk overnight and eat in the morning to overcome weakness (2).
[ Read: Orange Peel Benefits ]
3. Kidney Stones:
Boil 6 figs in a cup of water. Consume this daily up to a month to remove kidney stones (3).
Apply mashed fresh figs all over your face and let it dry for 15-20minutes. This remedy is useful for curing acne (4).
Also milky juice of fig stem and leaves can be applied daily several times to cure warts.
They also have anti-ageing properties.
Since figs are high in potassium, they help reduce insulin. Daily, consume fig seeds with one teaspoon of honey to control diabetes. Try doing this for a week to see good results.
Also Fig leaves can be consumed for anti-diabetic properties (5).
[ Read: Saffron Benefits ]
6. Healthy Bones:
Figs have good amount of calcium in it. This helps to strengthen bones (6).
7. Chicken Pox:
Early stages of chicken pox can be treated with figs.
8. Weight Loss:
Figs include good amount of dietary fibers, which are helpful for reducing body weight (7).
9. Sore Throat:
Mix dries fig and honey in water to get rid of sore throat (8).
[ Read: Health Benefits of Cumin ]
Consume 2-3 soaked dried figs with a tablespoon of honey. Use this continuously for a month every morning to relive constipation (9).
Figs for the Skin:
A fig is not just a delicious and healthy fruit but is a great natural ingredient for your skin care. It helps you to stay young and beautiful inside and out. Some of the benefits of figs for the skin are:
11. Figs are rich in important nutrients like Vitamin B, C, phosphorus, potassium and minerals like calcium and magnesium which are essential for boosting and rejuvenating the skin’s health. The high omega 3 fatty acids in figs keep the skin well-moisturized and conditioned from within.
12. Applying baked fig directly on the skin brings down various forms of skin inflammation like boils and abscess. It also cures minor zits and pimples. Apply fig juice on your feet to cure corns (10).
13. Figs are loaded with anti-oxidants and dietary fiber which make it an excellent natural laxative for the body (11). It helps to flush out toxins and waste from the body to prevent skin conditions like acne and psoriasis (12), and gives you healthy and glowing skin.
14. Application of fig paste on the face helps to transport important nutrients into the dermal layers of the skin to replenish it from within. Take some fresh figs and process them in a mixer with 1 tablespoon of yoghurt to make a fine paste. Apply this all over the face and massage you skin gently with it for a few minutes. Leave it for 15 minutes and then wash off with lukewarm water. If you cannot find fresh figs then soak some dried figs overnight and blend them to form a smooth paste.
15. You can also prepare a natural, homemade scrub using fig paste. Mix 1 tablespoon of powdered sugar and 2 tablespoon of fresh orange juice with 2 tablespoon fig paste. Add a few drops of olive oil and use this scrub on both your face and body weekly to get smooth and soft skin. The enzymes present in figs will remove the dead skin cells and the sugar will mildly polish the skin.
16. Figs contain a high amount of Vitamin C (13) which helps to lighten and even out the skin tone. Prepare a fig paste by mixing powdered oatmeal and dried ginger powder. Add a few drops of bergamot essential oil and stir to form a smooth paste. Use this face pack twice a week to get even-toned skin.
17. Not just the flesh, the peels of figs too contain active enzyme which act as an exfoliator to clear the dead cell debris from the skin. All you need to do is wash and clean the peels, and scrub the skin with the inside of the peel for flawless and smooth skin.
18. Figs have amazing moisturizing properties as they contain around 3/4 cups of water. It is often used as a moisturizer on the skin to restore its suppleness. Apply some fig paste on your lips to alleviate cracked lips. Application of fig paste on the face helps to tighten the pores and control excess sebum secretion.
Figs for the Hair:
19. Fruits rich in Vitamin C and E fight hair loss problems and maintain the proper health of the hair. Figs contain hair-friendly nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin C and E which promote hair growth. The essential nutrients present in this fruit stimulate blood circulation in the body to accelerate hair growth (14).
20. Figs contain a high amount of calcium which contributes to the formation of collagen that makes up our hair and scalp.
21. Figs are very popular in the hair care industry as their extracts are used to create amazing hair conditioners. Figs’ extracts provide moisture to the scalp and help in the detangling of hair. It moisturizes the hair without making it heavy or weighed down.
22. Fig oil is ideal for wavy, coarse and curly hair. It rehydrates the hair to make it lustrous, shiny and manageable. Add 10 drops of fig oil to your hair mask and apply it all over the hair. Leave it for one hour and then shampoo as usual. Or, you can even mix fig oil with your conditioner to get silky, smooth hair. Rinse your hair thoroughly after shampooing and remove excess water from the hair. Add 5 to 7 drops of fig oil to you conditioner and apply it properly on the hair. Let it stay for 5 to 7 minutes and then wash off.
23. Figs provide the beneficial copper enzyme which helps to maintain the color of the hair. It is an excellent fruit for people suffering from graying hair.
Hence consume figs regularly to benefit your skin and hair in many more ways than you can imagine.
Selection and Storage:
Fresh figs are available yearly from June to November while dried figs are available throughout the year. Figs should be allowed to ripen fully before they are picked. Select figs that are plump and tender. They should be devoid of bruises and dents, and should not be mushy. Perfect and fresh figs emit a mildly sweet fragrance when given slight pressure. Smelly figs are an indication that they might be spoiled or have already begun to ferment. Stay away from unripe, green figs as they can burn your mouth and lips.
Fresh figs do not have a long shelf life as they are very delicate in nature. So, figs should be placed in the refrigerator immediately after purchasing. Place them in a plastic or zip pouch or wrap them to ensure that they do not dry out or get crushed while handling. Slightly ripe figs should be kept at room temperature, away from direct sunlight to allow them to ripen completely. Since fresh figs get perished easily, they should be consumed within 2 to 3 days. If you have stored figs in the refrigerator, take them out and place them in a bowl of water to enrich their taste and palatability.
Dried figs can be kept for several months either in the refrigerator or in a cool and dry place. Figs can also be frozen whole, sliced or peeled, in a sealed container for more than 3 months. Figs are also available in the canned form which comes with a shelf life of 6 months and should be consumed within a week of opening.
You need to exercise caution while consuming figs in high amounts as figs can cause allergic reactions, ranging from vomiting to diarrhea and even itchy skin. People who have very sensitive skin or a history of allergy should avoid eating or applying figs on the skin. Never consume unripe figs; they produce white latex, containing compounds like furocoumarins, 5-methoxypsoralen (5-MOP) which can cause severe allergy around the mouth and lips that can easily spread to the other body parts.
Luscious and sweet figs are seasonal fruits which are enjoyed by one and all. Figs are extremely juicy and sweet, and have a chewy flesh and crunchy seeds. They are eaten in both the raw and dry forms. Fresh figs are more nutritious than dry figs, so try to include more of fresh figs in your diet than the dry ones. Before eating or using figs, wash them under running water and gently remove the stem. You can eat fresh figs whole or peeled. Simmer frozen figs in water to make them plumper and juicier.
Fresh figs are a great addition to salads, cakes and ice creams. Sweet and juicy figs should be enjoyed without any additions to enjoy their taste to the fullest. Since figs are highly alkaline, you can mix them with other foods too. It will not alter the fig’s taste in any way.
Dried figs have much higher sugar content than the fresh ones, so you can chop and add them to your desserts and other sweet dishes to add a touch of sweetness. Processed figs are used in making pies, pudding, cakes, jam and other bakery products while dried figs are used for preparing muesli bars, porridge and as an addition to cereals and porridges. You can also add dried figs to soups, stews and in meat preparation to enhance the taste. The paste of figs is also used as a sugar substitute in some regions.
Some Important Tips:
- Always wash figs thoroughly and gently.
- Use fresh Figs for best results.
- When cutting or chopping, dip knife in warm water to prevent sticking
- Avoid limp figs.
- If dried figs have become too hard, try soaking them in water.
- Store figs in a bag in coldest part of the fridge.
- Use figs regularly for best results
- Eating too much of figs can cause diarrhoea and tooth decay.
USDA Nutrition Chart For Figs:
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.30 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.9 g||7%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.300 mg||6%|
|Vitamin A||142 IU||5%|
|Vitamin C||2 mg||3%|
|Vitamin E||0.11 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||4.7 µg||4%|