Numerous cultures have appreciated the health benefits of figs, and they have been symbols of peace, fertility and prosperity. Namely, the fig tree is one of the oldest cultivated plants, and the first written reference to them dates back to the Sumerian King Urukagina in 2,900 B.C.
Apparently, the fig originates from Western Asia, and people spread it throughout the Mediterranean. Spaniards brought it to America in 1520 where Spanish Missionary Priests planted them and are known as the California Mission Figs.
Figs and fig trees are mentioned numerous times in the Bible. The Jewish King, Hezekiah, was cured of a life-threatening plague by applying figs to the infected spot ( 2 Kings 20:7). Plato wrote that Greek athletes at Olympia were fed diets of figs in order to improve their overall strength and performance. The Greeks even forbade the export of figs because they were highly valued.
If growth conditions are favorable, the tree will live long and bear fruit for about 200 years. Figs and Fig trees are depicted in ancient Egyptian reliefs and frescoes, and everyone knew about it in Ancient Arabia and Greece thousands of years ago. Ancient physicians prescribed figs to people with malaria, measles, fever, tumors, boils, sores, even leprosy and syphilis.
You can you improve your health and lose weight just by eating figs
The consumption of figs is invaluable, as they can provide numerous health benefits, promote weight loss and cause no side-effects.
Figs are rich in important nutrients, like vitamins A, C, B1, B3, PP, pectin substances, proteins, organic acids, cellulose, iron, sodium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Phosphorus and iron are vital for the proper function of the heart muscle, they boost the immune system and improve health.
The leaves of figs are high in flavonoids and polyphenols like rutin, catechin, gallic acid, syringic acid, epicatechin and chlorogenic acid. Also, the extracts of psoralen and essential oils have potent antibacterial and antifungal properties. What’s more, figs have strong anti-diabetic properties.
Some of the most significant health benefits of figs are the following:
Figs help digestion: the fact that figs are loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber makes them very helpful when it comes to boosting the digestion. Soluble fiber is known to regulate the levels of sugar in the blood and to boost digestion.
Figs control the high blood pressure: their rich potassium content makes them highly beneficial when it comes to regulation of the blood pressure and preventing hypertension.
Figs strengthen the bones: figs are rich in calcium and phosphorus, minerals that help the formation of bone tissue and that promote the regeneration of it in case of damage.
Figs help in cancer prevention: figs contain the phytochemical known as benzaldehyde which has been proven to prevent cancer.
Figs prevent anemia: the rich iron content of figs makes them beneficial for preventing anemia and for production of red blood cells.
Figs slow down the aging process: this fruit is rich in antioxidants, including flavonoids, polyphenols, and anthocyanins. These antioxidants neutralize and fight the free radicals, substances that accelerate the aging process.
Figs promote weight loss: figs contain great amounts of fiber and a helpful digestive enzyme known as ficin, which turns the proteins into amino acids and adds to the laxative properties of these fruits.
Therefore, their regular consumption helps the digestive system, and digestive enzymes use saliva to break down food starches into smaller molecules.