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Proven Health Benefits

Proven Health Benefits of Figs

You have likely heard of figs, and probably even ate cookies that have figs in them. The thing is, though, there aren’t many people in the everyday world that has eaten raw figs. Because of this, some people might think that figs aren’t quite nutritious, which is technically true when you’re eating them in a cookie that’s packed with sugar. When you’re eating them on their own, though, you are doing yourself a huge favor.

People have been eating raw figs around the world for thousands of years because of this, even though they might be hard for you to find in certain locations. Fresh figs are becoming more available thanks to modern technology, which is good news for all of us. So what is it about figs that make them so tremendous? Let’s look at the nutritional value of figs, and why they can help your overall health when you add them into a healthy diet.

Nutrition of Figs

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For those that eat raw figs, eating a large one raw doesn’t have many calories, with fewer than 50 in each one. There isn’t much fat in each fig, either, with just 0.2 grams per serving and zero cholesterol (and 20 grams of phytosterols). Figs are a good source of fiber, with right around 10 percent of your daily recommendation, while not bringing many carbohydrates along with it. While there isn’t one vitamin or mineral that figs have a lot of, there’s still a lot to like.

When part of a balanced diet, figs are great for bringing you some extra vitamin K, vitamin B6 and thiamin that you might not normally get, as well as a boost of vitamins A and C. Minerals found in smaller doses include manganese, copper, potassium, magnesium and calcium. All of these are great building blocks for a good overall diet without massive calories.

Digestion Decongestion

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If you’re one of the many people that suffers from digestive problems such as irregularity, it’s likely that the cause is not having enough fiber in your diet. Thankfully, figs contain plenty of fiber that will help with that situation. Eating more fiber makes you more regular, avoiding problems such as constipation and even diarrhea. Problems like gas and bloating can also be alleviated with more fiber.

It’s not just an increase of efficiency in your digestive system, but figs also help your colon. Fiber has been linked with a drastic reduction in chances of colon cancer as your body will fight the free radicals that cause cancer. Those aren’t problems that you probably take into consideration very often, but you should, as colon cancer is one of the more common forms out there.

Slim Figs

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People that are wanting to lose weight should of course be eating a healthier diet that’s lower in calories, and figs make for a great part of a weight loss plan. Figs are naturally low in calories, and eating one makes for a filling, delicious and low calorie treat at only around 50 calories in a large fig. We go back to the high fiber content in figs, which can help you to lose weight by allowing for a more efficient digestive system.

That means that your metabolism will see a natural increase when your digestive system is working harder. This will even give you more energy to get through a workout, which is obviously a way to increase the amount of weight that you lose. Just make sure that you’re choosing the right types of figs and not eating the fig cookies. They’re not as low in calories as you might think since they don’t typically get called cookies.

Diabetic Friendly

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There are a lot of foods that you have to avoid if you are watching your blood sugar, especially if you have diabetes. Figs are certainly not among those, as they have tremendous benefits in regulating blood sugar. Foods that are high in fiber are highly recommended for diabetic patients, and figs are mentioned specifically in that category. It’s been shown that diabetic patients that eat figs don’t need as much insulin in their injections.

Another massive benefit that you get from figs is the amount of potassium. A healthy amount of potassium in your blood allows your body to not experiences spikes and crashes in your blood sugar. Even just chewing on fig leaves will help you to regulate out your blood sugar, making it the perfect snack for a diabetic looking for a treat.

Heart Health

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One of the reasons that heart disease has become so common in modern days is because of how much sodium people are eating in their diets. At the same time, people aren’t getting enough potassium. That’s a potentially lethal combination that can be solved in part by eating more figs in your diet. Since figs bring you the necessary potassium without the sodium, your heart will operate more efficiently almost right away.

Antioxidants that are found in figs such as phenols have a tremendous benefit for your heart. Introducing more phenols to your body drastically lowers your chances of getting heart disease, no matter what your age. A big part of this comes because phenols attack the triglycerides in your blood stream. The lower number of triglycerides you have, the better.

Open Wide

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Whether it’s your mouth or your throat, you might need more figs to help yourself feel better. Starting with the throat, figs contain antioxidants that are used in tea that can help you get over an infection by killing off the bacteria. Other problems that cause sore throats are also treated, which is why fig tea is popular with singers. You’ll also be killing bacteria in your mouth that can cause bad breath and even gingivitis.

Summing it Up

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For those that have eaten too many figs, you probably already know what too many can do to your digestive system temporarily. Since they are so high in fiber, eating a lot of figs can lead to gas, stomach pain and other discomfort for a short time. Eating figs as part of a healthy meal or overall diet won’t result in many problems, if any. If you don’t eat much fiber right now, you might want to ease into it so you don’t experience these problems.

You’ll also want to make sure that you eat plenty of calcium outside of figs in your diet as they contain oxalates that might not allow your body to absorb calcium otherwise. Lastly, make sure to watch your blood sugar when eating figs, because they have been shown to lower your numbers temporarily. While this is good news for most, it’s not for everybody. Outside of those minor issues, figs provide plenty of great health benefits that you’ll see almost right away!

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