Some of the health benefits of fig leaves and fruit include helps to lower blood pressure and blood sugar, prevent constipation, helps to relieves fever and soothes the muscle spasm, boost immunity, energy and stamina, fights breast cancer, good for eyes, liver, bone and heart health, act as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral agent.
Fig tree belong to mulberry family and scientific names include Scientific name: Ficus carica, Ficus benghalensis and Ficus religiossa. They are extremely rich in various phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants and vitamins essential for healthy body, skin and hair.
The nutritional benefits of fig fruit
- It is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium.
- It is low in calories; 100 grams contains 74 calories
- It is also known Higo (Spanish), Figue (French), Fík (Czech), Anjeer, Anjir (Hindi), Atti pazham (Tamil & Malayalam), Athi pallu (Telugu), Anjeer (Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu & Punjabi), Dumoor (Bengali), Dimiri (Oriya) in many households.
- It is contains dietary fiber and many important nutrients like Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, VitaminB6, Vitamin K, Calcium, Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium and Zinc. All of these are vital for heart health and protect body from cellular oxidation stress.
Health Benefits of Fig
1. Natural wart removal treatment
Study has found that fig tree latex is safe and effective in treating common warts.
Figs are rich in flavonoids, polyphenols,and anthocyanins and exhibited the highest antioxidant properties that helps to fight free radical damage, oxidative stress and lower risk of chronic degenerative diseases.
3. Anti- cancer
Morin, a flavonoid found in figs, act as a strong anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic agent.
A study provides evidence that morin may have anticancer effects against metastatic breast cancer.
4. Liver protection
Fig leaves and fruit offer liver protection against toxicity, free radical or oxidative stress. Eating fig fruit or infused water of fig leaves are good for liver health and protect liver against damage, injury or other diseases.
In a study, shade dried leaves of figs has liver protection properties. Another study, also concluded that figs protect the liver against oxidative stress induced liver injury.
5. Lower the blood sugar
Study indicate that fig leaf extract induced a significant hypoglycaemic effect i.e lower the blood sugar levels. It can be useful for diabetic patient for regulating or managing blood sugar level.
6. Boost immunity
Study indicate that consuming fig helps to increase immunity and protects the body from many diseases.
7. Fever relief
A concoction of fig leaves helps to restore body temperature to normal and relieves fever.
Fig leaf contains flavonoids, tannins, terpenes and steroids, alkaloids and saponins, that shows strong anti-microbial activity against various bacteria. I t helps to prevent and treat many pathogenic infections.
9. Oral health
The infusion of fig leaves can be used as effective natural mouthwash that helps to kill bacteria and prevent infections. A study indicate that fig has shown strong antibacterial activity against oral bacteria.
Flavonoids found in figs exhibits antifungal activity, that helps to prevent and treatment of various of fungal infections of skin, hair and nails.
The leaves of figs has anti-viral property and found effective in killing virus including that of herpes.
12. Spasm relief
Including figs in diet relieves, prevents, or lowers the incidence of muscle spasms, especially those of smooth muscle such as in the bowel wall. Studies has found that eating ripe dried figs helps in gut motility and inflammatory disorders.
13. Prevent and treat hypertension
Figs are good source of potassium that helps to prevent and treat hypertension. It helps to reduce the high blood pressure and a food to eat for hypertension patients. One of the main cause of hypertension is low intake of potassium rich foods coupled with high sodium diet. In a study, eating fruits and vegetable in place of snacks and sweet, can help to lower blood pressure by an average of 5.5 points within 8 weeks.
14. Bone health
Figs are rich source of calcium, a mineral that has many function including promoting bone density, strengthening bones, and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. It is also rich in phosphorus, which encourages bone formation and spurs regrowth in case of damage or degradation to bones.Consuming figs on regular basis promote good bone health.
15. Prevent urinary calcium loss
People with high sodium diet are affected by increased urinary calcium loss. The high potassium content in figs helps to counteract increased urinary calcium loss and reduces the risk of bone thinning problem.
16. Good for eye health
Studies indicate that eating 3 or more servings of fruit per day may lower risk of age related muscular degeneration which is the primary reason of vision loss in older adults, by 36 %compared to person who consumed less than 1.5 servings of fruit daily .
17. Boost energy and stamina
Figs are rich in many valuable vitamins and minerals that boost in energy and stamina. Soak 2-3 figs in milk overnight and eat them in the morning.
18. Prevent constipation
Figs are rich in dietary fiber, contains about 5 grams of fiber in every three fig serving. This helps to promote and regularize healthy bowel movement, preventing constipation and indigestion problem.
19. Good for heart health
Consuming figs and drinking water infusion or tea made out of fig leaves are good for heart health and reduces the risk of development of cardiovascular diseases including Atherosclerosis and congestive heart diseases. Studies indicate that fig leaf extract has shown significant reduction in serum lipid parameters such as Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, VLDL and LDL level.
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Ways to include fig in diet
- Try fig leaf tea. Add fresh or shade dried fig leaves into the water at 90 degree and let it steep for 10 minutes.
- Add fig in to your breakfast cereals, yogurt or smoothies.
- Add them in to your salad.
- Eat them as a snack.
- Add them in your baking dishes like cookies or cake.