Forget Fig Bars, Check out the 10 Health Benefits of Real Figs

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

Figs, the sweet fruit with the funny name. Ok, so they look kinda funny too. However, figs have so much going for them in the way of nutrition, and that is no joke.

Figs originated in the Western part of Asia and have tons of health benefits, almost too many to name here. Forget about eating those junk “fig bars”, real figs are packed with calcium, potassium, iron, prebiotics, and phosphorus, just to name a few of their important nutrients.

While sap from the fig tree itself has been used traditionally to treat warts, insect bites, ringworm and other skin irritations, it’s the sweet fruit that grows almost year round that makes people buy and plant these trees.

Take a look at the top 10 health benefits that come from eating sweet, delectable figs.


1. Help with insomnia

It’s true! Figs contain tryptophan, which is an amino acid that makes you feel relaxed and sleepy. Turkey meat also contains a lot of this amino acid, but why not have a couple sweet figs before you fall asleep. Maybe these sweet treats will also give you sweet dreams.


2. Reduces cholesterol

Figs are high in a type of soluble fiber called pectin, which is known to reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.


SEE ALSO: Tips To Reduce Cholesterol Infographic

3. Natural laxative

The same fiber that helps to reduce cholesterol levels can also have a strong laxative effect so don’t eat too many at one time.


4. Support digestive health

Figs are a great source of prebiotics, which help to support a healthy digestive system by adding to your gut’s good bacteria levels.


5. Prevent cancer

Figs are high in antioxidants which, besides stopping premature aging, they also stop free radicals from damaging cells, which can prevent certain types of cancer from forming.

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Excellent Source of Calcium Healthy Nutrition Stamp

Photo credit: bigstock

6. Support bone health

Due to their high potassium and calcium contents, figs are perfect for supporting healthy bones and helping you to avoid osteoporosis.


7. Aphrodisiac

People have long believed that eating figs is a natural aphrodisiac and can help improve male sexual stamina as well as pleasure.


8. Heart healthy

Figs contain a good balance of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, along with potassium, all of which can help lower blood pressure levels and prevent heart attacks.


9. Hemorrhoid help

The fiber in figs can help stop or prevent the formation of hemorrhoids.


10. Great for the skin

Figs are a great source of a compound called psoralens, which is used to treat skin disorders such as eczema and psoriasis.

Figs are picked ripe from the tree but since dried figs are so popular, many people have never actually eaten a raw, ripe fig. They have an unusual texture but they are so sweet, you will have to have plenty of willpower to not eat too many.

Figs need to be picked when they are ripe so they have a very short shelf life, which is why you see more dried figs than fresh figs. If you truly love figs, plant a tree! They grow almost anywhere and give fruit almost all year. Figs freeze very well, too. Put them in a freezer bag and they are good for up to 6 months.

Once you eat fresh figs, you will never eat those chemical laden fig bars ever again!