Fig trees are among the oldest trees on the planet. They feature prominently in the Bible and were held in such high esteem by the Greeks that at one point in time, laws were established to prevent their export. The fig fruit has a soft somewhat chewy texture with edible seeds scattered throughout the fruit. While fresh figs are delicate and have a short shelf life, they can easily be dried for long time preservation.
Fig Almond Smoothie
- 3 fresh figs (dried can also be used)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 10 almonds
- 1 tsp. honey (optional)
- ½ cup ice
Wash and cut the figs into halves. Add all ingredients into a blender and blend for 40-50 seconds, or until a desired smoothness is reached. Enjoy the energizing drink.
Fresh figs are approximately 80% water and a hundred gram serving provides roughly 74 calories. The same serving also delivers almost no fat, no cholesterol, close to twenty grams of carbohydrates, sixteen grams of sugar and three grams of dietary fiber. It also houses many important vitamins including vitamins A, B6, C, E, K, thiamin, riboflavin niacin and folates. In the mineral department, it is a rich source of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus with trace amounts of iron, sodium and zinc.
Health Benefits of Figs
Studies indicate that consumption of figs increases the body’s antioxidant ability for up to four hours after consumption. The darker coloured varieties have greater antioxidant capabilities with a large number of the phytonutrients housed in the skin of the ripe fruit. These antioxidants prevent oxidation of the lipoproteins in the blood and reduce overall oxidative stress of the body. Just three medium sized figs deliver five grams of fibre which helps to prevent constipation and overall digestive health. Additionally figs contain prebiotics that are beneficial for the friendly bacteria in the intestine, further aiding digestive system. The flavonoid quercetin is linked with averting lung and colon cancer. Luteolin, another flavonoid in figs has anti-inflammatory properties and is very good at impeding growth of tumours. Topical application of luteolin has been shown to prevent and treat skin cancer. Figs contain a lot of potassium, which acts to relax blood vessels and helps to control blood pressure.