Fig, properties, and benefits of the philosophers’ fruit among the sweet fruits, we find the fig, a formidable sweet fruit with medicinal properties that will surprise you.
What is the fig?
The fig is the fruit of the fig tree (Ficus carica).
This curious fruit needs to be well ripe to be consumed with the highest qualities. It has a great taste and benefits for our health.
The fig is usually round in shape, with a reddish and fine pulp covered with a greenish, black, or purple skin, depending on its variety. The skin is edible, although usually only the inside is eaten.
Origin of the fig
Historical data place the fig tree in Arabia, although the most massive crops are concentrated in Western Asia.
There are historical records that speak of this sweet fruit in ancient Egypt. In ancient Greece, they also said of the fig, being Plato’s favorite food and that he tells us in his writings calling it “the fruit of the philosophers.”
Figs were an energy food that was already used in the first Olympics by elite athletes. This fruit is also related to the Phoenicians and the Romans.
It is a food that has settled in the different regions of the Mediterranean. It is believed that the Phoenicians were the ones who introduced it to the Iberian Peninsula.
At present, in the European Union, Spain leads the countries with the highest production of figs and Greece and Portugal.
What comes first, the fig or the fig?
We can not speak of the fig, not to mention the Breva, his predecessor.
In some of the varieties of the fig tree, it bears fruit twice a year. One is the fig we are talking about, and the fruit begins to be picked at the end of August. The other fruit that the fig tree gives us, the figs, which are the figs’ predecessors and are usually collected in June.
That is, some varieties of the fig tree give us two types of fruits, the figs first, in June, and the figs later, in August.
How do you eat the fig?
With figs, we have to take some precaution, since if they are not in an optimal state of maturity, they can contain a whitish or milky liquid that can cause skin irritations or digestive discomfort.
As always, we recommend eating figs or figs raw and fresh, as it is the best way to enjoy their beneficial properties for our health.
Eat raw figs
The most common way to eat fresh figs is by removing the thin skin they have and eating the inside. Better that they are not hot to make it more pleasant in the mouth.
There are also other ways to consume this fabulous food—one of them in syrup with the opportunity to continue enjoying the fig out of season. Only water, sugar, and lemon peel are used to make the syrup.
Only in summer can we enjoy this delight, so different recipes can be made to enjoy this fabulous fruit’s properties all year round.
Recipes with figs
The fig jam also becomes another increasingly popular option for those who want to enjoy this delicacy and even healthy.
This recipe is excellent for sharing with friends as a starter or only as a snack. A perfect recipe is to add a fabulous fig jam with walnuts, raisins, or a delicious cheese to crusty bread.
The fig is a sweet fruit, and thanks to this characteristic, we can use it in different dessert recipes.
The fig smoothie is a recipe that, although it has a certain amount of sugar, is delicious and provides us with fiber. The ice cream is another healthy recipe that is increasingly common in summer because its flavor does not leave anyone indifferent. Also, combining it with other fresh fruits, water, or other fresh foods such as vegetables can obtain a refreshing and very healthy drink.
We can also incorporate them in recipes for salads or sautéed vegetables since their sweet touch provides a different touch. As we have already mentioned, it combines very well with cheeses, but we can also mix it with cereals and yogurts.
We cannot ignore one of the most used ways to eat the fig. Indeed many of you have already tried it. It is about dried fig.
We can see dried figs more generally in winter, being very typical at Christmas to see them in our markets, either as dried figs or as fig bread. Although it is prudent to consume them in moderation due to their sugar content and caloric intake, they have many beneficial nutritional properties for our health.
This dried fruit cannot be missing in our kitchen, mostly out of a season of the fig.
How are figs classified?
Figs can be classified into three broad groups according to their color.
White figs have whitish, yellowish, or greenish skin.
The colored ones have a bluish-brown skin with different blue tones.
The black variety presents a black color that can vary from very dark red, purple, or black tones.
As in all fruits, the main component of fig is water. Also, we can talk about carbohydrates. It is one of the fruits with the highest sugar content, so diabetics consumption has to be moderated.
Thanks to its energy value, its consumption is highly recommended for people who regularly engage in sports or intense physical activity.
Although the protein content is not high, it contains all the essential amino acids.
Although it is a fruit rich in carbohydrates and sugars, it has a large amount of fiber. So, it produces an incredible feeling of satiety and favors intestinal transit.
It is also a fruit containing different minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, although potassium is more remarkable.
What benefits does the fig have?
Thanks to the nutritional properties that figs have, they provide us with different benefits to our health.
Like the passion fruit, it has many carbohydrates, so it is a food that provides us with energy.
It is a food that helps us against constipation, naturally regulating intestinal transit thanks to its high contribution to soluble fiber.
Help for our bones
This fruit helps us with our bones’ density. Thanks to the contribution of calcium and other minerals that it provides us.
Help our heart
This fruit helps us control hypertension thanks to the fact that it provides us with trace elements (fiber, potassium, and magnesium) that help control blood pressure
Great antioxidant power
Provitamin A or beta carotene provide, which are transformed in the body into vitamin A. Type A vitamin is very antioxidant.
Natural energy supply
Thanks to the contribution of carbohydrates, it is a magnificent natural remedy that is highly recommended by people who perform intense physical exercise. Since, in addition to the energy contribution, they provide us with mineral salts that we lose in sports exercise.
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To finish, we recommend the consumption of the fig, either fresh or dried. They are foods that, since ancient times, have fallen in love with us, both for their benefits and their delicious taste. Therefore, it is an ingredient that cannot be missing in our kitchen, and it is ideal for incorporating it into our diet.