Health Benefits of Figs

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What is Figs?

Fig or Ficus carica has been popularly used in the Indian medicine system and other ancient medicine systems of the world. Fig tree is widespread in tropical and subtropical countries.

The edible fruits of fig have high commercial value. Fresh figs are seasonal fruits but dried figs are available all-round the year.

Health Benefits of Figs

What are the Health Benefits of Figs?

Some of the health benefits of figs are:

  • Assists in weight loss

    Fig is a great source of fiber which helps in reducing weight. It is recommended for use in obese people. Only few figs should be consumed because it is also rich in calories.
  • Helps in controlling diabetes

    Research study on human subjects has shown that fig leaves are effective in reducing blood sugar levels. Fig is beneficial in managing diabetes. Recommended by The American Diabetes Association, the high fiber content in fig helps to control diabetes.

    Potassium in figs also helps in regulating the absorption of sugar after a heavy meal.
Figs Control Diabetes
  • Reduces cholesterol

    Pectin present in figs is responsible for the elimination of cholesterol from the body. Pectin is a soluble fiber and also helps in improving bowel movements.
  • Prevents heart diseases

    Dried figs are rich in phenol, omega-3 and omega-6. They’re beneficial in reducing the risk of coronary heart diseases. Fig leaves significantly reduce triglyceride level in the blood and hence it has a protective effect on the functioning of the heart. Figs are rich in potassium and low in sodium and hence prevents hypertension.
  • Prevents cancer

    Fig prevents colon cancer. It also offers protection against breast cancer after menopause. The hormonal imbalance during menopause affects the immune system and hence, body loses its ability to fight free radicals. The antioxidant property of fig gives an extra line of defense in warding off free radicals to prevent breast cancer.
  • Good antioxidant

    Fig extract has been reported to reduce oxidative stress by regularizing fatty acids and vitamin E levels in the blood.
Figs Reduce Oxidative Stress
  • Protects liver

    Fig leaves have also demonstrated hepato-protective activity. It reduces the level of liver enzymes which are increased in liver disorders such as liver cirrhosis.
  • Treats digestive disorders

    The high concentration of fiber is beneficial in promoting healthy, regular bowel function and also prevents constipation. It is also used to eliminate diarrhea and unhealthy bowel movements. Fig has been effective in treating gastrointestinal and inflammatory disorders. It possesses antispasmodic effect and provides relaxation from the intestinal contractions.
  • Used as an antipyretic

    Fig can normalize body temperature during fungal infections. It provides anti-pyretic effect as strong as paracetamol.
  • Corrects sexual dysfunction

    Figs have been used traditionally as a significant fertility aid or sexual supplement. The variety of nutrients such as vitamins and minerals present in fig boost energy and stamina.
Figs Correct Sexual Dysfunction

    Fig Recipes

    Fig Butter Cake

    • 55 g butter
    • 5 fresh figs
    • 40 g brown sugar
    • 250 g granulated sugar
    • 3 eggs
    • 110 ml buttermilk
    • 65 ml rapeseed oil
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 185 g plain flour
    • 150 g butter and 250 g icing sugar for the butter cream
    Fig Butter Cake


    Sliced fresh figs are placed on the buttered cake tin. Cream the butter with the sugars and eggs to which rapeseed oil and buttermilk are then added. Baking powder, vanilla extract and salt are added. The flour is lightly folded in and the mixture poured into the cake tin. Bake it in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes and then leave for 5 minutes. Turn out the tin. Slice and serve fig cake with a spoonful of butter cream.

    Health Tips

    • How to choose the best figs

      Note that the figs do not ripen after picking, so choose the ripest fresh figs you can get. Select figs which are rich in color, plump and give in to light pressure. Do not buy sour smelling figs. Dried figs can be purchased all year around.
    • Ways to eat

      There are many ways of eating figs in the form of fresh figs, dried figs, or grilled figs. Many food items including salads, jams, smoothies, baked foods, and healthy bars are made by recipes involving cooking with figs. About three fresh figs or dried figs contain 5 g of fiber which causes the phytonutrients in fig to be absorbed slowly. Hence, you feel more satisfied for long period of time after eating figs.
    • Puree dried figs

      Soak dried figs for 30 minutes in water and then puree them in blender. The water used for soaking can also be used in recipes as it is rich in phytonutrients and also adds a delightful dash of purple color to food.

    Nutrition Facts for Figs

    The nutritional values of "Figs" per 100 grams are:

    Nutrition Summary
    Total Calories 74
    Protein 0.8 g
    Fat 0.4 g
    Carbohydrate 19.2 g
    NutrientsAmount%Daily Value
    Calcium, Ca 35 mg 3.5 %
    Copper, Cu 0.07 mg 3.5 %
    Iron, Fe 0.37  mg 2.06 %
    Magnesium, Mg 17 mg 4.25 %
    Manganese, Mn 0.13 mg 6.4 %
    Phosphorus, P 14 mg 1.4 %
    Potassium, K 232  mg 6.63 %
    Selenium, Se 0.2 mcg 0.29 %
    Sodium, Na 1 mg 0.04 %
    Zinc, Zn 0.15 mg 1 %
    Vitamin A 142  IU 2.84 %
    Vitamin C 2 mg 3.33 %
    Vitamin B6 0.11 mg 5.65 %
    Vitamin E 0.11 mg 0.37 %
    Vitamin K 4.7  mcg 5.88 %
    Riboflavin 0.05  mg 2.94 %
    Thiamin 0.06 mg 4 %
    Folate, DFE 6  mcg 1.5 %
    Niacin 0.4  mg 2 %
    Sugars 16.26 g
    Fiber 2.9  g 11.6 %
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0 %
    Water 79.11 g
    Carotene, alpha 0 mcg
    Carotene, beta 85  mcg
    Choline 4.7 mg
    Lycopene 0  mcg
    View all +
    Data source: USDA Nutrient Database, R25
    *Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower based on your individual needs.

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