Figs: Properties and Benefits

The plant of figs, Ficus carica scientific name, belonging to the Moraceae family, has ancient origins that are placed in the middle east; the plant can reach the remarkable height of eight meters and is divided into two main types: one that produces the early figs that ripen early spring or, at most, at the end of summer and the other that produces so-called normal figs coming instead ripening in late summer.
The figs are grown in many countries, the main are: the United States, Greece, Turkey, Spain and Portugal.

The varieties of figs are many, over 150 and are distinguished, in addition to the dimensions, for the colors which may be green, brown, purple and blacks. The most popular and marketed varieties are those green and black.

Figs: Properties and benefits
Figs are composed, as the whole fruit in general, mainly of water (about 80 %); small percentage, and precisely to the 0.4 %, we find the presence of protein. Then we find fats, sugars (19 %) and fiber (3.3 %). The minerals present in figs are represented by calcium, potassium, iron, sodium and phosphorus, while, vitamins, are represented by the pro-vitamin A, B 6, C and PP. Thanks to the presence of these substances that figs are recognized good therapeutic and nutritional properties and appreciated since antiquity.
It should be emphasized that the fig is not a true fruit but a receptacle of the plant containing in its interior the grains that represent the real fruits.

Benefits and Curative Properties of Figs

The discreet presence of vitamin A, in conjunction with potassium, iron and calcium, appears to have beneficial and strengthening properties against bones and teeth; even the sight and skin are able to benefit from the above mentioned substances. Another known property of figs is laxative, it is mainly due to the presence of fiber and mucilage in figs.

The figs are high in sugar easily assimilated and therefore represent a source of energy readily usable by the body. Of course it should be consumed in moderation by those people who have problems with the line. The decoction of dried figs has a soothing against the attacks of coughing. The fig tree has also anti-inflammatory properties, it is used as a compress on abscesses and boils and has positive effects on inflammation of the urinary and circulatory systems.
Figs Curiosity
According to the folk medicine latex content in the leaves of the fig is an excellent remedy for the treatment and elimination of warts.

In the Bible it is reported that Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness, because of the shame that sin brought about, broke away a few leaves from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil; the tree is the fig tree.

It is said that Plato, being a great admirer of the figs, was given the name of "eater of figs"; he also claimed that eating figs helped to increase intelligence.

Even Pliny had proved sensible to the virtues of the figs and in fact he used to say that eating figs increased the strength of the young and maintained the health of the elderly.

The vegetable fiber contained in figs takes the name of lignin ; it is very useful against intestinal disorders.

In the past, the latex present in fig leaves, was used to curdle the milk and for the production of different cheeses.
The Dried Figs
Dried figs are obtained from the harvest of the fruit when it reached full maturity and its subsequent drying in the sun which is followed by a chemical treatment of disinfestation from any pest. In order for the fig reaches a degree of optimum drying is necessary that lose about 35 % of the water contained in it.

In Italy, varieties of figs most used to get dried figs are: Brogiotto, Dottato, Will.
Figs: Properties and benefits
Figs: Properties and benefits
Chemical Composition
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Figs and Calories
Fresh figs provide 65 kcalories for 100 grams of pulp unlike those dried that arrive to 280 kcalories for the same amount of pulp.

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Figs: properties and benefits
Figs: Properties and benefits
Figs: properties and benefits
The fig is a fruit particularly delicate and you must be careful when, not wanting to consume immediately, want to store it; figs in the refrigerator may be stored for up to three days but it is good to put them in some container closed to prevent the absorption of odors from other foods in the refrigerator.

Another preservation solution may be freezing but, in this case, we must remember that the figs may be stored for no longer than thirty days.

Dried figs instead can be kept longer, the only focus is to keep them in a location inaccessible to insects that might be attracted by the presence of sugars.
Figs: Properties and benefits
Figs: properties and benefits
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