When Adam and Eve used fig leaves to cover their decency, it is unknown whether they knew about all of the health benefits the figs they came from possessed. Perhaps if they did the forbidden fruit would have seemed a bit more superfluous…
Figs are a seasonal fruit which come from Western Asia. They grow on trees and are a member of the mulberry family. Because they are dried, they can be shipped anywhere and can be eaten and enjoyed at any time of year. They are also packed with goodness and health benefits – which we shall proceed to examine here.
Figs like many fruits are a fantastic source of fiber. What this means for you is a lower cholesterol as the fiber will pass through the arteries and veins and clear away the plaque that builds up there. This can also help digestive function and prevent constipation.
Most fruits can boast this though, and particularly if you eat them with the skins intact. Figs don’t just contain any fiber though – they also contain ‘pectin’ which is a soluble fiber that means it can pass through more of the body and which means it can mop up LDL cholesterol.
Fat isn’t always a bad thing, and many of us are now aware of the importance of essential fatty acids in our diet. Well never fear when figs are here – as they contain the acids omega-3 and omega-6 as well as phenol. This can then in turn help to lubricate joints and prevent arthritis, to provide the skin and hair with the oils they need, to help the body to utilize protein more efficiently to build muscle and tissue, to prevent Alzheimer’s and Dementia and general brain function and also to prevent heart disease (combined with the fiber figs are very beneficial for the heart).
Figs like many other super-food-fruits are very high in potassium. This has several benefits – for one it helps to regulate muscle function and prevents cramping so this can make them a great home remedy for cramps if you suffer from them. At the same time potassium is also very useful for regulating blood sugar level – and for this reason the consumption of figs can lower the amount of insulin needed in insulin injections for diabetic patients. This can also help with general energy for those not suffering from diabetes. To get the full effect of the potassium though make sure to eat the leaves as well as the figs themselves.
Figs are high in calcium which means they can strengthen bones, muscle contractions and tendons.
If you have a cold then a fig might do you good as the mucilage can help to ease a sore throat. They can also help to drain phlegm and clear the airways in other breathing conditions.
Figs are also high in certain amino acids – specifically leucine, lysine, valine and arginine. Amino acids are carbon compounds – forms of protein that are ready for the body to use. These are then used and recombined for a variety of tasks around the body from the building of muscle to the maintenance of the skin. They also play a vital role in the function of the brain and make up the enzymes that the body uses to break down food and perform other chemical reactions.
This particular cocktail of amino acids, particularly the arginine, is highly useful for hormone secretion as well as the transportation of blood and nutrients around the body. Arginine helps with the production of testosterone as well as with blood flow (as it is a precursor to nitric oxide which in turn causes vasodilation). This then makes arginine a popular supplement among bodybuilders, and makes figs are popular aphrodisiac. Combine this with better sexual stamina (thanks to the blood flow and the sugar content) and you have a powerful snack for improving your sex life.