Benefits of Fig – 12+ Amazing Health Benefits, Use, and Side Effects

Benefits of Fig/Ficus Carica – Amazing Health Benefits, Use, and Side Effects

Introduction

Fruits play an important role in our day today life as a good source of nutrients. No matter if it is a fresh one or a dried one, fruits provide energy to our body system. Among this huge variety of fruits more than half are also filled with medicinal properties, which shield the body as a resistor to many diseases or disorders. In this context, we will take Fig as an example and will briefly discuss it.

What are Fig/Ficus Carica?

Benefits of Fig - Amazing Health Benefits, Use, and Side Effects
Benefits of Fig – Amazing Health Benefits, Use, and Side Effects

Fig is a sweet fruit available in both fresh and dried edible forms. In fact the dried form of fig is available throughout the year. In Hindi language Fig is called ‘Anjeer’. Fig is a fruit species belonging to the mulberry fruit’s family. The scientific name of it is – ‘Ficus Carica’. In the Middle east, Asia, United States of America (USA) and Spain Fig is produced or cultivated widely for commercial use. Along with other parts of India, in Assam also this fruit is available.

Appearance

Fig is an extremely sweet fruit with many seeds inside. It can be called a deciduous plant or large shrub which can grow up to a height of 7-10 feet (23-33 cm).  Its aromatic leaves are 12-25 cm long and 10-18 cm wide. Fig grows as a hollow fleshy structure that is internally lined with numerous fertile flowers.  The height of this fruit can be 3-5 cm long and can be green, purple, light yellow to golden in color. 

Cultivation

Generally, Fig trees have been cultivated since ancient times and are grown in dry and sun-soaked areas with deep and fresh soil at rock sites up to 1,700 meters above sea level. It prefers relatively perforated and freely drained soil. The Fig plant is grown as a seasonal drought crop. The Middle Eastern and Mediterranean climate is perfectly suitable for this. 

Nutritional elements

Fig can provide only 74 calorie and soluble dietary fiber, essential nutrients and many other compounds. These contribute to a good health and healing/curing process of diseases. The major elements present in Fig helps to cleanse free radicals. The benefits of Fig can be seen in preventing chronic diseases like diabetes and reducing inflammation problems.

Fresh Fig contains Vitamin B Complex such as – Niacin, Pyridoxine, Folate, Pantothenic acid which assists the metabolism.

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Dried Figs are rich in Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Potassium, Selenium and Zinc. Potassium helps in balancing Blood pressure and heart beat rate. Iron is an important element in the formation of Red Blood Cells (RBC) and maintaining the good health of them.  

Ayurveda mainly uses the latex of Fig which contains ‘Ficin Enzyme’ filled with Anthelmintic quality. This helps to destroy worm infection. Disinfestations, laxativation and anticipation are some of its main health beneficial qualities.  

Each 100gm of Fig mainly contains the following health properties- 

  • Energy : 74 kcal
  • Carbohydrate : 19.18 gram 
  • Protein : 0.75 gram
  • Total Fat : 0.30 gram
  • Cholesterol : 0mg
  • Dietary fiber : 2.9 gram
  • Folate : 6 
  • Niacin : 0.400 mg
  • Pantothenic acid :0.300 mg 
  • Pyridoxine : 0113 mg 
  • Riboflavin : 0.050 mg 
  • Thiamine : 0.060 
  • Vitamin A : 142 IU
  • Vitamin C : 2mg
  • Vitamin E : 0.11mg 
  • Vitamin K : 4.7 
  • Sodium : 1mg 
  • Potassium : 232 mg 
  • Calcium : 357mg 
  • Copper : 0.070 mg
  • Iron : 0.37mg
  • Magnesium : 17mg 
  • Manganese : 0.128 mg
  • Selenium : 0.2 
  • Zinc : 0.15 mg 

Various lingual names of Fig are – 

  • English : Fig 
  • Hindi : Anjeer, Gular
  • Tamil : Atti Pazham
  • Telugu : Athi Pallu, Bodda
  • Kannada : Anjura, Athi
  • Malayalam : Atti Pazham
  • Bengali : Dumoor, Janadumar
  • Marathi : Anjeer, Umbar, Rumbadi
  • Odia : Dimiri
  • Punjabi : Anjeer
  • Gujrati : Anjeer, Umbaro
  • Kashmiri : Anjeer

Scientific Classification of Fig

  • Kingdom : Plantae
  • Clade : Tracheophytes
  • Clade : Angiosperms
  • Clade : Eudicots
  • Clade : Rosids
  • Order : Rosales
  • Family : Moraceae
  • Genus : Ficus
  • Sub Genus : F.sub.Focus
  • Species : F. Carica
  • Scientific name : Ficus Carica

Benefits and Uses of Fig/Ficus Carica

  1. Treats Sexual Problems:

Fig is a wonderful fruit and has been used highly since ancient times to treat various sexual disorders/dysfunctions such as – Sterility or Infertility, Low stamina, erectile dysfunction etc. Vitamin B6, Vitamin A and minerals, Potassium, Copper and Magnesium increases the production of semen. Dry Figs are rich in Amino acids and acts as an erotic fruit by increasing vitality and lust. The benefits of Fig can also be seen in reducing PMS symptoms and balancing the menstrual cycle in adolescent female bodies. Several studies have also proved that the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction can be treated by consuming Fig. 

  1. Sustains weight loss:

Fig is the perfect fruit for those who want to lose weight. Dry Figs are rich in soluble fibre which keeps your stomach full for a long time which positively results in controlled appetite and maintaining a healthy body weight.  According to the study published in ‘American journal of clinical nutrition’, a high fibre diet helps to reduce excess body fat. Of course the moderate consumption of this fruit is necessary because it has a high amount of calories in it. 2-3 figs a day is recommended for consumption to keep a maintained portion diet.    

  1. Regulates Blood Pressure: 

Abundance of Potassium in Fig helps in controlling High Blood Pressure. Potassium is a vital mineral that helps in refuting the negative effects of Sodium. The amount of Potassium in Fig helps to stimulate the muscle and nerve function, balances fluid systems in the body and maintains the balance of electrolyte. Controlling the blood pressure results in expansion of blood vessels and improvement of blood circulation. Therefore, Fig is a perfect food to add into your daily diet.

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  1. Prevents Constipation: 

Dried figs are best to replenish and ease the intestines. It acts as a natural laxative as it contains a lot of fiber.  This strongly proves that Fig possessing high amounts of fiber elements, can improve the usual functions of the intestine. The benefits of Fig can be effectively seen in facilitating bowel movement by preventing constipation. It also helps to cure digestion related issues.    

  1. Treats Piles: 

The natural laxative property of Fig can reduce pressure in rectum which results in reduction of hemorrhoids.  “Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicinal Journal”, says Fig has been used in traditional treatments for its Laxative and Antispasmodic quality. 

  1. Stronger Bones:    

Figs contain a rich array of essential minerals and vitamins that play an important role in strengthening bones and reducing the risk of Osteoporosis. Consuming fresh Fig provides 180mg of calcium and important vitamin C to increase bone density.  

  1. Controls Diabetes: 

‘The American Diabetic Association’ recommends including high fibre figs in daily diet because of its capacity to stabilize blood sugar levels. The leaves of Fig are also filled with nutrient elements, which help to lower the need of artificial insulin for diabetics by promoting internal body insulin production.  Moreover figs that contain high amounts of Potassium help to control spiking blood sugar levels.  

  1. Promotes Good heart health: 

Many studies have proved that Fig can reduce Triglycerides levels in blood circulation and keep the heart healthy. Dried figs are rich in antioxidants and potassium which balances blood pressure, cleanses free radicals from the body, prevents nerve blockage and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. 

  1. Helps in Alzheimer’s Disease treatment:

There are strong proofs to support the fact that fibre rich Fig can help in Neurodegenerative treatments like Alzheimer’s and reduce nervous inflammation. Figs are rich in Fibre, copper, zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin k and antioxidants which results in improved memory power, reduced anxiety and increased physical capacity of Alzheimer’s patients.

  1. Prevents Age-related Macular degeneration: 

Fig is a valuable fruit as it helps in preventing age-related macular degeneration, which is the main reason for elderly people to lose vision. Regular consumption of Fig can improve eyesight for all the age groups. 

  1. Treats Insomnia: 

The benefits of Fig can be seen in case of people suffering from insomnia. This fruit can improve your sleep health routine by increasing Tryptophan in the body which eases blood circulation and stimulates good sleep.  

  1. Respiratory problems: 

Protein, Fiber, Vitamin A and C, Iron mineral and calcium present in Fig can hydrate our respiratory system, cleanses cough naturally and relieves throat pain, sneeze and other health issues related to the lungs.

  1. Dental Health:  

The Phenol compound present in Fig shows Anti-Caries activities and prevents dental infections by stopping the spread of bacteria causing it.  ‘Flavonoids’ and ‘Phytochemicals’ present in Fig acts like a resistor to bacterial infection, gives protection to the teeth gums and helps in improving the overall dental health. 

Others: The benefits of Fig can also be seen in keeping skin healthy, improving digestion, treatment of cold-fever etc. 

How to Use of Fig

We can consume Fig in both fresh and dried form. It is extremely sweet, tasty, tender, juicy and used as a good substitute for sugar because it is healthier than Sucrose (the sweetening element present in sugar).

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You can make pudding, cakes, ice creams, sweet curds, pastries and many other sweet dishes with fig.  Apart from sweet dishes figs can be added in salads and other food items to enhance its taste. Dried fig contains a high amount of calorie and sweetening agent, therefore use the fruit wisely in a limited amount. 

Besides the consumption causes, the uses and benefits of figs can also be seen in treating different health issues.  

Side effects of Fig/Ficus Carica

Fig also has harmful sides for human health as it has the beneficial one. Excessive use of fig can show unwanted side effects on the body – 

  • Fig contains low quality laxative, excess consumption of which can lead to diarrhea.
  • People having Pollen allergy should not take Fig.
  • For some people, high doses of fig latex can result in blood secretion in the digestive tract.
  • Applying Fig leaves on skin is probably not safe.

Excess consumption of anything can lead to harmful effects on the body. Therefore, to get the benefits of fig use it wisely in the proper manner, noticing all its beneficial and harmful sides. In some particular health conditions, the fruit may show adverse effects. Please consult your doctor if you are suffering from such health conditions before consuming the fruit. 

Conclusion

The above article about Fig must give you a summarized image of the fruit. The article contains the benefits of fig, its harmful sides, elements it contains and the healthy properties of it. We hope the information we tried to include in this article will help you in various manners to treat different kinds of health problems. Thank you!

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