The Fabulous Fig
Figs are a fruit which is low in calories, 100 grams of fresh fruits have just 74 calories. However, they contain health benefiting soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment antioxidants that contribute immensely towards optimum health and wellness.
Dried figs are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. In fact, dried figs possess higher concentrations of energy, minerals, and vitamins. 100 g dried figs provide 249 calories.
Fresh figs contain adequate levels of some of the anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, E, and K. Altogether these phytochemical compounds in fig fruit help scavenge harmful oxygen-derived free radicals from the human body and thereby protect us from cancers, diabetes, degenerative diseases, and infections.
Furthermore, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in the figs help lower blood sugar levels and control blood glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus (adult-onset) condition.
Fresh, as well as dried figs, contain healthy levels of a B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folate, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins function as co-factors for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
Dried figs are excellent sources of minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. 100 g of dried figs contain 680 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, and 2.03 mg of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for red blood cell formation as well for cellular oxidation
Selection and Storage
Fresh figs can be available all-around the season; however, they are at their best from May through November. While buying fresh figs, look for uniform, ready ones that are soft, emitting sweet, pleasant aroma.
Avoid very soft, broken, bruised, fungus inflicted fruits. Similarly unripe green fruits as they are bitter (astringent) and therefore, out of flavor.
Fig fruit perishes rather very quickly and should be eaten while fresh or else should be placed inside the refrigerator where it stays fresh for 2-3 days. Put them in a plastic or zip pouch and store in the refrigerator set with high relative humidity. However, dried figs can stay for 6-8 months.