Figs are one of the oldest fruits known to man. They are being eaten since such olden times that their mention can even be found in several ancient scriptures. In fact, it is the first fruit tree that is mentioned in the Bible.
In the Quran too, figs are believed to be one of the six fruits of paradise and find their mention in several of its verses. What the holy Quran already established about figs several thousand years ago has been backed by modern science today.
The reference to the fig in the first Quranic verses of the Surah at-Tin talks about the medicinal benefits of the figs / anjeer by Allah stating- ‘I swear by the Fig and the Olive’. In the Islamic tradition, anything vowed upon by Allah has magnificence or importance attached to it.
The History of Figs
Figs are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt, then spread to Crete and then to Greece sometime around the 9th century BC. The fruit soon became a staple in the Greek diet and were held in very high regard in the country.
In ancient Rome too, figs were highly revered and considered to be a sacred fruit. By this time, about 29 varieties of figs were already known.
Today, the fig is grown and is an important fruit crop in several countries including the area extending from Asiatic Turkey to India, the Mediterranean region, the USA, Spain and a few other countries. Dry Figs/Anjeer are found in every health lovers house.
Nutrients in fresh and dried figs
Fresh figs are a very rich source of antioxidants such as carotenes, tannins, lutein and chlorogenic acid.
Whereas, dried figs are an excellent source of fiber and minerals such as calcium, iron, manganese, potassium, copper, zinc and selenium. They are also a very good source of energy and antioxidants. Dried figs have higher concentrated nutrition content.
Both fresh as well as dried figs are also a very good source of the B complex vitamins like niacin, folates and pyridoxine.
The Health Benefits of Figs
The health benefits of figs are backed by science and also mentioned in ancient scriptures.
- Protection against diseases and infections: Due to the presence of antioxidant vitamins such as Vitamin A, E and K in figs, they help protect the body against the damage caused by free radicals. Eating figs protects the body from several infections as well as diseases.
- Good for the heart: Figs are a very good source of potassium that make it very healthy for the heart. They are known to reduce the levels of triglycerides in the body. Moreover, due to their antioxidant content, figs also have blood pressure lowering properties.
- Are good for the digestive system: Figs are excellent for the digestive system and their intake is very good for preventing issues like constipation. Their high fiber content aids a healthy digestive system.
- Good for the bones: Figs are also a good source of calcium making them very good for the bone health.
- Help control blood sugar levels: The high potassium content in figs make them beneficial for lowering blood sugar levels and hence, figs are also very good for diabetics.
In my estimation, all this is enough to make you a regular consumer of Figs. In case you want to buy one, you can try out buying from Kashmirica, an brand that sells natural dry fruits from Kashmir and Afghanistan.