The fig tree is the symbol of abundance, fertility, and sweetness. But how does it merit the term “super food”?
For many years the fig has been used as a coffee substitute. It is a quick and easy “pick me up” without sugar which is easy to store and carry. A no mess quick snack which boosts you instantly. The fruit contains a proteolytic enzyme that is considered an aid to digestion and is used by the pharmaceutical industry. And, because of its high alkalinity it has been mentioned as being beneficial to persons wishing to quit smoking.
Figs contain a natural humectant — a chemical that will extend freshness and moistness in baked products. A chemical found in figs, Psoralen, has been used for thousands of years to treat skin pigmentation diseases. Psoralen, which occurs naturally in figs, some other plants and fungi, is a skin sensitizer that promotes tanning in the sun.
Figs provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable. The fiber in figs is both soluble and insoluble. Both types of fiber are important for good health.
Figs have nutrients especially important for today’s busy lifestyles. One quarter-cup serving of dried figs provides 5 grams of fiber — 20% of the recommended Daily Value. That serving also adds 6% of iron, 6% of calcium, and 7% of the Daily Value for potassium. And, they have no fat, no sodium, and no cholesterol. Recent research has shown that California Figs also have a high quantity of polyphenol antioxidants.
So much goodness wrapped in one fig? For sure it earns the term “super food”!