Figs are considered an important food source for wildlife. Figs are also of considerable cultural importance throughout the tropics, both as practical uses and objects of worship. Here SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD, HealthLine.com, reflects on all you need to know about figs, medically reviewed by Katherine Marengo, LDN,R.D. :
“Figs are a unique fruit resembling a teardrop. They’re about the size of your thumb, filled with hundreds of tiny seeds, and have an edible purple or green peel. The flesh of the fruit is pink and has a mild, sweet taste. The scientific name for the fig is Ficus carica.
Figs — and their leaves — are packed with nutrients and offer a variety of potential health benefits. They may promote healthy digestion, decrease your risk of heart disease, and help you manage your blood sugar levels.
This article reviews figs, including their nutrition, benefits, and downsides, as well as how to add them to your diet.
Figs have many potential benefits, including promoting digestive and heart health, along with potentially helping manage blood sugar levels.
Promote digestive health
Figs have long been used as a home remedy or an alternative treatment for digestive problems like constipation (4Trusted Source).
They contain fiber, which may help promote digestive health by softening and adding bulk to stools, decreasing constipation, and serving as a prebiotic — or food source for the healthy bacteria populating your gut (5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
In animal studies, fig fruit extract or paste helped speed the movement of food through the digestive tract, reducing constipation and improving the symptoms of digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
A study in 150 people with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) found that those who consumed about 4 dried figs (45 grams) twice daily experienced a significant reduction in symptoms — including pain, bloating, and constipation — compared with a control group (9Trusted Source).
What’s more, a similar study in 80 people found that supplementing with about 10 ounces (300 grams) of fig fruit paste daily for 8 weeks significantly decreased constipation, compared with a control group (10Trusted Source).
May improve vascular and heart health
Figs may improve blood pressure and blood fat levels, which can help improve your vascular health and decrease your risk of heart disease.
One study found that fig extract decreased blood pressure in rats with normal blood pressure, as well as those with elevated levels (11Trusted Source).
However, in a 5-week study in 83 people with high LDL (bad) cholesterol, researchers noted that those who added about 14 dried figs (120 grams) to their diet daily had no changes in blood fat levels, compared with a control group (14Trusted Source).
More human studies are needed to better understand the relationship between figs and heart health.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/figs-benefits#benefits
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