Fig or Anjeer as it is known in India is a small pear or bell-shaped flowering plant that belongs to the mulberry family and scientifically termed as Ficus carcia. The fruit is a native of the Middle East, Asia, Turkey and also widely cultivated commercially in the USA and Spain. In India fig is commercially grown in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka and Coimbatore.
Figs are extremely sweet fruits with several crunchy seeds. These can be consumed fresh or dried and in fact, dried ones are available all through the year. As the fruit is dense in natural sugars it is known as nature’s candy. It is available in various colours ranging from purple, red, green and golden.
Fig is known as Atti Pazham in Tamil, Athi Pallu in Telugu, Atti Pazham in Malayalam and Gulur or Anjeer in Hindi. As per the study published in the American Journal Of Nutrition dried fig is highly valued for its umpteen amount of antioxidants, polyphenols, fibre and other vital nutrients which should be included as a healthy snack in your daily diet.
Fig is a deciduous tree – which means it loses its foliage during the fall and grows new leaves in the spring. The tree grows up to 50 ft tall, with a heavy and twisting branch. The leaves are bright green, single and large which has an uneven hairy upper surface and soft hairy on the underside. The flowers are small with a clustered green fruits and pollinating insects enters the flowers via an opening at the top of the fruit and most fig the flowers are all female and needs no pollination.
Anjeer is extremely sweet, soft, succulent, juicy and fleshy and paste of the fruit is used as a substitute for sugar as it is a healthier option than corn syrup or sucrose. It is made into delectable jams and halwas as well as added into pies, pudding, cakes, baked goods and also made as a yummy fig roll cookie which is very popular baked produce. Also Read: How, When And Why To Eat Fruits
Fig Nutrition Profile
Figs are low on calories. Around 100 grams of fresh figs provide just 74 calories and immensely rich in soluble dietary fibre, essential nutrients and a host of plant compounds that contribute to healing health benefits. Figs are a powerhouse of antioxidant flavonoids which include carotenes, lutein, tannins, chlorogenic acids and vitamins A, E and K which assists in scavenging free radicals and prevents a host of chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes and reduces inflammation.
Moreover, fresh figs are heaped with B complex vitamins like niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid which acts as co-factors for metabolism. Also Check: 6 Amazing Fruits To Lead A Healthy Life - Infographic
Dried figs are super-rich in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, potassium, selenium and zinc. While Potassium aids in balancing the body fluids that regulate blood pressure and heart rate, iron is a vital mineral essential for the formation of red blood cells and overall health.
Nutrition Value Per 100g of Fresh Fig
Energy 74 Kcal
Carbohydrates 19.18 g
Protein 0.75 g
Total Fat 0.30 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Dietary Fiber 2.9 g
Folates 6 µg
Niacin 0.400 mg
Pantothenic acid 0.300 mg
Pyridoxine 0.113 mg
Riboflavin 0.050 mg
Vitamin A 142 IU
Vitamin C 2 mg
Vitamin E 0.11 mg
Vitamin K 4.7 µg
Sodium 1 mg
Potassium 232 mg
Calcium 35 mg
Copper 0.070 mg
Iron 0.37 mg
Magnesium 17 mg
Manganese 0.128 mg
Selenium 0.2 µg
Zinc 0.15 mg
*Source As Per USDA
Fig Ayurvedic Benefits
Anjeer is a densely sweet and an astringent fruit which is hard to digest and has cooling power. The goodness of essential nutrients in anjeer as per ayurvedic principles helps in balancing the Vata and Pitta. Figs are beneficial in cleansing the bowel and clearing the toxins from the system. Figs work as an effective natural remedy for controlling blood pressure, treats constipation, piles, digestive issues and excess Vata in the body.
Ayurveda chiefly uses the latex of the fruit as medicine which contains an enzyme ficin that possess powerful anthelmintic property which battles worm infestation. The key ayurvedic properties of anjeer include a diuretic, laxative and expectorant. It is also highly beneficial in treating leucoderma as the presence of furocoumarin a chemical that acts on the white spots on the skin and cures the condition. It is suggested that the patient should eat anjeer for two to three months period for treating this condition.
Ayurveda strongly vouches by anjeer for treating urinary stones and other urinary conditions. Drink a concoction of anjeer water about 30 ml twice daily to dissolve kidney stones. Soak dried figs in water and drink this water to lower the Vata inside the body. Figs are amazingly good for women and eat 2-4 dried figs on a daily basis to refill the calcium and iron levels in the body. Moreover, strained anjeer decoction consumed for a week can regulate the menstrual cycle. Also Read: Nature’s Colour Code: Learn About The Health Benefits Of Fruits, Veggies Based On Their Hues
Ark Anjir or Anjeer Sherbat is an amazing Ayurvedic preparation which is easily available in all Ayurveda stores and it is potent to cure amoebiasis.
Therapeutic Benefits Of Anjeer1. Treats Sexual Problems
Figs are a wonder fruit and highly used since ancient times for treating various sexual dysfunctions like sterility, low stamina and erectile dysfunction. The wealth of vitamins B6, A and minerals potassium, copper and magnesium increase the semen production. Dried figs are super-rich in amino acids and it works as a great aphrodisiac fruit by increasing vitality and libido. Figs are also valuable for adolescent girls to alleviate PMS symptoms and regulates the cycle. Moreover, several studies have proven that figs are effective in treating the underlying causes of erectile dysfunction. Also Read: The Ultimate Aphrodisiac Food Guide
2. Sustains Weight Loss
Figs are an ideal snack for the ones who wish to lose weight. The richness of soluble fibre in dried figs keeps you satiated, curbs appetite and dense nutrients aid in losing weight. As per the study published in the American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, a high fibre diet assists in losing extra fats. However, moderation is the key as dried figs are high on calories. It is recommended to limit portion size to about 2-3 figs per day. Moreover, dried figs serve as a healthy snack for gaining weight.
3. Regulates Blood Pressure
The abundance of potassium in anjeer helps in regulating high blood pressure. Potassium is a vital mineral that aids the body in controlling blood pressure as it facilitates to refute negative impacts of sodium.The goodness of potassium in figs helps to stimulate the functioning of muscles and nerves, balances the fluid in the system and maintains the electrolyte balance.Managing blood pressure can help in dilating blood vessels, improving blood circulation, relaxes and can also ease stress.Thus figs are the best fruit to add on to a high blood pressure diet.
Dried Figs are highly praised as one of the best fruits to replenish and soothe the intestines. It acts as a natural laxative as it is loaded with a good amount of soluble fibre. Evidence strongly proves that anjeer dense in fibre content can promote normal bowel function, add bulk to stool and ease the bowel movement averting constipation and serves as a natural remedy to treat digestive disorders like stomach flu.
5. Treats Piles
The natural laxative property of figs aids in lowering the pressure on the rectum thereby easing the haemorrhoids. As per the report published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicinal Journal, figs are used as a traditional remedy for treating haemorrhoids due to its laxative and antispasmodic properties.
6. Stronger Bones
Figs are heaped with a rich array of essential minerals and vitamins which play a key role in strengthening bones and lowers the risk of osteoporosis. Being one of the foods rich in calcium and phosphorus anjeer promotes the formation of bones and stimuli regrowth of bones if there is any injury or deterioration of bones. A serving of fresh stewed figs offers you with 180 mg of calcium and vital vitamins C and K necessary for strengthening the bone density.
7. Manages Diabetes
The American Diabetic Association recommends anjeer to be taken as part of a regular diet as it is high on fibre which assists in stabilizing the blood sugar levels. The leaves of figs are also heaped with vital nutrients that facilitate to lower the insulin needs for individuals who are on insulin. Furthermore, anjeer with ample amount of potassium helps to regulate blood sugar spikes post meals and maintain blood glucose levels under control. Also Read: Jamun: Medicinal Uses, Therapeutic Benefits For Skin, Diabetes And Supplements
8. Promotes Heart Health
Several pieces of evidence reveal that figs lower the level of triglycerides in the bloodstream and avert the risk of heart disease. Anjeer rich in soluble fibre pectin clears away the clogged cholesterol and eliminates it out of the body through the excretory system. In addition, high on antioxidants and potassium dried figs regulate blood pressure, scavenges free radicals from the body and prevent blockage of arteries and lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
9. Treats Alzheimer’s Disease
Evidence strongly supports that a diet abundant in figs helps in treating neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and eases neuroinflammation. Anjeer is loaded with umpteen amounts of dietary fibre, copper, zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin K and antioxidants promote memory, reduce anxiety and improves the learning skills in Alzheimer’s patients.
10. Prevents Age Related Macular Degeneration
Fig is a valued fruit as it assists in preventing age related macular degeneration, a major reason behind vison loss in elderly people. Regular intake promotes healthy vision in all age groups.
11. Treats Insomnia
Dry anjeer is highly beneficial for people suffering from insomnia and it is one of the sleep inducing foods. The goodness of tryptophan promotes sound sleep by improving blood circulation in the body.
12. Respiratory Problems
The richness of essential nutrients like protein, carbohydrate, fibre, vitamins A, C and minerals iron, calcium in anjeer hydrates the respiratory system and naturally clears the phlegm, soothes the sore throat, reduces the cough and other lung obstructions.
13. Dental Health
The presence of phenolic compounds in anjeer exhibits anti-caries activity and thwarts off bacteria causing dental infection. The flavonoids and phytochemicals in anjeer fruit exhibit potent antibacterial activities which reduce bacterial infections, guard gums, teeth and promotes overall dental health.
Uses Of Figs For Skin Health
Figs are amazing fruit heaped with the goodness of essential nutrients that work well for all types of skin. You can reap the benefit by eating them or using it as a DIY face mask.
Anjeer is been used extensively in traditional medicine for treating various skin problems including eczema, vitiligo and psoriasis. The latex of the fig tree shows a remarkable antiwart property. The proteolytic activity of latex enzyme aids to remove warts on the body without causing any side effects.
Wrinkle Free Skin
The powerful antioxidant and anti collagenase properties of fig extract is beneficial for lessening wrinkles and makes the skin look supple. Fig extract is used widely in various skin formulations which have proven to reduce the skin melanin, water loss and sebum. Moreover, fig extract improves the skin hydration and works as a natural remedy for hyperpigmentation, acne and wrinkles.
The wealth of nutrients in anjeer like vitamin C, E and A and potent antioxidants is highly beneficial to nurture the skin and rejuvenate skin cells. Fresh anjeer is used in face masks.
For getting instant glow, make a paste of fresh figs, gently apply on your face and allow it to stay for 15 minutes and rinse well with lukewarm water, this will make the skin glow naturally and look vibrant. Furthermore, the richness of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants maintain the skin pH balance and promotes blood circulation. Also Try: 3 Amazing DIY Fruit Face Packs To Revamp Your Skin
Figs For Hair Health
Figs are incredibly high on iron, potassium, magnesium and vitamins A and E which play a key role in promoting growth of stronger tresses. Figs extract are highly praised formulation used in the beauty industry for strengthening and improving hair moisture, conditions tangled mane, makes the hair frizz- free, look lustrous and strong.
Figs can be relished both fresh or dried, indulge in the natural sweetness of fresh figs when they are available in season, but dried figs are available all round the year and you can try some amazing mouth enticing recipes with dried figs like jam, smoothies, milkshake, ladoos and many more. Here we bring you two delectable dried fig recipes. Also Read: Stay Healthy With Dried Fruits, Health Bars
1 cup dried fig
½ cup blanched coarsely powder almonds
½ cup coarsely powdered cashew nuts
2-3 tbsp ghee
4 tsp sugar
¼ tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp mixed nuts
Boil water in pan add figs and allow it cook until soft and strain it.
In a mixer make a paste of boiled figs into puree and keep it aside.
In a pan add ghee, almonds, cashew powder and sauté well for 5 minutes, then add fig puree, sugar, little water and cook well for 5 minutes stirring continuously.
Add cardamom powder and stir well until ghee leaves the side.
Serve hot garnished with mixed nuts.
Figs high on natural sugar, carbs and essential minerals iron, calcium provide you with an instant source of energy to kick start your day and pump iron stores. Almonds, super-rich in protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and other minerals facilitate in boosting memory, lowering cholesterol, control diabetes and reduces risk of heart disease. Cashew nuts are abundant in heart-healthy fatty acids which is beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol, bringing down the risk of cataract and to promote vision.
250g chopped fresh figs
¼ cup powdered jaggery or sugar
¼ tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp lemon juice
1 cup water
In a heavy bottom vessel, add water and chopped figs and cook for 5-10 minutes on a low flame.
Now add jaggery powder and continue to cook on a low flame for about 40 minutes stirring often.
As the mixture becomes thick and to the consistency of jam add cinnamon powder and lemon juice stir well.
Allow the jam to cool and store it in a jar in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
Fresh figs come with an ample amount of natural sugar, iron, calcium, vitamin A and E, potassium, manganese which offers innumerable healing health benefits such as boosting reproductive health, controlling blood pressure, managing diabetes and enhanced skin health. Lemon loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants bolsters immunity and keeps disease at bay. Jaggery improves iron levels providing instant energy.
Ways To Add Figs In The Diet
Figs can be added to the diet in numerous ways, each rendering its unique wellness incentives. Here are some of the ways you can add figs in the diet:
Fresh ones are low on calories and make an incredible snack and they can also be added to make yummy fig salads, desserts or jams.
Dried figs are high on calories and natural sugar hence should be consumed in moderate amounts. Dried figs serve as a guilty free snack for those who crave for sugar-loaded stuff.
Dried figs puree can be topped on ice cream, yoghurt and desserts.
Dried anjeer can be replaced with prunes, dried apricots and dates.
Dried figs serve as an excellent topping on oatmeal and whole grain breakfast porridge.
It is also used as a natural sweetener while making cakes, pudding, custards or jams.
Fig Leaf Tea
Fig leave tea is made out of dried fig leaves, these tea varieties are refreshing herbal drink which boosts energy and uplifts mood.
How To Select Dried Figs
Dried figs are easily available in the supermarkets, buy figs that are clean, dry with smooth and unbroken skin.
How To Buy Fresh Anjeer
Buy fresh anjeer during summer and autumn season, as it is time when they are harvested.
Fresh figs have a very shorter shelf life, it is best to eat this fruit within two days.
Select the ones that are free from any cuts or bruises.
The colour of fresh fruit should be deep purplish.
Buy ones that are ripe, as figs taste delicious when ripe.
To ripe the anjeer, store them at room temperature, preferably at a warm dry place.
Anjeer fruit is generally safe for consumption which does not have any major side effects. However, it may have a minimal laxative, hence it may induce loose stools or diarrhea if consumed in large quantities. People with pollen allergies should avoid fruits of the Ficus carica.
Call it figs or anjeer, this succulent fruit with thousands of seeds is your must-have in your daily diet. The powerhouse of various vitamins, minerals and prized as Nature’s candy, it provides instant energy, prevents cardiovascular problems and helps in managing diabetes. Anjeer also helps in managing various skin conditions and is a staple ingredient in milkshakes, juices and jams.