- Food and Cooking
Figs: A Super Tasty Super Food
Are you trying to add more tasty and healthy fruits in your diet? Look no further than the fig. Figs are tasty and chock full of antioxidants. There are many people who have never tasted fresh figs. If you are one of those people you are missing out. A fig bar does not even come close to the unique taste and texture of a ripe fig.
The Interesting History of Figs
Figs have been around since ancient times and grow across the Mediterranean. The Ancient Romans believed that figs were sacred. Fig trees are mentioned in Roman mythology and the bible. The ancient greeks prized the fruit so much that it was made illegal to export them. Scholars believe that the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden was a fig and not an apple. Spanish Missionaries introduced figs to America (more specifically, California) in the 16th century.
Although fig trees grow in warm climates, many people in colder regions have fig trees. During winter months they will bring the tree indoors and wrap the roots in burlap.
The fig tree is also a symbol of abundance and fertility. Perhaps this has to do with all of the health benefits that come from eating this luscious fruit.
Amazing Health Benefits
Figs are an antioxidant powerhouse and just eating a couple of figs will increase antioxidant activity in the body. Figs are high in potassium and calcium. Studies have shown that figs can prevent cancer. Figs help lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease and gastro-intestinal disorders. The high amount of calcium in figs will strengthen bones and help to prevent osteoporosis.
Figs are very rich in fiber. Fiber keeps you feeling full and satisfied. Because of this, adding figs to your diet can help you lose weight.
Fig leaves are edible and can help lower insulin levels in diabetics. Fig leaves are a natural cure for ulcers and a fig leaf tea may help fight off bronchitis.
Taste and Varieties
Figs are sweet, non-acidic fruit that do not contain a pit. Depending on variety, figs can range from extremely sweet to mildly sweet.
Figs have a unique texture that is found in no other fruit. The flesh of the fig is chewy, the skin is smooth and the seeds are crunchy.
The variety of figs are endless. Here is a brief description of some of the most popular types of figs.
Black Mission Figs have a black-purple skin and pink flesh. They are extremely sweet.
Kadota Figs have light green skin and purple flesh. Thes figs are less sweet as other varieties.
Brown Turkey Figs have brown-purple skin. They look similar to Black Mission figs but are not as sweet.
Adriatic Figs have light green skin and pink or tan flesh. Adriatic figs are moderately sweet. The adriatic fig is the type that is used in fig bars.
California figs are in season from June until September. European figs last throughout autumn. Eat figs when they are ripe. As figs ripen, the antioxidants increase. Only buy figs if you plan to eat them right away. Figs are perishable and will last only a few days in the refridgerator. So eat them up and reap the benefits.