Yes, Figs are Paleo!
Figs Are Naturally Sweet!
Figs are Paleo-friendly fruits from the mulberry family and are available during summer and early fall months. It is the main ingredient in the popular cookie, the fig bar. Figs are unique because of its opening called “ostiole”. Its color ranges from dark purple to light green or yellow. Figs have sweet, unique taste and texture. It has a smooth skin, chewy flesh and crunchy seeds. It also has a pleasant, woodsy scent.
There are many varieties of figs but the most popular ones are the following:
- Black mission – blackish-purple skin with pink flesh
- Kadota – green skin with purple flesh
- Calimyrna – greenish yellow skin with amber flesh
- Brown Turkey – purple skin with red flesh
- Adriatic – light green skin with pin flesh. It is the variety which is often used in making fig bars.
Figs are naturally sweet and can be a sugar replacement in baking. They can be eaten fresh or dried can can be used in making jams. They are delicate and perishable too and should be eaten within a day or two after purchase.
Nutritional Profile & Health Benefits of Figs
Figs are great source of dietary fiber, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phytochemicals, vitamins A, E and K and antioxidants. They are also very low in saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. They also offer wide range of health benefits
Figs contain antioxidants which can prevent oxidative stress that damages the cells and can cause aging and even cancer.
Antibacterial, Antifungal and Anticancer Properties
Figs have the ability to fight against bacteria and various fungi which can stimulate immune system response and combat certain illnesses.
They have been used as remedy for several health problems in traditional medicine. It is believed to have natural healing properties for cancer. According to a study conducted in China Pharmaceutical University, figs contain elements that are toxic to human cancer cells.
Digestive Health and Weight Loss
Because figs contain high amounts of fiber, it acts as laxative and aids in healthy digestive system, regular bowel function and prevention of constipation, diarrhea and other digestive problems.
Fiber can also make you feel full easily, which is ideal for people who are trying to lose weight.
Low Cholesterol Levels and Healthy Heart
Figs contain soluble fiber called pectin which is responsible for mopping the excess clumps of cholesterol in the digestive system to be excreted by the body. Fig leaves have effects on the level of triglycerides in the body too. The phenols and Omega 3s and 6s found in figs can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Figs also contain high amounts of potassium and low sodium contents making it ideal for controlled blood pressure.
Figs are useful in treating respiratory disorders such as cough, asthma and bronchitis.
Caution on Figs
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, figs are naturally sweet. Be careful with your intake as too much sugar is not good for the body.
Also, figs may contain high levels of oxalates. Excessive amounts of it are likely to have a laxative effect.
Other Names for Figs
Click here to know more about other fruits in the Paleo diet.
What Experts Say About Figs
“Oh, the forgotten fig. It seems to get lumped into the dates ‘n raisins category, but figs are just as low in sugar as strawberries, and are packed with fiber (all those tender, tiny seeds). Enjoy these fresh whenever they’re in season”. – Mark Sisson
All you ever wanted to know about Figs and Paleo
The Paleo Diet. Fruits and Sugars
Mark’s Daily Apple. The Best Low-Carb Fruits (and the Worst)
Original Eating. Figs
Paleo Porn. Are Figs Paleo?
Paleo Grubs. What You can Eat on a Paleo Diet
Paleomazing. Paleo Fig Cookies
Paleo Leap. Paleo Foods: Figs
The World’s Healthiest Foods. Figs
Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Figs or Anjeer
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photo credit: Rum Bucolic Ape #62/100 – Fresh figs