figsThere are over 150 different varieties of figs, varying dramatically in color from green and purple, to black. Because figs are extremely perishable, they are often enjoyed dried. Figs are referenced in many ancient texts, including the Bible. The fig tree is native to the Mediterranean and Middle East, where it was cultivated in Egypt and carried to Crete and Greece. The Greeks held figs in such high regard, that laws were put in place to prevent the export of their finest figs. Spanish Conquistadors and missionaries brought figs to the west.
Nutritional Highlights:
• Figs are rich in natural simple sugars, minerals, and fiber.
• Figs also provide potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese.
• A 3½-ounce serving of dried figs contain approximately 249 calories.
Health Benefits:
• Figs are among the most alkaline foods, and help balance the body’s pH.
• Because they are so rich in fiber, figs provide excellent nutrition to the intestines.
• Containing high levels of potassium, Figs also help control blood pressure.
• Fig leaves have been shown to have antidiabetic properties, and can help reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetics.
Dried figs are a healthy and portable snack that any busy individual can enjoy. Try enhancing the nutrition of different baked goods, by adding figs, or to your morning oatmeal. For your next dinner party, stuffing fresh figs with goat cheese and chopped almonds are an original, and crowd-pleasing hors d’oeuvre. Want to know more about figs and other fruits? “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods” is a great guide of the nutritional benefits of a wide variety of foods.

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