The health benefits of figs or anjeer are many and include its use in the treatment of sexual dysfunction, constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. Figs are also used as a quick and healthy way to gain weight after suffering from an illness.
What is Fig (Anjeer)?
Figs are a sweet fruit with multiple seeds and soft skin, which can be eaten ripe or dried. Figs are also called nature’s candy because they are high in natural sugar. It is the fruit of the fig tree (Ficus), which is a member of the mulberry family, usually found in Asia. In India, the fruit is called anjeer. Different varieties of the fruit can have different colors from purple, red, green, and golden yellow. The most popular types of figs include:
- Black mission figs
- Brown turkey
- Sierra figs
- Calimyrna figs
- Kadota figs
The dried form of fig is easily available almost everywhere, all year round.
According to a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the fruit, particularly dried, should be added in the regular diet due to high levels of phenol antioxidants, fiber, and nutrients.
Figs or anjeer are sweet and soft and their paste is often used as a replacement for sugar. Fig spread is used as a healthier option instead of corn syrup and sucrose. It is incorporated into pies, pudding, cakes, assorted baked goods, and preserves. Organic Turkish figs are considered a healthy snack.
Figs are rich in fiber, magnesium, manganese, vitamin B6, potassium, and calcium, according to the USDA National Nutrient Database. They promote bone density and lower blood pressure.
Dried figs contain phenol, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids that aid in improving health.
Figs have many amazing health benefits. Let us discuss them in detail below.
The fiber in figs helps reduce weight and is often recommended for obese people. According to a study by Journal of the American College of Nutrition, dried fruits, especially figs, are a convenient and superior source of nutrients.
However, their high-calorie count can also result in weight gain. A few figs are adequate to get the recommended amount of nutrients, so don’t overdo it. Fig bars are another option for on-the-go nutrition recommended for both, adults and children.
Treat Sexual Dysfunction
For centuries, figs have been recommended as a way to reduce sexual dysfunction issues including sterility, low endurance or erectile dysfunction. The sweet, thin-skinned fruits have been a major part of mythology and culture, and most of the time, they are referred to as powerful fertility or sexual supplement. Their actual success as an aphrodisiac is questionable, but the huge amount of valuable vitamins and minerals is probably the reason for the sudden boost in energy and stamina that people mistake for a sexual surge.
How to eat: Soak 2-3 figs in milk overnight and eat them in  the morning to enhance your sexual abilities; this is why they say figs are good for men!
Lower Blood Pressure
People usually consume sodium in the form of a salt, but low potassium and high sodium level may lead to hypertension. Figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are a perfect defense against the effects of hypertension. Reducing your blood pressure can help with relaxation, settle the nerves, and bring some calmness to your day.
Studies say that figs are rich in calcium, which is one of the most important components in strengthening bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis.  They are also rich in phosphorus, which encourages the formation of the bones and spurs regrowth if there is any damage to or degradation in bones. Fig jam is also a delicious way to get your dose of calcium and drastic – a huge plus for those with the disease.
The American Diabetes Association recommends anjeer as a high-fiber treat that helps to promote functional control of diabetes.  The leaves of fig reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetic patients who have to regularly take insulin injections. They are rich in potassium, which helps regulate the amount of sugar absorbed by the body after meals.  Large amounts of potassium can ensure that blood sugar spikes and falls are less frequent.
As mentioned, figs are a rich source of polyphenols.  Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect the human body against oxidative stress.
Furthermore, fig leaves have an inhibitory effect on triglycerides, making their overall number drop. Triglycerides are another major factor behind various heart diseases.
According to a study led by a team of researchers from The University of Scranton, USA, fruits like figs contain a good amount of fiber.  This high concentration of fiber helps to promote healthy, regular bowel function and prevents constipation. Fiber works to add bulk and mass to the bowel movements, so it not only prevents constipation but also eliminates diarrhea and unhealthy or irregular bowel movements.
If you are suffering from piles, a popular home remedy is to soak dried figs soaked in water overnight, and have the fruit along with the water in the morning. This has a laxative effect and helps reduce the pressure on the anus, thus helping to soothe the hemorrhoids. According to a report published in the  Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal in 2013, they have been traditionally used for their laxative, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Figs contain pectin, a soluble fiber that stimulates healthy bowel movements. They can have a laxative effect, as mentioned since they are one of the most fiber-dense foods available. When fiber moves through the digestive tract, it mops up excess clumps of cholesterol and carries them to the excretory system to be eliminated from the body. According to studies on pectin, it is also associated with lowering cholesterol levels and anticancer activities.
Reduce the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s
Figs are considered one of the best fruits when it comes to alleviating neuroinflammation. An animal study conducted by Prof.  Guillemin GJ, Neuroscience, Department of Biomedical Sciences, Macquarie University Centre for Motor Neuron Disease Research, has revealed that the fruit is able to reduce the inflammatory cytokines during aging. In other words, it has a beneficial effect on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s for humans.
The natural chemicals in fig leaves make them an ideal component for a tea base. Fig leaf tea has been popularly prescribed for various respiratory conditions like bronchitis and is also used as a way to prevent and lessen the symptoms of asthma.
Provides Relief from Venereal Diseases
Figs have been traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and some other parts of the world as a calming salve for venereal diseases. Ingestion or topical application of these fruits work towards providing relief from sexually transmitted diseases, although further research needs to be done on the exact range of symptoms and diseases that these fruits positively affect.
Prevent Urinary Calcium Loss
People that maintain a high-sodium diet may be affected by an increased urinary calcium loss.  The high potassium content in figs helps to avoid that condition and regulates the content of waste in your urine, according to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. It minimizes the calcium loss while increasingly eliminating the amount of uric acid and other harmful toxins out of your body.
Prevent Macular Degeneration
The major cause of vision loss among the elderly is macular degeneration. Organic figs are good at helping you avoid this common symptom of aging.
Relieve Throat Pain
The high mucilage content in figs helps heal and protect sore throats. The soothing nature of these fruits and their natural juices can relieve pain and stress on the vocal cords as well.
Skin & Hair Health
Figs are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that prevent the damage caused by free radicals. They have a high level of alkanes and therefore, help regulate the pH of the body. The fruits are used to treat a number of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
Figs are effective digestive aids and are known for their soothing and laxative properties and are also low in fat and sugar. They help in treating various health conditions that include:
- Respiratory disorders like whooping cough and asthma
- Constipation, indigestion, stomach ache, and various other intestinal conditions
- Liver diseases
Word of Caution: Eating too many figs can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, dried forms are high in sugar and can potentially cause tooth decay. Also, there are those who are allergic to figs or certain chemical components within them, and the resulting allergic reactions can be mild to severe. As always, before making a major change in your diet, speak with your doctor.
It is best not to consume this fruit in excess in the first few weeks leading up to surgery because they can occasionally cause bleeding in the digestive tract in sensitive people.
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