Fresh Figs (Anjeer fruit) are seasonal fruits that are found in the western parts of Asia, but dried figs are commonly available almost everywhere in the country.
The fig tree is a member of mulberry family.
The health benefits of figs, both fresh and dried arise from the presence of an array of minerals, vitamins and fiber contained in the fruit. The health benefits of figs or anjeer include its use in:
- Weight management (loss or gain)
- Piles / Hemarrhoids
- Cough, bronchitis and asthma.
Fresh Vs Dried Figs:
- Dried figs are a favorite amongst many. Apart from being easily accessible and easy to store with a much longer shelf life, the good news lies in the fact that they are also nutritionally similar to the fresh ones.
- Although there is a loss of some water-soluble vitamins in the drying process, the fat soluble vitamins, minerals and other beneficial compounds increase.
- Dried figs contain pectin, which is thought to lower blood cholesterol.
- According to research, higher total phenolic content and antioxidant activity have been detected in figs after the drying process. Dried figs are a better source of phenolic compounds and antioxidants than the fresh ones.
- At the same time dried figs and dried plums have superior quality antioxidants as well. Antioxidants in figs have the potential to protect LDL cholesterol or the bad cholesterol from oxidation. The oxidation of lipoproteins triggers the process of atherosclerosis in the body.
- Laxative effects of some dried fruits are more than fresh fruits including figs, mulberry and plum. Figs are one of the most fiber rich foods available. High amounts of fiber in the diet can benefit overall health by preventing certain types of abdominal cancer, as well as colon cancer.
- Dried figs are rich in potassium, which helps to regulate the amount of sugar absorbed into the body after food intake. Large amounts of potassium can ensure that blood sugar spikes are fewer. It proves to be beneficial for diabetics.
- Dried figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are a perfect defence against effects of hypertension, making figs a relaxing food as well.
Fresh and Dried Figs Nutrition Facts:
People think that dried fruits are loaded with calories and are high in sugar. A surprise to many, this is not the truth. The dried fruit is a good source of fiber, potassium and a fair source of iron and calcium.
Dried fig along with other dried fruits and nuts form a strong and power packed snack over junk foods like chips, chocolate bars, granola bars, biscuits, sandwiches, crackers, sugar laden beverages and the so called “low caloric/baked snacks”. Its nutrient content beats the above mentioned refined flour snacks by all means.
Some dried fruit are treated with sulphur dioxide before they are dried. The preservative allows dried fruit to retain their original color from darkening during the drying process. Sulphur dioxide can trigger asthma-like reactions in some people. Organic dried fruit does not contain the chemical; it is darker in color and has a slightly different flavor, often more like the fresh version.
Soak dried figs for 30 minutes before use so they’ll plump up nicely and puree in a jiffy! The puree can then be added to curds, milk and desserts. Consuming 3 small dried figs as a part of your daily diet is a good way to add nourishment to your meals.