After the season of figs, late in the summer comes one of the most Mediterranean fruits, exquisite and delicate, also very short season. The figs, green or purple, they are a delicacy already highly appreciated in ancient times, valued both for their flavor and for their medicinal and nutritional properties.
We consider it a fruit, although, being more precise botanically, the fig is a fruitlessness, just like pineapple or strawberries. At the beginning it is a kind of sack that keeps the flowers of the fig tree. Once fertilized, it thickens, forming the fleshy “fruit”. The fruit itself is the tiny seeds. All these peculiarities are transferred to its gastronomic and also nutritional qualities, turning the fig into a little jewel of the summer.
They are usually distinguished three great varieties: green, bluish and black, much darker in color. Green figs are the most appreciated for being usually juicier, aromatic and sweet, with a skin that is easier to remove. However, in terms of their properties, they all share practically the same characteristics, also similar to those of figs.
Nutritional composition of fresh figs
According to the data collected by the Spanish Food Composition Database (BEDCA), fresh fig provides about 70 kcal per 100 g of fresh edible product. It is, therefore, a somewhat more caloric fruit than, for example, the apple (50 kcal per 100 g), the peach (39 kcal per 100 g) or the melon (27 kcal per 100 g), although its size is Much smaller.
The fig is a source of carbohydrates, water and fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals
As a fresh plant food, it is also rich in water (80.3 g per 100 g of edible portion) and its fat content is negligible. It mainly provides carbohydrates (about 16 g per 100 g), being rich in natural sugars from the fruit itself, and therefore a good source of energy. It is also satiating, as it contains 2.5 g of total dietary fiber, compared to 1 g of melon.
If 93% of the fig is made up of carbohydrates, that remaining 7% corresponds to vegetable proteins, specifically it contributes 1.2 g protein, an amount similar to banana for every 100 g of weight. As we have commented, fats are practically anecdotal, highlighting just a 0.21 g of total polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Regarding vitamins and minerals, fresh fig stands out for its content in vitamin A and vitamin C, with some slight traces of vitamin B-6, and a small presence of essential amino acids (niacin, thiamine and riboflavin).
Very interesting is your mineral contribution. Figs are a good vegetable source of calcium, with 38 mg per 100 g of edible portion, of potassium (270 mg), phosphorus and magnesium, in addition to small traces of selenium and zinc, that yes, much less relevant.
Properties and benefits of figs
Considering its nutritional composition, the consumption of fresh figs as part of a balanced diet adds numerous beneficial properties, like all plant foods. Although it also stands out for its antioxidant power, for protection against free radicals and other external aggressions, the fig is above all a great source of energy, fiber and water.
Its moderate consumption is perfectly compatible with weight loss diets, since a serving of a few units does not add so many calories when fresh, and also help us feel satisfied, being able to help calm the craving for sweets or to peck at less recommended foods.
Due to their fiber and water content, they are a good ally against constipation, can help prevent certain diseases such as colon cancer and contribute to the proper functioning of the digestive system. Likewise, it is an easy fruit to eat, chew and digest, unless you suffer from gastroenteritis or a similar condition.
They are perfectly suitable for people of all ages, recommended especially to athletes or those who practice intense physical activity. Of course, people with specific pathologies, such as diabetes or kidney failure, will have to monitor their consumption and consult with their doctor to adapt their intake to their specific needs.
Remember that dried figs lose a lot of water and they concentrate all their nutrients, also multiplying the amounts of sugars. The dried version is much more caloric, and it also has a higher amount of fiber and minerals. So they are a very energetic food, ideal for practicing intense sports.
In this way, incorporating fresh figs into our diet at this time we will be adding many nutrients beneficial, in addition to enjoying your gastronomic pleasure. In sweet or savory recipes, there are many ways to combine this exquisite fruit.
Photo | Pixabay