8 Health Benefits Of Figs You Should Know Of

At home when wrapped in a prosciutto, topped on a pizza, baked into cakes, tossed into salads, or served alongside meat – figs can amp up the flavor of any meal. And if you’ve passed by the produce aisles without tossing in a couple of these juicy fruits in your cart, we’ve listed a few health benefits that will convince you to do otherwise.

1. Fights Diabetes And Its Complications

A few preliminary studies have found that an extract of fig tree leaves lowered blood glucose levels in rats.1 A separate animal study found that fig extract could contribute to the treatment of diabetes by normalizing blood fatty acid and vitamin E levels, both of which normalize glycemic control.2 In addition to this, it normalizes antioxidant activity to fight oxidative stress and inflammation caused by diabetes, which can lead to high cholesterol and heart disorders.3 4


2. Fights Skin Disorders And Prevents Skin Aging

[pullquote]Add 2 mashed (fresh) figs, 1 tablespoon of yogurt and 1 teaspoon of honey to a bowl and apply this mixture to your face for a hydration and glow. However, avoid doing this if you’re allergic to latex.[/pullquote]

Traditional medicine involved the use of figs to treat acne, eczema, vitiligo, and psoriasis. And while there aren’t any conclusive scientific studies to back their use for these specific purposes, anecdotal evidence and preliminary research do show promise. One comparative study found that fig tree latex could remove warts with marginally less effectiveness than cryotherapy, minus the side effects.5 Fig leaves have also been found to be able to fight free radical damage, as a result of which, some studies have linked the makeup of fig leaves to better forms of photodynamic therapy to treat certain types of skin cancer.6


If you’re worried about wrinkles, multiple studies have found that fig leaf extract could reduce them. People who used creams with fig extract (leaf or fruit) found a decrease in the length and depth of their wrinkles. This could be attributed to fig’s antioxidant and anti-collagenase (enzymes that hinder collagen function) properties. These creams may also reduce hyperpigmentation, acne, and freckles.7 And if you’re unsure of finding products with figs, just eat them instead. Considering the fact that they’re loaded with vitamins and minerals, you’re bound to see some benefits on your skin.8

3. Prevents Heart Disease

Keeping in mind the fact that figs prevent diabetic complications like high cholesterol, it’s no surprises that studies have linked its consumption to reduced incidence of heart disease. Pectin, a type of soluble fiber found in figs, reduces blood cholesterol, preventing the incidence of high blood pressure and heart attacks. In addition to this, the potassium and omega 3 fatty acids content in figs prevents coronary heart attacks.9


4. Prevents Colon Cancer And Maintains Gut Health

Figs are loaded with pectin, a type of soluble fiber, which aids healthy bowel movements and relieves constipation. The numerous seeds in figs contain high levels of mucin (a type of protein) that may collect and expel waste material in the colon regular. Owing to these two factors, the consumption of figs is believed to prevent the incidence of colon cancer.10

5. May Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease

One study has found that regular consumption of figs, along with pomegranates and dates, prevented the incidence and progression of Alzheimer’s disease. This could be because the antioxidants in figs inhibit the production of cytokines (substances produced by the immune systems) which increase inflammation.11


6. Aids In Fighting Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Traditional medicine involves the use of figs to fight iron-deficiency anemia. Dried figs, for instance, contain iron which is a key component of hemoglobin. Consuming them was found to improve the levels of hemoglobin in the blood.12

7. May Prevent Macular Degeneration

Fruits have an important role to play in the prevention of age-related vision loss. Studies have found that consumption of fruits, particularly those high in vitamins A, C, and E prevented the development of age-related macular degeneration. Experts recommend three servings of fruit every day. So toss some figs into your morning smoothie or snack of them in the evening.13


8. Are Good Diet Food

If you’re on a diet, figs are your best friend. They are a good source of dietary fiber which fills you up and keep you from getting hungry for a long time. In fact, studies have found that women who increased their fiber intake significantly decreased their energy intake while not compromising on their satiety.14