Properties of the fig

The fig tree is a peculiar tree. Although it does not happen with all specimens, many of them give us their fruits twice a year, thus framing the summer months. It starts with the guilders, in June, which are generally smaller and less sweet, and after mid-August we have the second harvest, the figs.

fresh food

4 September 2018

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Different types of figs

Figs should not be eaten until they have reached their optimum point of ripeness, as the green ones contain a substance (whitish, milky liquid) that can cause skin irritation or rashes. Figs can be classified into three groups according to their colour.

  • The white varieties have a whitish, yellowish or even green colour when ripe. The tastiest are golden yellow and greenish yellow.
  • The red varieties include the different bluish-brown figs, which are more or less light in colour.
  • The black varieties include the figs that have a colour that ranges from dark red to totally black, with the quality of the purple-black ones standing out.


Nutritional assessment

After water, the main component of fresh figs is carbohydrates (glucose, fructose and sucrose). Together with bananas, cherimoya and grapes, figs are one of the fruits with the highest sugar content, which is why they are usually recommended in the diet of sportsmen and women and of people who are involved in intense physical activity.

Although the protein content is not high, it contains all the essential amino acids.
Regarding fibre, fresh figs have an important quantity, which produces a feeling of satiety and favours intestinal activity, avoiding constipation, as well as preventing diseases of the digestive and cardiovascular systems.
It is not a fruit rich in minerals, although it does have a high proportion of potassium, and contains significant amounts of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium.


Benefits of eating figs

  • They provide energy. Like bananas, mangoes and persimmons, they are rich in carbohydrates and therefore provide energy.
  • They act against constipation. Due to its high content of soluble fibre, it contains approximately 2%, helping to recover the intestinal transit.
  • They take care of the bowel. The fibre acts as a prebiotic, favouring the creation of the flora of the small intestine. In addition, it helps the digestion of other nutrients, especially minerals.
  • They promote bone density. Dried figs provide 250 mg of calcium per 100 g, while in the fresh option they contain 38 mg per 100 g. Even so, their consumption should be moderated in cases of overweight and diabetes due to their sugar content.
  • They help control hypertensionFigs have trace elements (fibre, potassium, and magnesium) that help control blood pressure. However, like no other food, it has healing effects.
  • They're antioxidants. They provide provitamin A or beta-carotene, which are transformed in the body into vitamin A and have antioxidant action.
  • Maintain glucose levels. They can be considered an isotonic food, since they replace sugars (sucrose, glucose, fructose) and mineral salts that are lost in an overexertion. An excellent snack when you have done a lot of physical or mental activity.

Preservation of figs

It should be borne in mind that figs are very fragile fruits, which makes their transport and storage in good conditions particularly difficult. As it is a perishable fruit, it cannot be kept in the fridge for more than 3 days. In any case, even if they are kept cold, it is advisable to take them out of the refrigerator for a while before consumption so that the cold does not diminish their flavour.


Composition per 100 grams of edible portion

   

Energy value (kcal)

292

Carbohydrates (g)

16

Fibre (g)

2.5

Protein (g) 

1.2

Potassium (mg) 

270

Calcium (mg) 

38

Magnesium (mg)

20