Fig tree is one of the oldest cultivated plants. To various cultures, the fig represents prosperity, fertility, and peace. The first written reference to fig trees dates back to the Sumerian King Urukagina in 2,900 B.C. The fig is believed to be indigenous to Western Asia and then it was spread by man throughout the Mediterranean. In 1520, Spaniards brought figs to America where they were planted by Spanish missionary Priests. These figs are known as the California Mission Figs. Figs and fig trees are mentioned numerous times in the Bible. The Jewish King, Hezekiah, was cured of a life-threatening plague by applying figs to the infected spot ( 2 Kings 20:7). Plato wrote that Greek athletes at Olympia were fed diets of figs in order to improve their overall strength and performance. The Greeks even forbade the export of figs because they were highly valued.
If growth conditions are favorable, the tree will live long and bear fruit for about 200 years. Figs and Fig trees are depicted in ancient Egyptian reliefs and frescoes, and everyone knew about it in Ancient Arabia and Greece thousands of years ago. Ancient physicians prescribed figs to people with malaria, measles, fever, tumors, boils, sores, even leprosy and syphilis.
You can you improve your health and lose weight just by eating figs
The Fig is a repository of various nutrients. Fresh figs are simply invaluable. They contain proteins, cellulose, pectin substances, organic acids, vitamins A, C, B1, B3, PP. Also, figs are rich in sodium, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium and phosphorus.Iron and phosphorus are needed to maintain the work of the heart muscle, health-improvement, and to strengthen the immune system.
Fig leaves are a good source of flavonoids and polyphenols including gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, catechin, epicatechin and rutin. Psoralen and essential oil’s (extracted from the leaves) have a fungicidal and bactericidal action. Most importantly, fig leaves possess anti-diabetic properties.
Amazing Health Benefits of Figs
- Losing Weight: Figs contain a lot of fiber and a helpful digestive enzyme called ficin. It metabolizes protein into amino acids. This means that regular consumption of figs promotes a healthy digestive system. Digestive enzymes use saliva to break down food starches into smaller molecules. Ficin also contributes to the laxative properties of figs.
- Preventing Cancer: Figs contain the phytochemical called benzaldehyde, and according to research, is shown to have cancer-fighting capabilities.
- Slowing down aging process: Figs are high in antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocyanins. Antioxidants contained in figs help neutralize the free radicals that accelerate the aging process.
- Controlling High Blood Pressure: Figs are packed with potassium, a mineral that helps to control blood pressure and hypertension.
- Promoting Strong Bones: Figs are rich in calcium and phosphorus, which promotes bone formation and helps in their regrowth if there is any damage or decay.
- Preventing anemia: Figs are very high in iron, the mineral that helps create red blood cells and prevent anemia.
Fresh figs are available June through October. Figs are best when they are ripe, due to the higher antioxidant content. Store ripe figs in the refrigerator, where they will last 2 to 3 days. Wash figs right before eating.
As you can see, the consumption of figs is simply invaluable. Figs exert almost no side effects on the body, so feel free to give to children for the treatment of colds.