14 Nutritional Benefits of Figs or Anjeer

by Meenakshi Nagdeve last updated - Medically reviewed by Vanessa Voltolina (MS, RD)

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The health benefits of figs or anjeer are numerous. Figs are very beneficial when used to help with constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, and asthma. They are also used as a quick and healthy way to gain weight after suffering from an illness.

What is Fig (Anjeer)?

Figs are a sweet fruit with multiple seeds and soft skin, which can be eaten ripe or dried. Figs are also called nature’s candy because they are high in natural sugar. It is the fruit of the fig tree (Ficus), which is a member of the mulberry family, usually found in Asia. In India, the fruit is called anjeer. Different varieties of the fruit can have different colors from purple, red, green, and golden yellow. The most popular types of figs include:

  • Black mission figs
  • Brown turkey
  • Sierra figs
  • Calimyrna figs
  • Kadota figs

The dried form of fig is easily available almost everywhere, all year round.

Dried figs, like several other dried fruits, are a rich source of phenol antioxidants and nutrients, especially fiber. A  study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition suggests that adding dried figs to your regular diet can also help you overcome the oxidative stress of consuming high fructose corn syrup in a carbonated soft drink.

Uses

Figs or anjeer are sweet and soft and their paste is often used as a replacement for sugar. Fig paste is used as a healthier option instead of corn syrup and sucrose. Fig spread can also be incorporated into pies, pudding, cakes, assorted baked goods, and preserves. Organic Turkish figs are considered a healthy snack.

Watch Video: 8 Reasons To Eat Figs

8 Reasons To Eat Figs (Anjeer)- Weight Loss Is One | Organic Facts

Nutrition Facts

Figs, raw
Serving Size :
NutrientValue
Water [g]79.11
Energy [kcal]74
Protein [g]0.75
Total lipid (fat) [g]0.3
Carbohydrate, by difference [g]19.18
Fiber, total dietary [g]2.9
Sugars, total [g]16.26
Calcium, Ca [mg]35
Iron, Fe [mg]0.37
Magnesium, Mg [mg]17
Phosphorus, P [mg]14
Potassium, K [mg]232
Sodium, Na [mg]1
Zinc, Zn [mg]0.15
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid [mg]2
Thiamin [mg]0.06
Riboflavin [mg]0.05
Niacin [mg]0.4
Vitamin B-6 [mg]0.11
Folate, DFE [µg]6
Vitamin B-12 [µg]0
Vitamin A, RAE [µg]7
Vitamin A, IU [IU]142
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) [mg]0.11
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) [µg]0
Vitamin D [IU]0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) [µg]4.7
Fatty acids, total saturated [g]0.06
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated [g]0.07
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated [g]0.14
Fatty acids, total trans [g]0
Cholesterol [mg]0
Caffeine [mg]0
Sources include : USDA

Nutrition Facts

Figs are rich in fiber, magnesium, manganesevitamin B6potassium, and calcium, according to the USDA FoodData Central. They promote bone density and lower blood pressure.

Dried figs contain phenol, omega-3, and omega-6 fatty acids that aid in improving health.

Health Benefits of Figs

Figs have many amazing health benefits. Let us discuss them in detail below.

Weight Loss

The fiber in figs helps reduce weight and is often recommended for obese people. Dried figs, especially, are a rich source of nutrients and fiber, and this helps in dealing with weight issues

However, if taken in excess, the high-calorie count can also result in weight gain. A few figs are adequate to get the recommended amount of nutrients, so don’t overdo it. Fig bars are another option for on-the-go nutrition recommended for both, adults and children.

Lower Blood Pressure

People usually consume sodium in the form of a salt, but low potassium and high sodium level may lead to hypertension. Figs are high in potassium and low in sodium, so they are a perfect defense against the effects of hypertension. Reducing your blood pressure can help with relaxation, settle the nerves, and bring some calmness to your day.

Whole and sliced figs on a wooden table

Strengthen Bones

Dried figs are rich in calcium, which is one of the most important components in strengthening bones and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. They are also a source of phosphorus, which encourages the formation of the bones and spurs regrowth if there is any damage to or degradation in bones. Fig jam is also a delicious way to get your dose of calcium.

Manage Diabetes

Figs are a rich source of abscisic acid, which is a phytohormone that can help increase glucose toleration and have several other positive effects on one’s health. According to a 2018 study published in the journal Diabetes, extracts of abscisic acid from figs have the potential to be developed as an effective solution to reduce postprandial glucose and insulin responses.

Antioxidant Properties

Figs are a rich source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect the human body against oxidative stress.

Furthermore, fig leaves have an inhibitory effect on triglycerides, making their overall number drop. Triglycerides are another major factor behind various heart diseases.

Relieves Constipation

Figs are a good source of fiber and several other nutrients. One of the most helpful benefits of nutritionally-rich figs is the way it can help relieve constipation. A 2011 study published in the Laboratory Animal Research journal tested the effects of fig paste on diet-induced constipation in beagles. The paper concluded that fig paste is an effective treatment for constipation in these animals, and it can also be used as complementary medicine in humans suffering from chronic constipation. Fig bars are also recommended when dealing with constipation.

Treat Piles

If you are suffering from piles, a popular home remedy is to soak dried figs soaked in water overnight, and have the fruit along with the water in the morning. This has a laxative effect and helps reduce the pressure on the anus, thus helping to soothe the hemorrhoids. According to a report published in the Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine journal in 2013, they have been traditionally used for their laxative, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Lower Cholesterol Levels

Figs contain pectin, a soluble fiber that stimulates healthy bowel movements. They can have a laxative effect, as mentioned since they are one of the most fiber-dense foods available. When fiber moves through the digestive tract, it mops up excess clumps of cholesterol and carries them to the excretory system to be eliminated from the body. According to studies on pectin, it is also associated with lowering cholesterol levels and anticancer activities.

Reduce the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

Figs are considered one of the best fruits when it comes to alleviating neuroinflammation. An animal study has revealed that the fruit is able to reduce the inflammatory cytokines during aging. In other words, it has a beneficial effect on neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s for humans.

Provides Relief from Venereal Diseases

Figs have been traditionally used in the Indian subcontinent and some other parts of the world as a calming salve for venereal diseases. Ingestion or topical application of these fruits work towards providing relief from sexually transmitted diseases, although further research needs to be done on the exact range of symptoms and diseases that these fruits positively affect.

Prevent Urinary Calcium Loss

People that maintain a high-sodium diet may be affected by an increased urinary calcium loss. The high potassium content in figs helps to avoid that condition and regulates the content of waste in your urine, according to The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. It minimizes the calcium loss while increasingly eliminating the amount of uric acid and other harmful toxins out of your body.

Prevent Macular Degeneration

The major cause of vision loss among the elderly is macular degeneration. Organic ones are good at helping you avoid this common symptom of aging.

Relieve Throat Pain

The high mucilage content in figs helps to heal and protect sore throats. The soothing nature of these fruits and their natural juices can relieve pain and stress on the vocal cords as well.

Skin & Hair Health

Figs are rich in flavonoids and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that prevent the damage caused by free radicals. They have a high level of alkanes and therefore, help regulate the pH of the body. The fruits are used to treat a number of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Other Benefits

Figs are effective digestive aids and are known for their soothing and laxative properties and are also low in fat and sugar. They help in treating various health conditions that include:

  • Respiratory disorders like whooping cough and asthma
  • Constipation, indigestion, stomach ache, and various other intestinal conditions
  • Fever
  • Earache
  • Boils
  • Abscesses
  • Liver diseases

Where to Buy?

Almost all fresh figs/anjeer in the United States come from California and they are seasonal. You can buy these sweet and delicious fruits from your local grocer or farmer’s market. Golden California variants are also available online. But you don’t have to wait for the season to enjoy it. The dried variety such as organic Turkish figs and dried black mission figs are available all year long.

Word of Caution: Eating too many of these can cause diarrhea. Furthermore, dried anjeer is high in sugar and can potentially cause tooth decay. Also, there are those who are allergic to figs or certain chemical components within them, and the resulting allergic reactions can be mild to severe. As always, before making a major change in your diet, speak with your doctor.

It is best not to consume this fruit in excess in the first few weeks leading up to surgery because they can occasionally cause bleeding in the digestive tract in sensitive people.

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About the Author

Meenakshi Nagdeve, Co-Founder, Organic Facts is a health and wellness enthusiast and is responsible for managing it. She has completed the Nutrition And Healthy Living Cornell Certificate Program, Cornell University, US. She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from IIM Bangalore and B. Tech in Metallurgical Engineering and Materials Science from IIT Bombay. Prior to this, she worked for a few years in IT and Financial services. An ardent follower of naturopathy, she believes in healing with foods. In her free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.

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