Here is a fruit we don’t think about that often in the area we live in- that is the fig.
Where did this lovely fruit come from you may ask? Well- here are some fig facts:
The Spaniards introduced Mission Figs to the California territory in the early 16th century. The priests at Mission San Diego originally planted figs in California in 1769. This is how the dark purple fig became known as “Mission.” Many believe it was figs that were actually the fruit in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, not apples. What! The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food and they were also presented as laurels to the winners, becoming the first Olympic “medal.” In Roman times figs were considered to be restorative. They were believed to increase the strength of young people, to maintain the elderly in better health and to make them look younger with fewer wrinkles –Pliny (52-113 AD) Figs made their first commercial product appearance with the 1892 introduction of Fig Newtons® cookies. Who doesn’t love those? Last but not least, the fig tree is a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness.
Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside of the fruit! Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds that give figs their unique texture. Figs are harvested according to nature’s clock, fully ripened and partially dried on the tree.
California grows many varieties of figs, but the two most common are the amber-colored, slightly nutty-flavored Golden and the dark purple, sweet Mission. They produce 100% of the nation’s dried figs and 98% of the fresh figs.
Why should we add figs to our diet?
Health Benefits of Figs
Constipation: Taken either fresh or dried, the fig is regarded as a dependable laxative on account of its large cellulose content and its tough skin. The tiny seeds in the fruit possess the property of stimulating peristaltic or wave like movements of intestines which facilitates easy evacuation of feces and keeps the alimentary canal clean.
Asthma: Figs are considered beneficial in the treatment of asthma. Phlegmatic cases of cough and asthma are treated with success by their use. It gives comfort to the patient by draining of the phlegm.
Weight Loss: Fiber and fiber-rich foods are helpful to lose weight. Figs are excellent source of dietary fiber and a great food for weight management.
Hypertension: Deficiency of potassium or low intake of potassium-rich foods can lead to high blood pressure. Figs are very good source of potassium which helps to control high blood pressure.
Figs are considered a restorative food which helps in quick recovery after prolonged illness. It removes physical and mental exertion and endows the body with renewed vigor and strength.
The Holidays are just around the corner. Think about adding some figs into your holiday meal- you wont be sorry!
Happy Healthy Eating! Dana