If you’re searching for a new snack idea that’s not only tasty but genuinely good for you too, you can’t go wrong with figs.
These sticky fruits are native to Asia and the Middle East and are a real wonder food thanks to their high vitamin and mineral content.
What are the health benefits of figs?
In addition to the benefits we’ve mentioned above, figs are also:
- A good source of fibre – 30g of dried figs has approximately 3g of fibre in it, which is 10% of our recommended daily amount. Fibre is essential for maintaining a healthy digestive system
- Contain high amounts of calcium – while dairy products tend to be the best sources of calcium, figs also hold high amounts of the mineral. 100g of the fruit contains roughly 162mg of calcium (just over a fifth of your recommended daily intake)1.
- Rich in various antioxidants – Figs are rich in numerous antioxidants. These are compounds which help your body fight off harmful free radicals that can damage your cells.
How to choose and store figs
There are two main ways you can buy figs: fresh or dried. While fresh figs are delicious when tossed in yoghurt and honey, they tend to be seasonal (usually in the spring and summer) and much pricier. An equally as beneficial way to try figs is to buy them dried2
Choosing fresh figs
When purchasing fresh figs from the supermarket or a grocer, you’ll want to feel them first to make sure they’re plump and smell sweet. Avoid ones which are bruised and aim to pick figs with a nice deep colour.
Fresh figs should ideally be eaten within a couple of days of being bought. If they’re not quite ripe, keep them at room temperature instead of in the fridge. Always wash your figs before you eat them as they may have dirt or bacteria on them.
Choosing dried figs
If fresh figs are out of season or you’d rather buy dried figs, make sure they’re soft and that the packets are free from mould. Once you’ve opened a packet of dried figs, you’ll want to store them in a container in a cool, dry place.
How to eat figs
In addition to eating figs as a snack, you may also want to try:
- Tossing them into salads
- Pairing them up with cheese and crackers
- Adding them into baking
- Poaching them in juice or wine for a delicious dessert
Is there anyone who should avoid eating figs?
Figs are considered a natural laxative so if you experience stomach troubles such as diarrhoea, you may want to avoid them. Regardless of your health, figs should always be eaten in moderation.
Why not check out our complete range of dried fruits
, from apricots and prunes through to goji berries and dates, which also make great low-calorie snacks?
30 April 2020