Health Benefits of Figs or Anjeer

It is also called fig. Anjeer in Arabic and Urdu relates to the banyan tree (Ficus bengalhensis) and are in the mulberry family, although they are not closely related. There is also a wild variety of fig which grows in Pakistan’s Punjab province and is called the Punjab fig. The fig is believed to be indigenous to western Asia, including Iran, Syria and Turkey and was taken early to the Mediterranean areas where they flourished. The Greeks got their figs from Caria in what was then Asia Minor, and improved them until they were considered the best in the ancient world. Greek figs were so renowned in the ancient world that the law which forbade the export of the best figs. Greek athletes had a diet full of figs and so did slaves in ancient times, as they provide us with energy. Now there are approximately 800 varieties. It was believed by the Romans that Saturn discovered the fruit, although the Greeks had other myths about its origins. The Roman writer Ovid tells us that gifts of figs were traditionally given on the first day of the new year, and the legend has it that the wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, rested under a fig tree.

Dried figs
Figs are reputed to be aphrodisiacs and have a high potassium content as well as containing the vitamins A and C, and some of the B-complex ones including niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, as well as having calcium, iron, phosphorous, manganese, sodium and chlorine plus traces of selenium. Dried Fig also have Omega-6 oil and the highest fiber content of any fruit. This means that they are a mild laxative, and good to help prevent colon cancer and piles, and can help with weight loss. They may also help prevent post-menopausal breast cancer. They are also to control blood sugar levels as they are high in potassium, so are good for diabetics. The low sodium content and high potassium levels present in the fruit means that they are good at preventing hypertension, and they help halt macular degeneration, so are good for the eyes. They also heal and protect sore throats as they have a high mucilage content. They can aid digestion and are good if you have a fever, and help relieve respiratory problems such as whooping cough and asthma. Syrup of figs is taken as a laxative and some cough medicines are made from them. The best dried figs these days are reputedly the Elemi ones from Turkey, but this is a matter of taste. In traditional medicine in the Indian subcontinent, they are used to treat STDs, liver complaints as well as earache, boils and abscesses. The milky sap from the leaf stalks is used to remove warts. They are rich in antioxidants which combat the free radicals in the body which damage cells and may cause cancer. The fruit of the fig is made up of hundreds of flowers which grow inside the skin of the fruit. They are pollinated by a wasp with which the fruit has a symbiotic relationship. The seeds are all from the flowers, each of which contains only one seed, so the fig is a very unusual fruit containing myriad tiny seeds. The health benefits of figs or anjeer include treatment of sexual weakness, constipation, indigestion, piles, diabetes, cough, bronchitis, and asthma. It also helps in gaining weight after illness.

Figs are seasonal fruits that are found in the western parts of Asia. However, dried figs are always available. The figs tree is a member of mulberry family. Health benefits of figs can be attributed to the presence of minerals, vitamins and fiber in them. Figs contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, potassium and chlorine.

Health benefits of Fig

1. Prevent constipation: There are 5 grams of fiber per three-fig serving. So, it helps in healthy bowel function and prevents constipation. 2. Weight loss: The fiber in figs also helps to reduce weight and is recommended for obese people. Take care - figs also result in weight gain, especially when consumed with milk. 3. Lower cholesterol: Figs contain Pectin, a soluble fiber. When fiber goes through the digestive system, it mops up globes of cholesterol and carries them out of body. 4. Prevent coronary heart disease: Dried figs contain phenol, Omega3 and Omega-6. These fatty acids reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

5. Prevent colon cancer: The presence of fiber helps to mop up and usher out cancer causing substances. 6. Protection against post-menopausal breast cancer: Fiber content in figs give protection against breast cancer. 7. Good for diabetic patients: The American Diabetes Association recommends figs for a high fiber treat. Fig leaves reduce the amount of insulin needed by diabetic patients who have to take insulin injection. Fig is rich in Potassium. Potassium helps to control blood sugar. Fig leaves have anti-diabetic properties. 8. Prevention of hypertension: People used to take more sodium in the form of salt. Low potassium and high sodium level may lead to hypertension. Figs are high in potassium but low in sodium. So, it helps to avoid hypertension. 9. Sexual weakness: Figs are known since ages for reducing sexual weakness. Soak 2-3 figs in milk overnight and eat them in the morning to enhance your sexual power. It also helps in gaining weight. 10. Strengthens bones: Figs are rich in Calcium. Calcium helps to strengthen bones. 11. Urinary calcium loss: People having high salt diet may be affected by increased urinary calcium loss. Potassium content in figs helps to avoid that. 12. Prevent macular degeneration: Vision loss in older people is due to macular degeneration. Fruits and figs generally are good for avoiding this condition. 13. Relief for throat: The high mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. 14. Respiratory disorders: Figs are quite useful in various respiratory disorders including whooping cough and asthma. Since they are also good for digestion, they help in treating constipation, indigestion, stomach ache, etc. Figs are also good for fever, earache, boils, abscesses, venereal diseases and is excellent for the liver. Fig is a highly alkaline food, therefore helps to regulate the pH of the body. Figs are

rich in flavonoids and polyphenols. These are antioxidants, which prevent the damage caused by free radicals. Fig is known for its soothing and laxative properties. Figs are low in fat and sugar. Figs are sweet and soft and their paste is used as a replacement for sugar. Processed figs are used to make pies, pudding, cakes, other bakery products, jam, jellies and preserves. Precaution: Taking too much fig can cause diarrhea. Dried figs are high in sugar and might cause tooth decay.

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