Woah, crazy morning…I try to eat healthy, but sometimes the day gets away from you and you end up chowing down on anything, and everything, in sight. One thing I can control is my breakfast, which is the same every morning.
I only discovered how yummy figs were about a year ago, and man had I been missing out. Not only are they healthy, fiber-rich treats, but their sweet, chewy flavor is a hearty addition to any meal!
There are lots of different varieties out there, I tend to like mission figs best, but here is a guide to follow: http://localfoods.about.com/od/summer/tp/FigTypes.htm
If you need more convincing, here are some stats for ya!
Health benefits of figs (courtesy of www.nutrition-and-you.com/fig-fruit.html)
- Fig fruit is low in calories. 100 g fresh fruits provide only 74 calories. However, they contain health benefiting soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely for optimum health and wellness.
- Dried figs are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. In fact, dried fruits are concentrated sources of energy. 100 g dried figs provide 249 calories.
- Fresh figs, especially black mission, are good in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, lutein, tannins, chlorogenic acid…etc. Their anti-oxidant value is comparable to that of apples at 3200 umol/100 g.
- In addition, fresh fruits contain adequate levels of some of the anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, E, and K. Altogether these phyto-chemical compounds in fig fruit help scavenge harmful oxygen derived free radicals from the body and thereby protect us from cancers, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infections.
- Furthermore, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus (Adult onset) condition.
- Fresh as well as dried figs contain good levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins function as co-factors for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
- Dried figs are excellent source minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. 100 g of dried figs contain 640 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, 2.03 mg of iron and 232 mg of potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation as well for cellular oxidation.
That’s a pretty impressive list for this small but mighty fruit!
Another great thing about figs is they don’t need to be refrigerated. I keep a tupperware bowl full of chopped figs in my desk drawer at work, along with a bag of whole walnuts, and mix them in my yogurt fresh every morning. Perfect for when I’m running out the door, knowing my prep materials are already at my destination!
Also, if you’ve ever wondered what the difference between figs and dates are, here is a handy little web page:
Do you have a favorite power food?