Figs can trace their history back to the earliest of times with mentions in the Bible and other ancient writings. They are thought to have been first cultivated in Egypt. They spread to ancient Crete and then subsequently, around the 9th century BC, to ancient Greece, where they became a staple foodstuff in the traditional diet.
Turkey and Greece are currently the world’s main suppliers, with California being the third most important provider of this wonderful fruit. Figs are a member of the mulberry family. They are often more available as a dried fruit, as they tend to deteriorate quickly in fresh form. Either way, they offer amazing health benefits in many areas.
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. For and in-depth nutrient analysis follow this link: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=106
Fiber found in figs assist with bowel function, thereby relieving bouts of constipation.
Figs contain low levels of sodium, which assist with reducing hypertension. The potassium found in figs assists with the prevention of urinary calcium loss. They also assist with preventing macular degeneration. They contain large amounts of mucilage, which is able to assist with those who suffer from sore throats or throat infection.
Dried figs contain omega 3, omega 6 and phenol, which are beneficial in helping to reduce heart disease. Their high fiber content assists with the prevention of colon cancers. They are also quite beneficial in treating respiratory problems such as asthma and whooping cough (pertussis). They can assist with the treatment of fevers, boils, abscesses and earache.
Fig leaves are able to lower triglyceride levels, which can help to prevent obesity and heart disease. Chewing and swallowing fig leaves has been known to help treat ulcers.
Due to their sweetness, they are able to be used as a sugar replacement, however please use in moderation.
CONCERNS – Dried Figs and Sulfites
Commercially grown dried figs may be treated with sulfur dioxide gas during processing. They may also be treated with sulfites to extend their shelf life.
Sulfur-containing compounds are often added to dried foods like figs as preservatives to help prevent oxidation and bleaching of colors. The sulfites used to help preserve dried figs cause adverse reactions in an estimated one out of every 100 people, who turn out to be sulfite sensitive. Sulfite reactions can be particularly acute in people who suffer from asthma.
Foods that are classified as “organic” do not contain sulfites since federal regulations prohibit the use of these preservatives in organically grown or produced foods. Therefore, concern about sulfite exposure is yet another reason to purchase organic foods.
Where can you buy Organic Calimyrna Figs?
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- The nutrition and health information resented at the God’s Healing Plants Web Site is based on Scripture, research and personal experience, and is offered for educational purposes only.
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