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Super Food of the Week: Figs
A fig is a small, soft fruit that has many tiny seeds on the inside with a very thin skin. They have an unusual texture but are sweet and delicious! The fig fruit is native to the Middle East and is one of the first fruits to be cultivated. Figs are naturally rich in many health benefiting phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants. They provide a good amount of B vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folate, and pantothenic acid, which function as co factors for the metabolism of energy, fats, carbohydrates, and proteins.
Not only are figs low in calories but they also contain soluble and insoluble fiber. They are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber and are also sodium free, cholesterol free, and fat free.
How else can figs benefit your health?
- High in dietary fiber which regulates the digestive system and aids in weight loss
- Contain phytonutrients that can help protect you from cancer, diabetes, degenerative diseases, and infections
- Has chlorogenic acid which helps lower blood sugar levels and helps control blood glucose levels in type II diabetes
- Rich in calcium for bone health
While figs are most commonly used when dried, you can also buy them fresh. Both varieties are available year round. When buying fresh figs, make sure they have a sweet aroma and are soft in your hand. They will stay fresh in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Figs can be stored for 6-8 months when dried.
Are you curious as to how you can incorporate figs in your diet? Add them to these dishes for a sweet, healthy kick:
- Marinated figs
- Jams or jellies
- Trail mix
- Cereal or oatmeal
- Pizza or bruschetta
- Rice, quinoa, or couscous