Figs are teardrop-shaped fruits with purple or green skin and pink flesh. They contain hundreds of tiny seeds and have a pleasant, sweet taste.
Figs provide many nutrients and compounds that may benefit your health. Some suggest they can aid weight loss, especially when soaked overnight before eating them.
This article reviews the nutrition of figs and whether soaking them can help you lose weight.
Despite their small size, both fresh and dried figs are loaded with nutrients.
Since dried figs have been dehydrated, they have a lower water content and contain a more concentrated source of nutrients than fresh figs. However, the drying process may lead to some degree of nutrient loss depending on the method (
When people refer to soaking figs, they typically mean soaking dried figs.
One-half cup (75 grams) of dried figs contains (
- Calories: 207
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Fat: 0.7 grams
- Carbs: 48 grams
- Fiber: 7.5 grams
- Sugars: 36 grams
- Calcium: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Potassium: 11% of the DV
- Iron: 8% of the DV
- Copper: 24% of the DV
Figs are particularly high in dietary fiber, which promotes healthy digestion. They also provide many micronutrients, such as bone-building calcium and the essential mineral copper, which aids iron metabolism (
Figs are loaded with nutrients, including fiber and a variety of minerals. Since they’re dehydrated, dried figs provide more nutrients than fresh figs when equal weights of the two are compared.
Some online testimonials and articles claim that soaking dried figs overnight and eating them in the morning promotes weight loss.
It’s thought that the soaking process makes dried figs easier to digest, and the nutrients they contain more absorbable. Some claims also suggest that adding water back to figs makes them more filling and hydrating, leading to reduced calorie intake and weight loss.
However, no scientific studies back these claims. In fact, studies on rehydrating dried produce suggest that the process may cause their water-soluble vitamins to leak into the water (5).
Still, figs — dried or fresh, unsoaked or soaked — may help with weight loss in other ways.
Figs are fairly low in calories and high in fiber, which makes them very filling. Incorporating high fiber foods like figs into a balanced diet may help you stay full between meals and avoid eating too much, which may promote weight loss (
Eating fruit, including dried fruits, has also been associated with a lower body weight.
This may be because fruits are a rich source of nutrients and plant compounds that may promote overall health and help you maintain a healthy body weight. That said, more human studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis (
Additionally, it may be easier to eat more dried fruit than you intended, compared with fresh fruit. In general, 1/4–1/2 cup (42–75 grams) of dried fruit contains about the same number of calories and other nutrients as 1 cup of fresh fruit.
If you eat the same amounts of dried fruit as you usually eat fresh, you may end up eating more calories than usual. This excess calorie intake may make it difficult to lose weight.
A typical portion of dried figs is 3–5 fruits or 1/4 cup (42 grams), although the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) considers a fruit serving to be 1/2 cup (75 grams) of dried fruit (9).
No research supports the notion that eating soaked figs leads to weight loss. However, figs may support weight loss due to their high fiber content, which may increase feelings of fullness and prevent overeating.
While soaked figs may not be a magical food for weight loss, figs have other potential benefits.
For example, figs provide a good amount of potassium. This essential mineral is vital for maintaining healthy blood pressure. Eating potassium-rich foods is thought to protect against high blood pressure (
Figs are also a rich source of copper, a nutrient that plays an important role in brain and nervous system health. Research has linked low copper intake with the development of heart and brain diseases (
This fruit’s fiber, which may boost fullness, also provides digestive benefits, including constipation relief.
One 4-month study including 150 people with irritable bowel syndrome with constipation (IBS-C) found that eating 4 dried figs (45 grams) 2 times per day led to significant improvements in symptoms, such as constipation and bloating, compared with not eating figs (
Keep in mind that much of the research has been conducted on the compounds in fig extracts, not the whole fruit itself (
Thanks to the many nutrients and beneficial compounds figs contain, they may help maintain healthy blood pressure levels, relieve constipation, and protect against disease.
There’s no research to back the idea that eating soaked figs promotes weight loss.
However, some people prefer the taste or texture of rehydrated figs. Plus, no negative effects of eating soaked figs have been documented. Eating this fruit may have health and digestive benefits.
If you want to try soaked figs, follow these steps:
- Place a few figs in a bowl.
- Pour enough warm water over the figs to cover them by an inch or two (2.5–5 cm).
- Let them sit for a couple of hours or overnight until they plump up.
- Drain the figs, and enjoy.
Soaked figs taste best if enjoyed right away. However, you can store soaked figs in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days. Discard your figs if you notice any unpleasant smells or mold or think they’ve spoiled.
If you want to try soaked figs, you can easily make them at home by placing them in a bowl with warm water until they become plump.
Some people claim that soaked figs aid weight loss, possibly due to their high fiber content and filling effect. However, no research backs this claim.
Eating figs as part of a balanced diet may help keep you full and avoid overeating, which in turn may support weight loss. Plus, figs are a good source of essential nutrients and beneficial compounds.
Whether you soak your figs before eating them doesn’t appear to make a difference in reaping their benefits. Try not to overeat dried figs if you’re aiming to lose weight, as dried fruit can be a concentrated source of calories. Shoot for three to five dried figs per serving.