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Figs benefits are numerous and have been known to man practically since time immemorial.
Figs are the fruits of the Ficus tree, a member of the Mulberry family, that widely grows in southwest Asia to the Mediterranean region. Figs are thought to be one of the most ancient fruits cultivated. Egypt is considered the birthplace of figs where they spread to ancient Crete, ancient Greece and ancient Rome. Figs became a staple food in the traditional diet of those early civilizations. Figs have also been widely mentioned in the religious scriptures of the Jews, Christians and Muslims.
Today, Greece and Turkey are the world's largest producers of figs. California is the biggest fig producing state in the United States.
Figs are typically about 1 to 2 inches in length, and have a skin that can range from green to purple or brown when ripe. The texture of the fig surface also subtly differs across varieties. Figs can be eaten fresh or dried.
Figs possess a lusciously sweet taste and flavor with chewy flesh and crunchy seeds. Because of these features, figs are commonly used in the production of jams. The fruits are also used to provide the filling to the mini snack cakes known the world over as Fig Newtons that are manufactured by Nabisco.
Most figs that are commercially produced are dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through artificial processing, as they do not transport well. The fig sap irritates human skin upon contact.
The fig tree itself is a large, deciduous shrub or small tree that typically grows up to a height of 23 to 33 feet. It possesses smooth grey bark and leaves that have three to five lobes.
Figs are high in natural and simple sugars, minerals and fiber. The following are the other health food nutrients typically found in figs:
Figs are also known to be among the most alkaline of fruits, thus making it a great tool for balancing the body's pH.
It may be worthwhile to note that figs contain measurable amounts of oxalates, naturally-occurring substances found in plants, animals, and people. Thus individuals with existing kidney or gallbladder problems may want to avoid eating figs.
The following are the figs benefits that may be derived from consuming this fruit:
Figs may help lower blood pressure and may help lower triglyceride levels in the body.
Figs may help in weight loss and weight management.
Figs may help promote greater bone density.
Figs may help lower the risk of certain cancers.
Figs may help protect against macular degeneration.
Figs may help in healthy bowel movement.
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