These beautiful fruits taste so deliciously sweet, it's hard to believe they're also really good for you.
August is fig season, which runs through October each year. Multiple varieties of figs will beckon from grocery store shelves, like the Black Mission fig, the Brown Turkey fig, and the Green Kadota fig. You'll know they're ripe when they're slightly soft to the touch with no marks or breaks on the skin.
If you've ever eaten a ripe fresh fig, you know they taste like a heavenly mix of honey and mild berry with a jam-like texture. But they're more than just delicious — they're super nutritious, too. Here are four ways figs can benefit your health.
1. They're high in fiber
One large raw fig has about 2 grams of fiber, and one serving of figs is 2-3 figs, depending on the size. That means eating a serving of figs can provide 4-6 grams of fiber — almost a quarter of the 25 grams the FDA suggests you eat each day.
Fiber can help with digestive health by softening stool, making bowel movements more regular, and preventing constipation. It also helps keep cholesterol down, because the fiber binds cholesterol together and ships it out of your body.
2. They're a good source of potassium
Potassium is a mineral that's important for heart health and managing blood pressure. Sure, you can get your fill of potassium with bananas and potatoes. But figs could make an interesting new addition to the mix! One large fig has about 149 mg of potassium, and one serving of figs has about 10% of your daily requirement.
3. They're a good source of vitamin A
One serving of fresh figs has about 9 to 12% of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Your body uses vitamin A in many ways:
-To make new red and white blood cells, which are important for immunity
-To keep your vision healthy
-To help keep your heart, lungs, and other organs healthy
-To help with reproductive health
Figs lose most of their vitamin A when they are dried, so use fresh figs if you're looking for this nutrient in particular.
4. They're rich in magnesium.
Figs are a good source of magnesium, and those benefits remain even after the fig is dried. One serving of figs has about 8 to 10% of your daily requirement of magnesium, depending on your gender and age. Magnesium is a nutrient that's important for many things:
- Muscle and nerve function
- Bone health
- Building proteins
- Maintaining blood sugar and blood pressure levels