4 Health Benefits of Figs

illo showing health benefits of figs

Treehugger / Lara Antal

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

Whole fresh figs on banana leaves
Anuwat Khamngoen / Shutterstock

One large raw fig has about two grams of fiber. One serving of figs is generally two to three figs, depending on the size. That means eating a serving of figs can provide four to six grams of fiber — almost a quarter of the 28 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

Hand holding a sliced fresh fig
Anuwat Khamngoen / Shutterstock

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 148 mg of potassium, and one serving of figs has about 10 percent of your daily requirement.

3. They're a source of vitamin A

Figs growing on a tree
Indroulinas Elena / Shutterstock

A serving of two medium-sized figs has about one percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A. Your body uses vitamin A in many ways:

  • To enhance immune function
  • 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.

Dried figs on a plate
marekuliasz / Shutterstock

Figs are a good source of magnesium, and those benefits remain even after the fig is dried. One serving of figs has about eight to 12 percent 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
View Article Sources
  1. Fig.” University of California.

  2. Murray, Michael T., et al. “The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.”  Atria Books. 2005.

  3. Kong, Michelle, et al. “Fruit skin side cracking and ostiole-end splitting shorten postharvest life in fresh figs (Ficus carica L.), but are reduced by deficit irrigation.” Postharvest Biology and Technology, 2013, vol. 85, pp. 154-161., doi:10.1016/j.postharvbio.2013.06.004

  4. Fig, Raw.” U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

  5. Daily Value on the New Nutrition and Supplement Facts Labels.” U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

  6. Treatment for Constipation.” National Institutes of Health.

  7. 11 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.” Harvard Medical School.

  8. Potassium lowers blood pressure.” Harvard Medical School.

  9. Bananas, raw.” U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

  10. Potatoes, white, flesh and skin, raw.” U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData

  11. Figs, raw.” US Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

  12. Huang, Zhiyi, et al. “Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System.” J Clin Med, 2018, vol. 7, p. 258., doi:10.3390/jcm7090258

  13. Vitamin A.” National Institutes of Health.

  14. Figs, dried, uncooked.” U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

  15. Magnesium.” National Institutes of Health.