I originally wrote this story about the health benefits of figs for Lifetime Daily.
There’s a good chance your introduction to the fig came by way of the popular fig newton cookie. But figs have been around much longer than those beloved biscuits filled with dried fig paste. In fact, figs are believed to be one of the first food crops ever to be cultivated. Fossils found near Jericho, Jordan, show figs were farmed before staples wheat, barley and legumes.
One can’t help but think farmers at the time knew they were on to something big when they domesticated these rich, syrupy sweet fruits. Dried or fresh, figs and their jammy flesh burst with flavor and health benefits.
The Health Benefits of Fresh and Dried Figs
1. Figs are high in fiber
One cup of figs provides about 45% of our daily fiber needs. Not only does that help keep our bowels in top working order, all that fiber makes us feel fuller and curbs cravings for unhealthy snacks. The insoluble fiber in figs (a type of fiber commonly found in the seeds and skins of fruit) also provides great roughage to clean out our digestive tract. This is particularly good for mature adults: as we get older, we’re at higher risk for colon cancer. Including plenty of insoluble fiber in your diet can lower your risk. Figs are also filled with prebiotics, a type of fiber that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in our guts.