The Fig — An Iconic Greek Fruit Since Ancient Times



Figs belong to the category of the most nutritious fruits while at the same time they have at least nine recognized medicinal qualities. Along with grapes, figs were known to be the favorite fruits of Ancient Greeks.

The iconic fruit can be found in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern countries because it requires hot, dry weather to grow. August is known as “fig month” in Greece because it is at this time that the delicious fruit is at its most ripe and juicy.

However, Greeks consume dried figs all year round. They eat them as snacks and add them to salads. Along with grapes, figs were used in cooking as well in Ancient Greek times.

Figs are rich in vitamins A, B1 and B2 and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and others. They are recognized as being good for our health for their many proven medicinal qualities.

Lowering blood pressure

Figs come to the rescue for those who suffer from high blood pressure. They are rich in potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure. Studies have clearly shown that those who consume more potassium have lower blood pressure than others.

Aiding in elimination

Due to their action as mild laxatives, figs can provide the solution to people who suffer from constipation and want to try a natural method to help. The daily consumption of three figs helps to alleviate the problem and if you are wondering whether to choose fresh or dried, experts emphasize, perhaps surprisingly, that they have the same effect.

Helping support weight control

This summertime fruit is rich in fiber, and the more they are included in our daily diet, the better results we will have in terms of achieving our desired weight. The reason for this is that they provide bulk, and this fiber enables us to keep a feeling of satiety for a longer time.

Protecting postmenopausal women from breast cancer

An eight-year study of more than 50,000 menopausal women in Sweden found that those who ate the most fiber from fruits (the richest of which were figs, apples, pears and plums) reduced the risk of breast cancer by 34 percent relative to those who consumed the least.

Preventing heart disease

Animal studies have shown that consuming this delicious fruit can lower blood triglyceride levels and thus prevent cardiovascular disease in the long run. Triglycerides are the main form of fat circulating in the blood, and the higher their levels, the greater the likelihood of obesity and heart disease.

Anti-diabetic qualities of figs

Fig leaves, according to studies, seem to have anti-diabetic properties, and can reduce the amount of insulin that diabetics must receive through injections. How can you eat fig leaves, you may ask? Just boil them and drink the concoction as a tea or add their extract to whatever you are eating for your breakfast.

Helping maintain bone density

Their rich content in the minerals that strengthen our bones, including calcium and potassium, prevents the loss of calcium in the urine caused by high salt consumption and makes figs our allies against osteoporosis.

Improving sex life

Figs are a natural aphrodisiac, disrupting our hormones in a good way. In fact, it has been recorded since ancient times that figs have been used in cases of weak sexual performance.

Relieving sore throats

The sticky substance in the fig helps a great deal in cases of sore throat. This substance swells when mixed with water and coats the throat to protect it, reducing irritation and relieving pain.