Figs are among the oldest domesticated crops ever. Already in antiquity they were revered as staple food and abundantly grown. They not only taste good, they also have a whole range of positive health effects.

Occurrence & cultivation of the fig

Since antiquity, the fig is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, although its provenance is not proven. She finds herself too feral again. The real fig ( Ficus carica ) is a species of the genus of figs (Ficus). It is grown throughout the Mediterranean. The deciduous, deciduous shrub or fig tree grows between three and ten meters high. Its branches grow low and wide, the crown is expansive. The stem of the fig tree is often gnarled, twisted or bent. The bark is usually light gray in color and smooth in structure.

The entire plant contains milk juice, which is used among other things in the folk medicine. The leaves of the fig tree are leathery and have a serrated leaf margin and a rauhaarige top. They can be up to twenty inches wide. The inflorescence is pear-shaped and monoecious in many fig species getrenntsexlechtig. Thus, both female and male inflorescences can be found on one specimen.

After three to five months, the female inflorescence develops into a fig. The stone fruit contains small nuclei inside and is spherical to pear-shaped. Their color is green to dark purple depending on the species, the pulp red colored. Above all, the house or Essfeige is edible. It has only female flowers and has the name attachment var. Domestica. Since antiquity, the fig is cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, although its provenance is not proven. She finds herself too feral again.

Effect & application

Every year, up to 1.5 million tons of figs are harvested. Of which a large part is dried. This is done either in the sun or in hot air ovens. While the fig normally contains around 80 percent water, when dry, its water content is reduced to as much as 18 percent. The sugar content rises to around 60 percent. The main use of figs is their use as fruit in trade and markets.

However, the juice of the figs is also processed and distributed to dessert wine. In addition, the fig is also roasted in some countries and sold as fig coffee. In Spain and Portugal, it is even processed into fig cheese. In the 13th and 15th centuries, the wood of the fig tree was turned into wooden boards. These were used in painting.

Added to this is the use of white milk juice in folk medicine. Here it finds, for example, use against warts or mosquito bites. Generally, the fig contains a variety of health-promoting ingredients such as carbohydrates, fiber, various vitamins - especially vitamin B1 - and minerals.

Importance for Health, Treatment & Prevention

Figs have a not to be despised effect on the health. The many different ingredients have a positive effect on almost the entire organism. For example, figs act as antioxidants and protect the body from cell damage. The contained vitamin C also protects the vessel walls from calcification. Thus, diseases such as atherosclerosis can be prevented. Figs are rich in fiber. So they contain especially pectins.

On the one hand, the digestive activity is promoted and blockages prevented and on the other hand call fiber a rapid feeling of satiety. This makes them ideal for dieting and can help you lose weight in a healthy way. Added to this is the optimal composition of sugar in figs, which regulates blood sugar levels. Thus, they can - even as a tea - reduce insulin levels in diabetes.

They are also a rich source of carbohydrate and protein and promote the formation of good HDL cholesterol. Due to their high amount of potassium they lower the blood pressure and supply the body with iron. As a result, they can prevent anemia. In addition, the minerals contained have a positive effect on the concentration. Calcium, iron, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and zinc increase memory and can be the optimal and healthy snack for students in learning phases, for example.

By the way, the fig is still attributed a positive effect on tumors. This is sometimes responsible for the fiber and the omega-3 and -6-fatty acids. In case of illness, cowardice is suitable for coughing. They are antibacterial and thus also externally applicable to skin diseases. Its antiseptic and decongestant properties help relieve discomfort and promote healing.

The contained calcium also strengthens bones and teeth and helps to keep them healthy. Figs also have a promising effect on the state of mind. So they serve the stress reduction and promote satisfaction. In addition, they can provide better sleep and are therefore an effective remedy for sleep disorders. The reason for this are the many different vitamins that are contained in the fig.

In addition, the protein Tryophan is found in figs, which as a precursor of the happiness hormone serotonin brightens the mood and can lift one's mood. Thus, the fig can be regarded as an all-rounder for health. It is used both internally as a food and externally for skin complaints and shows a number of promising effects on the human body.

However, due to the high amount of fiber and sugar, sensitive people may react with intestinal complaints after eating figs. Therefore, figs should be taken only in moderation.