One of the “Seven Spices of Israel” and referenced in many religious texts as a sacred fruit, the fig (Angeer), is rich in nutrition and history.

The historical relevance of figs.

For centuries, figs have been referenced in mythology and traditional medicine as a powerful sexual supplement. While they have yet to be adequately studied as an aphrodisiac in humans, some animal studies show figs can increase sperm count and motility. Additionally, they are a great source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6, copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, and the antioxidant vitamins A, C, and E.

How to buy and store figs for delicious treats.

The fig offers a unique combination of textures – chewy flesh, smooth skin, and crunchy seeds. California figs are typically harvested June through September. European varieties are available into the fall months. The majority of figs are dried fruits that can be enjoyed anytime of the year.

When selecting dried figs, they should be plump and soft. They will keep for long periods in a cool, dry place. When choosing fresh figs, which are beautifully delicate, select those with deep color, little bruising and sweet fragrance. Keep them in the fridge and plan to eat them in one or two days; don’t wash until ready to eat. If figs are not yet ripe, keep them at room temperature to ripen.

Figs can add a sweet sensation to just about any dish. But the high fiber can produce a laxative effect, so don’t over do.

 

Resources
Patil, V. & Patil, V.R., “Ficas carica: An Overview.” Research Jl. of Medicinal Plants. (2011) 5:3, 246-253. Accessed on 10 June 2016: http://docsdrive.com/pdfs/academicjournals/rjmp/2011/246-253.pdf
California Rare Fruit Growers. Accessed on 10 June 2016: https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/fig.html
The World’s Healthiest Foods. Accessed on 10 June 2016: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=24#nutritionalprofile
Naghdi M., Maghbool M., et al. “Effects of Common Fig (Ficus carica) Leaf Extracts on Sperm Parameters and Testis of Mice Intoxicated with Formaldehyde.” Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, (2016) doi:10.1155/2016/2539127. Accessed 10 June 2016: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4745414/

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