Revered throughout history, Figs are mentioned in the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments and are thought to have originated in Asia and brought to the Mediterranean region.  A member of the Mulberry family, Figs grow on the Ficus tree, Ficus caria.  They are remarkedly perishable and have a brief growing season.  As a little girl, a sweet lady that I called “Sithy” was my babysitter and she had a fig tree in her front yard that she had planted with seeds from Lebanon.  I remember sitting on her porch eating fresh Figs!  Consider Figs as you branch out into delicious and nutritious food adventures.  They have lots of LIVE YOUNGER benefits!

Figs come in many varieties of color and texture.  Here are some to explore:

  • Kadota Figs:  These are the popular yellow/green-skinned Figs with amber-colored flesh.
  • Brown Turkey Figs:  With an elongated pear shape, these Figs are larger and have a pinkish flesh.
  • Calimyrna:  Typically found in the dried form, these Figs have light green to yellow skin and amber flesh.  It’s the California version of a fig that originated in Smyrna, Turkey — hence the name Cali-myrna!
  • Black Mission:  This variety is most recognizable in my limited Fig experience.  It is a smaller Fig with purple-black skin and watermelon-colored flesh.  

Available from May to October, depending on the variety, Figs boast the greatest nutrient concentration during these months.  They are fully ripe when they are richly colored, plump, and soft rather than mushy.  They should be free of bruises with a firm stem.  Here are two significant ways that Figs will contribute to LIVING YOUNGER:

  1. Digestive Health:  One medium-sized, fresh fig contains over 1.5 grams of fiber.  And, it’s a special form of fiber of unique polysaccharide molecules called pectins.  These are especially important for digestive health because they are both water soluble and water insoluble.  The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has linked food pectins to regulating cholesterol and blood sugar.  They also improve the presence of beneficial gut bacteria.  Remember, health starts in the gut!
  2. Antioxidant Support:  Figs are ranked highly among the most concentrated forms of polyphenolic antioxidants, which includes flavonoids.  These are plant chemicals with powerful anti-inflammatory, antidiabetic, anticancer and immune system benefits.  

Here’s a recipe from The World’s Healthiest Foods that I hope you will enjoy:

5-Minute Fig Energy Bars

  • ½ cup honey
  • ½ cup almond butter
  • ½ cup dried figs, diced
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup chopped almonds
  • 1 cup granola

Mix the honey and almond butter.  Add all other ingredients and press into a loaf pan.  Refrigerate for at least 1 hour and then slice into 1-inch bars.

Minimize your exposure to pesticides whenever possible by purchasing organic Figs.  The thickness of the skin varies with each variety and some are difficult to peel.  Since they are highly perishable, they can be loaded with pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides including glyphosate and paraquat dichloride.  Our bodies are designed to detoxify but can be easily overloaded.

START SOMEWHERE today eating more whole foods.  Consider Figs as you try new recipes to enhance your health and vitality.  They make a delicious portable snack and give your body what it craves to LIVE YOUNGER.  You can do it.  I will help you!  

Consider Figs

Consider Figs