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Dried Figs Health Benefits; 9 Reasons to Eat More

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Dried figs health benefits

If you are one of those who regularly consume dried figs, you should know you are doing yourself a great favour. Because dried figs can improve your health in many ways thanks to their rich nutrient content.

On the other hand, if you don’t or rarely consume dried figs, the health benefits that we provided in this article may encourage you to add these healthy dried fruits to your diet.

What Makes Dried Figs Healthy?

Simply, the rich nutrient content of dried figs is the main reason why they are linked to many health benefits. (Please note that dried figs are one of the most nutrient-dense dried fruits).

So, it should be a sensible idea to start the article by taking a glance at the dried figs’ nutrition facts.

Afterwards, we will be focusing on the potential health benefits of dried figs.

 

Nutrition Facts of Dried Figs

While dried figs provide a variety of nutrients, they are particularly rich in dietary fibre, Vitamin K, copper and manganese.

According to My Food Data, 100 gr dried figs contain the nutrients shown in the table below (1) ;

Dried figs nutrients facts

 

Potential Health Benefits of Dried Figs

Now that we know what nutrients exist in dried figs, we are ready to talk about the potential health benefits of these healthy dried fruits.


Please note that the health benefits of dried figs that we gathered in this article are evidence-based. Numbers at the end of some sentences represent the source of the given info.


 

Skin Benefits of Dried Figs

Regular consumption of dried figs can help protect your skin by providing your body with some antioxidants known to defend the skin against free radicals.

Note that if not neutralised by antioxidants, free radicals can literally take a heavy toll on the skin (2),(3).

The human body produces some antioxidants. However, it needs more antioxidants from foods to minimise the harmful effects of free radicals on the skin.

The question is which skin-friendly antioxidants are available in dried figs?

One of the antioxidants available in dried figs is selenium. A great number of studies prove that selenium can protect the skin against UV-induced free radicals (4),(5),(6),(7),(8).

Dried figs also contain phenolic acids and flavonoids. Both of these compounds have antioxidant properties, therefore, can fight off free radicals (9),(10),(11),(12).

Not finished yet! Dried figs can also help moisturise your skin by providing calcium. You hear that right, dried figs are a great source of calcium (13). And, calcium plays a significant role in sebum production that lubricates the surface of the skin (14),(15),(16).

 

Dried Figs Are Beneficial For Your Bones

Here you have another reason to add dried figs to your diet.

These dried fruits can support your bone health by providing calcium in great quantities.

Needless to say, calcium is vital for both healthy bones and teeth (17),(18),(19).

Please bear in mind that 100 gr dried figs – about 6 or 7 pieces – can supply roughly 15% of your daily calcium need.

However, calcium is not the only mineral that your bones need to stay healthy and strong. According to experts, copper, magnesium, and iron are other very important minerals for bone health (20),(21),(22).

Dried figs can provide your body with all of these bone-friendly minerals. That said, dried figs are particularly rich in copper.

100-gr dried figs can meet about 30% of your body’s daily copper need.

Especially if you are above 40, you may consider eating these dried fruits more often to strengthen your bones.

 

Dried Figs May Help Manage Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can lead to serious health conditions such as heart attack and stroke. Therefore, it has to be kept under control.

If you have hypertension, dried figs may help you with this issue as well, because, they contain dietary fibre and potassium, both of which are known to lower high blood pressure.

According to the American Heart Association: potassium is one of the most important nutrients for managing high blood pressure (23).

Note that 100-gr dried figs can provide nearly 15 % of your daily potassium need.

The other nutrient is dietary fibre. Studies revealed that diets rich in dietary fibre help individuals to keep blood pressure under control (24),(25),(26),(27).

The good news is that dried figs are extremely rich in dietary fibre. You could take around 25% of your daily fibre need by eating 4 to 5 dried figs a day.

The conclusion is owing to their high fibre and potassium content, dried figs can help lower high blood pressure

 

Immune Benefits of Dried Figs

According to the Cleveland Clinic, the following minerals and vitamins are necessary for a healthy immune system (28) ;

-Vitamin C
-Vitamin E
Vitamin A
Vitamin D
-Folate
-Iron
-Selenium
-Zinc

Although low in vitamin C, dried figs are a decent source of selenium and iron.

Consuming enough of these nutrients can help you maintain a healthy immune system.

 

Weight Loss and Dried Figs

At the first glance, it appears that dried figs can cause weight gain due to the fact that they are slightly high in calories. However, the situation might be the total opposite.

Firstly, dried figs do not contain added sugar, therefore, wouldn’t cause weight gain as much as sugar-loaded unhealthy snacks would.

Secondly, they are super rich in dietary fibre and that matters a lot if you are to lose weight.

A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine; proves the crucial role of fibre in weight loss (29).

As mentioned above, by eating 4 or 5 dried figs a day you can get 25% of your daily fibre need.

What’s more, fibre can suppress appetite, thus, aiding weight loss (30),(31).

The conclusion is dried figs may aid weight loss with their high fibre content. Nevertheless, since they are rich in calories and natural sugar, they should be consumed in moderation.

 

Diabetes and Dried Figs

Sticking to a diet, containing foods that do not increase blood sugar levels too quickly is important to better control blood sugar levels.

The question is ” Can dried figs help better manage blood sugar levels?”.

Dried figs are rich sources of magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre. All these nutrients are known to be beneficial for people with diabetes (32),(33),(34). As such, it can be said that dried figs may help regulate blood sugar.

Having said that the glycemic index of dried figs is 61, which is slightly high (35). That is to say, dried figs may raise blood sugar a bit quickly.

For this reason, if you have diabetes you should definitely avoid eating too many of them at one go. 

While dried figs provide necessary nutrients for managing blood sugar levels, their slightly high GI index is causing doubts.

Dried figs may or may not aid in managing blood sugar! In any case, if you deal with diabetes, you should always consult your physician or nutritionist as to your diet choice. In doing so, you can avoid diabetes complications.

 

Cholesterol Benefits of Dried Figs

Young individuals may not be concerned about their cholesterol levels. However, if you are above 40 make sure your (bad) cholesterol level isn’t high as it can result in cardiovascular diseases. lower cholesterol level is to following a healthy diet, that contains a variety of vegetables and fruits, such as dried figs.

Dried figs can be a sensible food choice to lower bad cholesterol levels, because, they contain a high amount of fibre, as mentioned above.

Scientific studies and medical experts underline the importance of soluble fibre in lowering high cholesterol levels (35),(36),(37).

A study carried out in 2011 suggested that both fresh and dried figs can be effective in improving blood lipid concentration thanks to their high soluble fibre content (38).

 

Healthy Teeth and Dried Figs

In general, dairy products come to mind when calcium is mentioned. While dairy products are an excellent source of calcium, they are not the only source of this mineral.

Dried figs as well contain a handsome amount of calcium, as we mentioned above. They can meet roughly 15 per cent of your body’s daily calcium need.

Calcium is crucial for healthy teeth as it strengthens your tooth enamel, which protects teeth against cavities and erosion (39),(40).

However, dried figs contain another important nutrient for teeth; that is vitamin K. This vitamin regulates calcium, thus, indirectly helping keep your teeth healthy (41).

Simply put; dried figs can help your teeth by providing your body with calcium, phosphorus and vitamin K.

Note: the small seeds of dried figs can easily stick to your teeth. Therefore, floss and gargle your mouth right after, then brush your teeth 30 minutes after the consumption.

 

Digestion and Dried Figs

Since dried figs are extremely rich in dietary fibre and contain a decent amount of potassium, they can greatly contribute to digestion.

While dried figs can be a good food choice for keeping various digestion problems away, they are particularly effective against constipation thanks to their high dietary fibre content (42).

As for potassium; this mineral has many roles in the body, and one of them is to aid digestion (43),(44). 

Given the fact that dried figs are a great source of both fibre and potassium, which can both improve digestion, these dried fruits can aid digestion.

 

Is It Safe to Consume Dried Figs on an Empty Stomach?

Yes, it is totally safe to eat dried figs on an empty stomach unless you have a particular health condition that prevents you from consuming dried fruits on an empty stomach. On the contrary, consuming dried figs on an empty stomach will promote digestion.

 

Is It Okey To Eat Dried Figs Every day?

The answer is yes. It is safe to eat dried figs every day in moderate amounts. In fact, the health benefits of dried figs we mentioned above require regular consumption. That being said, if you consume it every day, make sure you don’t eat too much.

 

How Many Dried Figs Should You Eat A Day?

As we all know, too much of a good thing is a bad thing. Therefore, like other foods, the consumption of dried figs shouldn’t be excessive. For a healthy adult, eating 3 to 4 dried figs in a day would be sufficient.

 

What is the Best Time to Eat Dried Figs?

There is no such thing as the best time to eat dried figs or there is no specific study that indicates the best time to eat dried figs. You can eat dried figs whenever you want. However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind;

  • Eating dried figs close to bedtime may cause insomnia.
  • Mornings might be the best time to eat dried fruits as they could provide the necessary nutrients needed for the day ahead.

 

Potential Side Effects of Dried Figs

Even though dried figs offer many health benefits, there are some things that we should keep in mind before consuming them. In this section, we will look at the potential health risks of eating dried figs.

 

A-) Blood clotting

Some people have a blood-clotting problem. Therefore, many of these people use prescribed blood-thinning drugs. Those, who use blood-thinning drugs, especially warfarin, shouldn’t consume too much vitamin K, because, vitamin K can promote blood clotting (45),(46),(47).

Since dried figs are high in vitamin K, you may want to limit dried figs consumption if you have a blood-clotting risk.

 

B-) Diarrhoea

Throughout the article, we repeatedly said that dried figs are extremely high in fibre. Although this is a good thing, when consumed too much fibre can lead to digestive problems mainly diarrhoea, also bloating and gas

 

C-) Tooth Decay

Not only dried figs but also other dried fruits contain fructose. Moreover, they are slightly sticky. For these reasons,  they can pave the way for tooth decay, if teeth are not cleaned properly after consumption.

 

The Final Verdict

Until this point, we tried to explain why they are considered healthy, referred to related scientific studies and also talked about the potential side effects of these healthy dried fruits.

The conclusion is dried form of figs can greatly contribute to your health if eaten in moderation and regularly.

Nevertheless, we should say whatever you drink or eat regardless of how healthy they are, and make sure you consume in moderation. In this way, you can reap the benefits.

 



 

Tarkan is an experienced health writer ( currently more than 600 articles ) and also the founder of this website namely www.neededforhealth.com. His expertise in health stems from in-depth medical research and knowledge which he obtained over the course of many years.

Tarkan enjoys sharing factual knowledge on health, psychology and nutrition. He always aims to deliver evidence-based recommendations, provide links to related scientific studies.

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