The Nutritional Health Benefits Of Figs: How Figs Promote Your Overall Wellness


Figs have been cultivated for thousands of years and are believed to be one of the first plants ever cultivated by humans. They originated in the Middle East and Mediterranean region, where they have been an important part of the diet and culture.

Figs come in different varieties – the common fig, Smyrna fig, San Pedro fig, and Brown Turkey fig which are some of the popular ones. While naturally sweet and delicious, figs are also packed with many health-benefiting properties, which makes them a highly nutritious fruit.

Figs are a good source of dietary fiber, potassium, manganese, vitamins B6, K, C, antioxidants, and phytonutrients. Let’s take a look at some of the top health benefits of consuming figs.

Health Benefits Of Figs

Packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants, figs offer an array of potential health benefits. These sweet, sticky fruits contain high amounts of fiber, potassium, and polyphenols. Though small, figs provide powerful nourishing properties for the body and mind.

Some of their health benefits are:

1. Good For Digestive Health

Figs are high in fiber, providing 5 grams of fiber per serving. The fiber in figs helps promote regularity, prevent constipation, and improve overall digestive health. The fiber adds bulk to stools and helps food pass smoothly through the intestines. This facilitates better absorption of nutrients as well. The fiber may also help relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome.

2. Helps Manage Diabetes

Figs have a low glycemic index, meaning they do not cause sharp spikes in blood sugar levels. The fiber helps slow down the digestion and absorption of the natural sugars in figs. The magnesium in figs also helps regulate insulin levels. All these properties make figs a diabetes-friendly fruit. 

3. Supports Heart Health 

Figs contain good amounts of potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure as it balances out the negative effects of sodium. The fiber in figs also binds to excess cholesterol in the body and eliminates it. Research has shown that eating fiber-rich figs reduces LDL or “bad” cholesterol and total triglycerides, thus improving overall heart health.

4. May Help Prevent Cancer

Figs contain antioxidants like polyphenols along with carotenoids like beta-carotene. These compounds scavenge harmful free radicals and oxidative stress in the body, preventing damage to cells and reducing cancer risk. The fiber in figs may also help protect against colon cancer.

5. Strengthens Bones

Figs are a good plant-based source of calcium, providing 126 mg per serving. Calcium is essential for bone health, bone density, and prevention of osteoporosis. Along with calcium, the potassium and magnesium in figs also help strengthen bones.

6. Aids Weight Loss 

Figs are a low-energy-density food, meaning they provide fewer calories per gram of food. The fiber adds bulk and keeps you feeling full for longer, preventing overeating. This makes figs an ideal snack for weight loss. Dried figs especially are known appetite suppressants. 

How To Consume Figs?

  1. Eat Them Fresh – Naturally sweet and juicy, fresh figs are delicious eaten raw, and make for a nutritious snack.
  2. Dried Figs – Dried figs retain all the nutritional benefits and can be eaten as is, added to cereals, in oatmeal, or in salads. Soak them in water or tea to plump them up before eating.
  3. Cooked Figs – Figs work great in both sweet and savory dishes. Poach, grill, or bake them. Add to pizzas, pastas, gratins.
  4. Cooked Figs – Figs work great in both sweet and savory dishes. Poach, grill, or bake them. Add to pizzas, pastas, gratins.
  5. Fig Jam – Use ripe fresh figs to make fig jam and spread it on bread, pancakes, and waffles.
  6. Fig Tea – Brew dried fig tea for a warm, comforting, and healthy beverage.

Are Dried Figs Good for You?

Dried figs are highly nutritious and offer these benefits:

  • Higher Fiber Content – Dried figs contain even higher amounts of fiber than fresh figs. This aids digestion and gut health.
  • Higher Concentration Of Nutrients – Since the water content reduces, the nutrients get concentrated in dried figs. They contain high amounts of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins.
  • No Need For Refrigeration – Dried figs have a longer shelf life as they do not require refrigeration. They retain nutrients for longer.
  • Versatile – Dried figs are versatile and can be consumed in various ways – directly, in cereals, baked goods, etc.
  • Great Substitute For Unhealthy Snacks – Dried figs can satisfy a sweet tooth while also providing fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants.

However, moderation is key as dried figs are high in natural sugars and calories. People with diabetes or weight issues should consume limited quantities. Overall, when eaten in moderation, dried figs can be a very healthy addition to one’s diet.


Figs are one of the oldest known fruits, with a long history of use for medicinal and nutritional purposes. Modern research has validated the many health benefits of figs – from improving digestion to building stronger bones and protecting the heart.

Figs are a good source of fiber, potassium, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals. Both fresh and dried figs can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Including figs as part of a healthy, balanced diet can provide a boost of nutrition and fiber and promote good health.

Their sweet taste, versatility, and wealth of nutrients make figs a fruit worthy of inclusion in everyone’s diet.


1. Are Figs High In Sugar?

Figs do contain natural sugars but have a low glycemic index. Portion control is advised, especially for people with diabetes. The fiber helps mitigate sugar absorption. Dried figs are higher in sugars than fresh figs.

2. Can Figs Help You Lose Weight?

Yes. Figs are low in calories and high in fiber. This makes them very filling while providing fewer calories per gram. The fiber also helps regulate blood sugar. All these properties make figs an ideal food for weight loss. 

3. How To Store Fresh Figs?

Fresh figs are delicate and perishable. Store them in the refrigerator in a ventilated container and use within 2-3 days. Don’t wash them before storage as moisture hastens spoilage. They can also be frozen for later use.

4. Are There Any Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Figs?

Eating figs in moderation is fine for most people. But overeating may cause digestive issues like diarrhea, bloating and abdominal pain. Dried figs are high in natural sugars and overconsumption may affect blood sugar control. People with latex allergy may also be sensitive to figs.

5. Which Type Of Figs Healthiest?

All varieties of figs provide similar health benefits as they contain a similar nutritional profile. Choose fresh, ripe figs that are undamaged for maximum flavor and nutrition. Among dried figs, Calimyrna figs contain highest nutrients.

Dr. Jun Ren is a dedicated and experienced registered dietitian and nutritionist who is committed to helping people achieve their health goals through personalized nutrition plans. With a passion for promoting healthy eating habits and preventing chronic diseases, Dr. Ren has been able to assist numerous clients in improving their overall quality of life.

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