10 reasons you should eat dried figs or anjeer

Figs are one of the earliest fruits grown by man. Though figs are not available throughout the year, dried figs (popularly known as anjeer in India) are available in all seasons and everywhere in the world. Consumption of fig in the dried form became popular because of its distinct taste that gave a whole new experience of enjoying the fruit. But more than its striking flavour, you should have it for the multiple health benefits that it offers.

Here are the top 10 health benefits of anjeer:

1. Improves digestion: Anjeer is rich in dietary fibre. 3 pieces of dried figs contain 5 grams of fibre, which accounts for about 20% of our daily requirement. It’s a natural laxative for preventing constipation and other digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

2. Helps in weight loss: Apart from being rich in fibre, dried figs are low in calories. One piece of dried fig gives you just 47 calories. And, you obtain only 0.2 grams of total fat per dried fig. So, dried figs are an ideal snack for people who want to lose weight.

3. Prevents hypertension: When you eat more salt, the level of sodium in your body increases. This disturbs the sodium-potassium balance of the body and in turn results in hypertension. Anjeer is an ideal fruit for helping to restore this balance. One dried fig gives you 129mg of potassium and just 2mg of sodium. This helps to prevent hypertension.

4. Rich in antioxidants: Dried figs are rich in antioxidants. A study by Vinson JA and colleagues suggested that processed, dried figs are superior to natural figs when it comes to antioxidants. The study also mentions that dried figs have superior quality of antioxidants, called phenols, compared to other fruits that attribute their antioxidant property to vitamin C and E.

5. Prevents heart disease: The high levels of antioxidants in dried figs help to eliminate free radicals in your body that can damage blood vessels and result in heart disease. And, as mentioned earlier they prevent hypertension, a huge risk factor for development of coronary heart disease (CHD). Plus, there are some studies which suggest that dried figs help to reduce the levels of triglycerides that contribute greatly to heart disease.

6. Prevents cancer: Antioxidant-rich dried figs also help in preventing cellular DNA damage due to free radicals that can make a cell cancerous.

7. Strengthens your bones: One dried fig gives you 3% calcium of your daily calcium requirement. Along with other calcium rich foods, they can help to improve bone density and strength.

8. Good for diabetes: The high fibre content in figs makes them good for people with diabetes. However, dried figs are high in sugar content. So you should consult a diabetologist about the quantity of dried figs you can consume.

9. Cures iron-deficiency anemia: Dried figs are a rich source of iron. One dried fig can give you 2% of your daily iron requirement. Iron is an important mineral that carries hemoglobin throughout your body. So eating anjeer is a natural way to raise your hemoglobin levels indirectly by increasing the levels of iron in your body.

10. Improves reproductive health: According to ancient literature, the Greeks used fig as a natural aphrodisiac. Figs were considered as a sacred fruit and were closely associated with fertility and love. Scientifically, figs improve fertility and libido because they are loaded with minerals like zinc, manganese and magnesium which play an important role in boosting reproductive health.



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