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Monday, June 15, 2015

5 Reasons to Love Figs

"No offense to Newton, Massachusetts, but I've always found a certain fig-filled cookie does not give figs the attention they deserve," boldly states Patricia Helding, author of Fat Witch Bake Sale. "It's such a shame, because plump, juicy figs are luscious in their own right."
The fig is a native of southern Arabia, and this deliciously sweet fruit is loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, and even natural pain-relieving properties.
Here are 5 fig facts that prove that these nutritious delicacies should become a staple in your own diet (if they aren't already!):
#1: Sweet Brain Food
Sugar and your brain are not friends, but fig syrup could be a safe replacement. Fig syrup can scavenge for dangerous free radicals in your body that can contribute to neurodegenerative diseases, according to research from theUniversity of Calabria, Italy. In the study, it also showed the ability to prevent the degradation of a critical neurotransmitter connected to Alzheimer's disease. Fig syrup is made by boiling and concentrating figs in water, without any extra ingredients.
#2: Major Fiber Power 
One serving (about a quarter of a cup) supplies the body with 20 percent of its daily fiber needs, according to research from the University of Scranton. Bonus: 28 percent of this fiber is soluble fiber, which has been shown to help lower blood cholesterol and control blood sugar.
#3: Training Food for Olympians
Forget processed athletic "goo." Figs contain calcium, iron, potassium, and phosphorous and are a good source of energy. In fact, according to research published in the Journal of Nutrition, figs were even given to ancient Olympic athletes as training food.
#4: Long-Lasting
Dried figs are one of the most nutrient-rich dried fruits. What makes them truly remarkable is that they can last up to six months when dried and stored properly, according to the Journal of Food Science and Technology.
#5: Antiaging Antioxidants
Figs are rich in antioxidants that can help you stay healthy as you age. Polyphenols help aid in fighting cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, and cardiovascular disease. A typical 44-gram serving size of figs contains 444 miligrams of polyphenols, according to research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is higher than the total polyphenol content in the average person's daily vegetable consumption.

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