Anjeer or Fig is a small bell-shaped fruit of the Ficus Carica- the fig tree, which is a part of the Mulberry family. It is a seasonal fruit native to western Asia, Turkey, and the Middle East. Figs are dried to preserve them as fresh figs are easily perishable. Dried figs are available all around the year in India.
Figs come in different textures and colors like green, red, purple, and golden. The popular variety of figs are Smyrna Fig, Mission Fig- also called Black Mission Figs, Calimyrna figs, and Turkish Fig.
This fruit is known as nature’s candy due to its extremely sweet taste and soft and chewy coat filled with edible and crunchy seeds. Anjeer used to be consumed as a natural sweetener before refined sugar became common.
The Nutritional Values of Dried Fig
Anjeer, dried or fresh, is considered a superfood. These fruits are a powerhouse of nutrients packed with substantial amounts of Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Calcium, Manganese, Potassium, Magnesium, and dietary fiber. Figs contain powerful antioxidants, including epicatechin gallate, kaempferol, and quercetin. Dried figs have more concentrated sugar, calories, and nutrients due to their low water content.
One cup of dried fig (~150g) has the following nutritional value:
*DV = Daily Value
Dried Figs and Its Benefits on Our Health
There are plenty of health benefits of dried figs due to their rich nutritional value. Some of the fig benefits include:
- Improving digestive health – Figs contain a high amount of fiber, thus acting as a natural laxative. It also helps in keeping the intestines toned. The fibers are also filled with probiotic components that feed the good bacteria in the stomach resulting in an overall healthy digestive system.
- Weight management – Figs help curb hunger and cravings with high fiber, vitamins, and mineral content and help with weight management.
- Controlling blood pressure – We often consume excess salt/sodium from processed foods that can lead to hypertension or high blood pressure. The high potassium content in figs helps balance the sodium and potassium concentrations in our body, leading to a healthy blood pressure level.
- Promoting bone health – Figs are rich in minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium which help in bone growth.
Different Ways to Consume Dried Fig
You can find dried figs throughout the year that can be eaten directly after taking off the stalk. If you have dried figs directly, you can also soak them in water before eating. After you buy figs from a shop, transfer them to an airtight container to keep them fresh.
You can also consume Anjeer by adding them to a glass of milk or juice. Toss in a couple of dry figs, dates, and 2-3 almonds in a glass of room-temperature or lukewarm milk and keep it overnight. Have it the first thing in the morning as a fulfilling and healthy drink. Water works well if you don’t like milk or are lactose intolerant. You can also have dried figs as mid-morning or mid-afternoon snacks or use fig jam on cookies. Simply put a few chopped figs into your morning muesli, oatmeal, or smoothies recipe and enjoy the taste.
The Bottom Line
Figs or Anjeer are a fantastic addition to a healthy diet. Along with the fresh fig or the dried fruit, you can consume fig leaf tea and fig leaves to experience the multitude of benefits of figs. Dried figs are beneficial for alleviating constipation and other health concerns.
However, you should be careful with the amount of dried fruits intake, such as walnuts, dried apricots, and dried figs, in your daily diet because of the high Vitamin K and sugar content. Excess Vitamin K might interfere with blood-thinning drugs, and the concentrated sugar content can affect diabetic patients.
Overall, Anjeer is a healthy alternative to a tasty, healthy snack packed with nutrition. You can buy excellent quality organic dried figs from Pahadi Hub.