Why figs should figure in your diet

by Sanjeev Kapoor

Even with such a uniquely different texture and flavour, figs are an absolute delight in the kitchen. It is such a pity that these delicate sweet fruits with crunchy seeds inside are available only twice a year. Thankfully their dried counterparts, that have a delightful chewy earthy texture, are available year round.

Figs or anjeer as we know them, as are a powerhouse of nutrients and here is why you should include them in your diet.

Help control diabetes and blood sugar levels – Figs are a great way to keep diabetes and blood sugar levels in control. A very good source of potassium, they are perfectly suited for people who eat a high sodium diet, to balance the mineral activity in the body hence prevent problems like hypertension. Not just the fruit but even the leaves are edible and loaded with nutrients that control diabetes.

They are a great source of dietary fibre – Figs, both dried and fresh, contain plenty of fibre which ensures you have a healthy digestive cycle! It helps keep constipation and other gut problems away and also hasten weight loss. Just three to five figs have five grams of dietary fibre, so including them in your regular diet is definitely a good idea if you have bowel problems.

Antioxidants and nutrients – It is no secret that antioxidants are great for the skin, hair and overall health. Figs have them in plenty. Darker coloured skins indicate more antioxidant properties. Figs also contain a wealth of other beneficial nutrients like Vitamins A, B1 and B2, calcium, phosphorus and manganese.

Supports heart health – Rich in soluble and insoluble fibre they help to maintain healthy blood cholesterol levels. Regular consumption of figs helps keep triglycerides (fat that circulate in the blood stream) in control. This ensures you have a healthy heart and cholesterol levels that are in check.

Multiple uses – In the kitchen you can use figs in multiple ways right from making a fig chutney to a figilicious pudding. Serve fresh figs along with a simple yogurt and honey topping and a sprinkling of chopped nuts for an elegant, simple and light dessert. Anjeer or figs are a great combination with meat too. Try this anjeer gosht recipe for validation.

Fresh figs are easily available in India during the summer months, so make sure you get your hands on a bunch of them. While buying figs look for ones that are plump and not too mushy. Figs, because of their soft and delicate texture and flesh, are very susceptible to bruising. So be gentle. Dried figs should be plump and not have a very tough covering.

As for recipes using these precious fruits browse through SanjeevKapoor.com

Recommended recipes-

Fresh Figs with Yogurt,  Chocolate Fig Truffle,  Fig And Chocolate Bars,  Anjeer And Date Burfi,  Chicken With Orange And Figs In Barbecue Sauce,  Fig Banana And Honey Smoothie,  Fig Chutney Bruschetta,  Rice Pudding With Figs And Dates,  Grilled Anjeer with Caramel Butter Sauce

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.