fig

Figs are fruits from trees that belong to the mulberry family. Fig fruits can be consumed fresh as plucked from the trees and also in sun-dried form. Figs are sweet in taste that are brown in color when ripe. As the fresh fruit cannot be refrigerated beyond a few days figs are generally sun-dried and preserved for longer shelf life, throughout the year.

When you are looking to increase your hemoglobin levels, dried figs are richer in nutrient than raw figs and hence it is advised to consume figs in dried form for achieving maximum benefits.

As a word of caution, diabetic people are not advised to eat dried figs as the sugar levels are concentrated in dried figs. Click here to know more about figs for diabetics.

Nutrition information

Figs contain many vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamin A, B, B1, B2, B3, B6, Iron, manganese, selenium and potassium.

One medium size fig of 50gm weight contains 37 calories of energy, comprising 0.38gm protein, 9.59gm carbohydrates, 0.15gm total fat and 1.45 gm dietary fiber besides many other nutrients in small quantities. Figs also have beta-carotene and beta-carotene equivalents.

figdry

What is hemoglobin?

“Hemoglobin is a red protein that is responsible for transporting oxygen in the blood of vertebrates. Its molecule comprises four subunits, each containing an iron atom bound to a haem group.”

Four protein molecules comprising two alpha globulin chains and two beta-globulin chains in the red blood cells are known as hemoglobin. The level of hemoglobin ranges from 14% to 18% in the blood.

When your doctor says that you are Anemic, it mean that your hemoglobin levels are lesser than the standard levels required. It means that you need to increase the iron content in your body. Our body needs iron to produce Hemoglobin.

Healthy hemoglobin level for men – 13.5% to 17.5%

Healthy Hemoglobin level for women – 12% to 15.5%

When your hemoglobin level or count comes down that the actually required level, you may face symptoms like

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Shortness in breath
  4. Irregular periods
  5. Fatigue
  6. Low immunity
  7. Look pale
  8. Body aches

You can increase the iron intake by natural supplements or with the help of tablets. When you choose to naturally increase iron levels, your best option is to consume figs on a regular basis.

What can figs do to increase your hemoglobin level?

  • Figs provide 25% of the daily recommended level of iron. Eating 3 to 4 dried figs a day can help you boost the iron content in your body. When the iron content increases, hemoglobin levels naturally increase.
  • The minerals in Figs helps to remove toxins from your blood and body. It also increases the amount of oxygen carried to various body parts.

People who are diabetic and need to increase hemoglobin levels, are recommended to consume fresh fig fruits rather than the dried ones. Diabetics can chew on 2 or 4 fresh fruits on a daily basis to improve iron levels. If you do not like to texture or taste, you can blend it along with your favorite fruits like banana, apple or mango and drink it like a milk shake or a fruit punch.

Since figs are naturally sweet in taste, you need not add sugar or any sweetener to it.

Recommended to improve hemoglobin levels in children

This method explains how to use figs for children. Thou they can be consumed directly, follow this method for optimum effects.

Method:

  1. Soak 1 dried fig in a tablespoon of honey overnight.
  2. Give this honey soaked fig to your child along with his / her breakfast the next morning.
  3. This remedy can improve iron and hemoglobin levels to a great extent.

Different recipes to prepare figs

How to make Figs chutney

This is easy to prepare and can be stored for a month. It goes well with roti, dosa, idly and rice too.

Ingredients required:

  1. Oil – 1 teaspoon
  2. Onion – 1, finely chopped
  3. Green or red chili – 2
  4. Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves, finely chopped
  5. Dried figs – 500 grams, chopped
  6. Vinegar – 4 teaspoon

Method:

  1. Add oil to pan.
  2. Once oil is hot, add chopped onion and garlic.
  3. Add chili also in oil if it is green. If red, need not add fry in oil.
  4. Fry them until golden brown.
  5. Switch off the flame.
  6. Add chopped fig, vinegar and fried ingredients to a blender.
  7. Blend them well to form a paste like texture.
  8. Let it cool.
  9. Once cooled, store it in an air tight container and refrigerator.

How to prepare fig jam

Fig jam is one of the popular dishes that is easy to prepare and delicious too.

Ingredients required:

  1. Fresh figs – 500gm
  2. Sugar – 300gm
  3. Lemon extract – 3 teaspoon
  4. Water – 200ml

Method:

  1. Chop fresh figs.
  2. Add to a big pan with sugar in it.
  3. Wait until it becomes juicy.
  4. Now add water and lemon extract to it.
  5. Let it boil for few minutes in high flame.
  6. Reduce the flame to medium and let the sugar dissolve.
  7. Stir occasionally to make sure that it does stick to the bottom of the pan.
  8. Once the content is thickened, switch off the flame.
  9. Transfer the contents to glass or metal jars and let it cool.
  10. Once cooled, store it in refrigerator.

This fresh jam can be used for up to 3 months, when stored in refrigerator.

How to prepare fig milk shake

Fig milk shake is delicious and easy to prepare. This can be consumed by people of all age. Taste best when consumed after chilling.

Ingredients required:

  1. Fresh figs – 5
  2. Fresh dates – 3
  3. Chilled milk – 300ml
  4. Vanilla extract or concentrate – ¼ teaspoon
  5. Sugar or sweetener of your choice

Method:

  1. Add chopped fresh figs and dates to blender.
  2. Now add milk and the vanilla extract.
  3. Blend well.
  4. Add sweetener or sugar and blend again.
  5. Refrigerate for 15 minutes if needed and serve.

This drink cannot be stored for longer time as it contains milk. Drink as and when prepared.

How to prepare fig smoothie

One good thing about smoothie is, you can add any number of ingredients you want.

Ingredients required:

  1. Fresh figs – 3
  2. Fresh dates – 4
  3. Ripe banana – 1
  4. Coconut milk – 100ml

Method:

  1. Chop all ingredients and add to blender.
  2. Add coconut milk.
  3. Sweetener or sugar is optional, as the fruits are sweet already.
  4. Blend well and serve chilled.

You can also add whole cow milk if you do not like coconut milk.

How to prepare dry fruits and figs ladoo

Ingredients required:

  1. Cashew – 100gm
  2. Almond – 100gm
  3. Fresh figs – 100gm
  4. Gulkand – 50gm (optional)

Method:

  1. Chop all ingredients.
  2. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  3. Blend to form thick coarse mix.
  4. Make ball/ladoo with the thick mix.
  5. Rub ghee on your palm before making ladoo to avoid stickiness.

Other health benefits of Figs

  1. Just three pieces of dried figs contain about 5 grams of dietary fiber equivalent to 20% of our daily requirement. They act as natural laxative preventing constipation and also treats other digestive problems like irritable bowel syndrome.
  2. Each fig contain 129 mg of potassium which helps maintain the sodium-potassium balance thus preventing hypertension and regulates blood pressure.
  3. Dried figs contain more antioxidants than raw figs. The antioxidants in the fig eliminates the free radicals which causes damage to blood vessels thus preventing heart diseases.
  4. Figs are rich in calcium which is required to maintain bone density besides preventing osteoporosis and other joint aches.
  5. The Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids in figs prevents heart diseases and improves the blood flow.
  6. Figs are also recommended as natural remedy for infertility.
  7. Figs can also help people who suffer from severe cough, cold or any other respiratory issues. It helps to get rid of excess mucus and reduces congestion.
  8. The high fiber content in it helps in weight loss by keeping your tummy full for longer duration. It also helps your body to use up the stored energy.
  9. Aids in blood sugar level maintenance and is very good for diabetics. It can help them have their sweet craving satiated. The potassium in it controls the absorption of sugar levels.
  10. Regular consumption of fig also helps to improve vision.

 

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.