As modern people become more conscious about their health and nutrition, they are looking for super foods packed with high nutrition. Organic dried figs have been on trend for quite a long time (thousands of years) among the health-aware people.
I am Azad, a microbiologist and nutrition enthusiast on Team Myorganic bd. We have 41 years of cumulative experience working with organic food, nutrition, and well-being. We explain organic dried figs just like you desire.
Figs are one of the earliest fruits we cultivated in ancient times. Its benefits and significance are described in all the four major religions of the Earth! Which makes me feel they are like the angels among the fruits!
After going through weeks of research, studying several scientific papers, analyzing, and fact-checking, we produced a series of helpful and accurate content you can rely on.
This article will focus on nutrition, health benefits, recipes for organic dried figs, and many helpful links to more detailed information you may want to explore. Lets Figin!
Quick Look: Organic Fig
The fig plant is scientifically known as Ficus carica. Here comes the surprise- It is not a real fruit (let me explain!). Figs grow hundreds of flowers inside a pod. When the flower matures, it produces seeds inside the pod. That’s why figs are known as false fruit. Seeds of figs are the real fruit of fig plants.
The origin of the fig is Turkey and the northern part of India. But it is cultivated in Mediterranean countries like Spain, France, Morocco, Italy and many more. There are 800 species of figs, which grow small bussy size to 7-10 meters. But only a few species of figs are grown for consumption.
Fig trees release white sap, which may irritate. The peel color of fig can vary in species. It can be yellow, green, purple, or blackish. The flesh is usually pink, red, or dark red. From leaves to fruits, figs have countless benefits for human health and wellness.
What is a Dried Fig?
Dehydrated ripe fig containing around 15% water content is dried fig. Figs are not very good for storing when they are raw. If you keep them in the fridge, they last for three days at most. It lasts about one month even if you keep it at (-50) degrees C. But once you reduce the fig’s water content, it organically lasts about 12 months.
The drying process increases the shelf life and reserves the nutrient values of dried figs. Fig is very beneficial for digestion and gut health. People usually eat the dried figs after soaking them overnight. Still, it’s fine to eat organic dried figs without soaking them. However, a study suggests that our body can absorb more nutrients from soaked figs.
What does organic dried fig taste like?
(Can’t believe the chief editor made me eat 15 dried figs just to write this part) Dried figs are soft and do not have any pungent smell. You may barely notice anything without a subtle honey-like aroma. If you sniff it, you will get a scent of dried grape. The smell may differ a bit depending on the dried fig type. But the taste is almost the same.
Dried fig tastes very sweet, which is very relatable with date. But seeds are certainly the best thing about it. The tiny and crunchy dried fig seed feels funny under the teeth. It is hard to eat more than two or three in one sitting due to its extra sweetness (and I ate 5). Soaking overnight can be an easy way to reduce the strength of sweetness.
Different Types of Organic Dried Figs
When it comes to dried fig types, depending on the production process, there can be two variants: sun-dried and industrially processed figs. Both follow a similar principle to dry the figs. There is no quality difference between sun-dried and industrially dried figs.
Organic figs are better than regular ones.
Organic figs grow naturally without any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. It is GMO-free & has to meet minimum standards. You can learn more about USDA Organic.
The actual type of dried fig depends on the species of the fig. There are many variants of dried figs, but they taste the same. Check them out.
Black Mission: As the name suggests, black mission dried figs are dark. It tastes honey-like and is suitable for making different types of desserts.
Calimyrna: It is yellowish-green, usually a bit larger than other fig types. It has a unique pinkish color inside the raw Calimyrna fig. It contains a subtle flavor of vanilla, bourbon, and nuts.
Brown Turkey: Dried brown Turkey has a nut-like taste. It looks similar to the black mission, but it is less sweeter. It is often used to add sweetness to desserts.
Figs can also be sold and named upon the production place. As Turkey produces 53% of the world’s organic dried figs, you will see them more often than other types (source). Turkish organic dried figs are easy to find and known for their quality and affordability. You can also find figs from California, Brazil, and other places in the Mediterranean area.
Organic Dried Fig Nutrition
Organic dried figs are compact in different minerals and nutrients. It is a good source of fiber and carbohydrates. You can get 60 calories from 3 dried figs. 93% of the energy comes from carbohydrates, and the remaining is from protein and fat (source).
Dried figs do not contain many vitamins besides vitamin K, A, and sometimes vitamin C. But organic dried fig has some phytochemicals you can not find in other food. Phytochemicals are plant-based chemicals that have significant health benefits for us. Dried fig is also high in antioxidants, which work to repair our cells and promote good health.
The dried fig glycemic index is 61. The glycemic index is a scale of 1-100 that expresses how quickly a food increases blood sugar in the body. So, dried fig is in the upper mid-range of the Glycemic index. But dried fig has chlorogenic acid, which is proven to limit insulin release, aiding carbohydrate metabolism in type 2 diabetes. This means it would trigger diabetes, but due to chlorogenic acid, dried fig is good.
Raw figs have similar types of nutrients but have some significant differences from dried figs. As dried figs have 80% less water content than raw ones, they are more compact in calories, minerals, and energy. On the flip side, raw Figs have some extra vitamins, such as Vitamin B12.
Here is the nutritional table of raw and dried fig-
Dried fig nutrition facts 100g-
|Nutritional profile||Raw Fig||Dried Fig|
|Calories||74 kcal||249 kcal|
|Carbohydrate||13.50 g||53 g|
|Protein||0.75 g||3.3 g|
|Lipids||0.3 g||0.93 g|
|Dietary fiber||2.9 g||9.8 g|
|Sugar||16.26 g||47.92 g|
|Calcium||35 mg||162 mg|
|Iron||0.37 mg||2.03 mg|
|Magnesium||17 mg||68 mg|
|Phosphorus||14 mg||67 mg|
|Potassium||232 mg||680 mg|
|Vitamin C||2 mg||1.2 mg|
|Folate||6 mcg 9 mcg||9 mcg|
|Choline||4.7 mg||15.8 mg|
|Vitamin A||7 mcg||0 mcg|
|Beta-carotene||85 mcg||6 mcg|
|Lutein and zeaxanthin||9 mcg||32 mcg|
|Vitamin K||4.7 mcg||15.6 mcg|
Fig vs. Date – What’s the Difference?
Fig and date have characteristics that are almost similar to dried food. In general, dates have higher natural sugar than figs. So figs are healthier for most people. The date has lower calcium and fiber than fig and is less beneficial for bone and digestive health.
On the other hand, figs have low fat and quite lower calory than date. Dates are good if you are trying to gain weight, but may not be suitable if you are on a diet. Figs has 3 times fewer calories than date, making it suitable for people trying to lose fat.
Fig has a crunchy texture, while a date has a hard seed inside. Kids over 12 months can eat both, but be careful with date seeds as they can easily choke.
So, both are a superfood. It depends on people’s need to say which one is best.
Health Benefits of Dried Figs
According to many traditions of the world, dried figs have outstanding benefits. From sexual dysfunction to diabetes control, figs benefits are almost countless. But what does modern science say? Many of the benefits of organic dried figs are established by science. But for other ones, researchers say, “We need more time and research to find those out”
First, let’s start with the nutritional fact-based benefits. Organic dried figs have enough calcium to fill up one-third of the calcium requirements in one serving. If you can eat with milk, it can’t get better regarding calcium. A study suggests that dried figs can minimize the risk of osteoporosis and bone-related diseases. Figs also contain manganese, potassium, and magnesium, essential nutrients. We should take it every day. Find out more about fig milk benefits.
Eating figs with your regular diet decreases insulin requirements (remember chlorogenic acid). It is especially helpful for diabetic people. The high fiber of organic dried fig has great digestive health benefits. Dried fig is widely used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Consuming organic dried figs regularly may boost your heart health and reduce blood pressure & fat. Researchers found that eating about 120 grams of dried fig can reduce bad cholesterol in the blood.
The sugars of dried figs are not usual sugars; thus, they are not harmful like regular white sugar. You can easily use dried or blended fig extract in your cake, biscuits, and sugar alternatives. Sweetness can’t get healthier!
Organic Dried fig recipes
There are countless combinations and recipes you can try with organic dried figs! (unless you suck at cooking like me). Dried fig jam is the most common recipe to try with dried figs. You just need to boil it with sugar, balsamic vinegar, and other fruits and flavors you like.
Fig is naturally very sweet but still very low calorie, making it a healthy alternative to sugar. You can make other sweet fruit jams, dried fruit cakes, dried fig appetizers, desserts, and many more! The list goes very long.
For my extraordinary knowledge in cooking (I can boil water), I handed over to write about dried fig recipe to my loving colleague Israt Jahan, a nutrition expert (she has a black belt in cooking). Check out her article. 3 Delicious Dried Fig Recipes You Must Try
Beyond the Fruit–Dried Fig Leaves
The Fig tree provides not only nutritious fruits but also carries on its blessings in its leaves. Figs leaf contains calcium, phosphorus, iron, sodium manganese, potassium, and vitamins A, B1, and B2.
Fig leaves are known for their anti-diabetic, anti-microbial, anti-constipation, and anti-aging activities. Fig leaves also benefit bone, may treat fever, increase male fertility, and help weight loss. It has a sweet, earthy vanilla fragrance, making it great for flavoring various diseases.
Can’t cook? You can make fig leaf tea with just boiling skills!
They deserve a separate article with all the fantastic health benefits fig leaves provide and their variety in various recipes. Check out 9 Reasons to Use Fig Leaves.
Organic dried Fig for Skin Care.
As I already mentioned, organic dried fig is full of antioxidants. Antioxidants are not only healthy for the body but also have numerous benefits for the skin. Fig contains vital phenol components like gallic acid, epicatechins, and anthocyanins. Those components have great anti-aging, skin-friendly, and moisturizing abilities.
Our skin often produces tyrosinase, responsible for rough skin and dark spots. Fig extract reduces tyrosinase production and water loss, making the skin look well moist and healthy. Fig extract also helps to cure redness, tight skin, acne, and other common skin problems.
Fig for skin care has a drawback, too. You can only use dried or fig fruit extract for skin care. Fig plant contains psoralens, a bio-molecule that can absorb the sun’s ultraviolet rays and damage your skin. Fig fruit has a small amount of psoralens. So whenever you use fig for skin care and need to go out in the sun, use sunscreen to protect your skin.
How do you use figs on your skin? Find out here- 5 skincare benefits of organic dried fig.
Impressive Benefits of Fig Oil
Study shows that fig seed oil has linolenic acid, linoleic acid, and oleic acid which cures dry, split, and weak hair by deep moisturizing. It also contains vitamin E, vitamin A, antioxidants, and anti-microbial effects to boost hair growth and wellness. Are you interested in fig oil? The perfect article for you- Benefits of fig oil.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dried figs good for gut health?
Yes, dried figs are excellent for gut health as they have probiotic features that aid the growth of good bacteria in the gut. Plus, they also contain good fiber that helps constipation.
Are dried figs high in cholesterol?
No, dried figs do not contain cholesterol. Contrarily, they have been found to help reduce cholesterol levels in the blood.
Are Turkish figs are same as dried figs?
Yes, Turkish figs are the same as dried figs. Turkish dried figs are made from figs grown in Turkey, the largest producer of dried figs worldwide.
Organic dried figs provide abundant vital nutrients and several impressive health benefits. Whether you make jam with it, or enjoy it as a light sweet snack, dried figs are undoubtedly the superheroes in the world of dried fruit.
In one sentence, it is excellent for digestive health, reduces cholesterol, decreases blood sugar spikes, bones, and much more. It also poses great benefits for skin and hair.
Before it becomes a book about dried figs, let me sign off by wishing you a happy and healthy life. Looking for dried figs to buy? Check the best organic dried figs.