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What is Anjeer?
Anjeer or figs are categorised as a fruit. They grow on a tree called Ficus carica. The tree is currently grown in different parts of the world with moderate climate. Most commonly figs are grown in the Middle East and Mediterranean.
Figs have a thin green or purple skin depending on the time of the season they have been picked. The flesh or inside of figs is generally red or pink. Figs can be eaten with or without flesh.
Freshly harvested figs require proper care and temperature controlled storage spaces otherwise they go bad pretty quickly. This is the main reason fresh figs are largely consumed only in the areas of their production because storing them and transporting them to different parts of the world while maintaining their freshness is a huge challenge. However storing the dried figs and transporting them throughout the world is relatively easier.
Figs are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Here is how your body can benefit if you start eating figs regularly:
1. Highly nutritious
Figs are packed with calcium, magnesium, potassium, antioxidants, iron, vitamin A, vitamin C, polyphenols and many other nutrients. So anybody who is looking for a power packed food item must include figs in their diet. The best part about eating figs is that they are naturally fat and cholesterol free so if someone eats them in moderation on a daily basis they won’t gain any extra weight.
2. Reduces high blood pressure
High blood pressure or hypertension can be a life-threatening disease. Eating figs on a daily basis can help with managing high blood pressure. It is because figs are rich in potassium and fibre. What fiber from figs does is it flushes the extra sodium out from your body. And potassium helps fix the potassium and sodium imbalance in your body that can lead to stroke or other serious heart problems.
3. Aids in digestion
Figs are a natural laxative due to their abundance in fibre. Be it diarrhea or constipation figs are so versatile they help treat both the conditions. People with stomach disorders like acidity, Crohn’s disease and indigestion benefit a lot when they start taking figs. It is because figs are capable of balancing stomach’s pH levels. Figs are also rich in prebiotics so they help improve gut health.
4. Helpful in countering diabetes
Diabetes is a condition affecting glucose levels in the human body. Researchers suggest eating figs on a regular basis can be helpful for diabetics. It is because the fruit helps in lowering glucose levels and improves insulin levels in the body. Also the extract from fig leaves aids in cutting down glucose production in the liver.
5. Improves skin and hair health
Wondering why your hair and skin health doesn’t improve even after you follow a lengthy skin and hair care routine religiously? It is because caring for your hair and skin internally is also very important alongside external care. Including figs in your diet can help you provide your hair and skin with all the nutrients they need to improve from within. Also if you are into hair and skin masks you can get fig leaves extract and start including the ingredient in your skin and hair care regimen to see the difference.
6. Promotes bone health
Be it adults or teens, every other person has at least one or two painful bones these days. Ever wondered why people in the ancient times never suffered from weakness in the bones? It is because their diet was rich. The problems with our bones can also be fixed if we start eating at least two figs daily. Figs are rich in calcium and potassium. So when someone starts eating them regularly their bone mineral structure improves and the pain goes away.
How can you eat Anjeer?
Anjeer can be eaten right off a tree after its stem has been cut and it has been thoroughly washed. The entire fruit is edible including the peel and the seeds within it. But if you wish you can take off the peel and eat the flesh only.
Figs are eaten in both forms, fresh and dry. Fresh figs are only available for a short period of time every year but dry figs can be bought any time of the year. The fruit is available in all major grocery shops and super stores.
In ancient times before sugar was introduced figs were used to sweeten the desserts. Currently there are still many desserts that are made with figs. Unlike desserts figs also help enhance the flavour of many savory dishes. Also in today’s world many health conscious people are turning back towards using figs to substitute refined sugars.
What does Anjeer taste like?
Fresh anjeer is soft, mushy, squishy, honeyed with tiny chewy seeds and a hint of fresh berry-like flavor at the end.
Dried figs are relatively sweeter and chewy when compared to fresh figs. The sweetness in the fruit is all natural and it doesn’t contain any synthetic or refined sugars. The reason behind dried figs being very sweet is their low water content which makes the natural sugars of the fruit concentrated.
How many figs should you eat in a day?
No matter how beneficial eating figs is, one must still eat them in moderation. Figs are full of calories so if someone goes overboard with their intake they may end up gaining some weight. For people who are underweight, figs can serve as a healthy snack. But for someone who has a good body weight 2 to 3 figs are enough in a day. The best time of the day to eat this power packed dry fruit is early morning.
Also some people may be allergic to figs so if you start developing hives or other symptoms indicating an allergic reaction, stop consuming figs. Consult your dietitian immediately to discuss the problem and take necessary measures to resolve it.