You might not give much consideration to your body's digestion every day, but if you've ever had to deal with the challenges of constipation, knowing what to eat to relieve the problem quickly becomes a priority. Dried figs are more than just a sweet, chewy snack. Their high fiber content makes them a valuable ally to keep your body's digestive system functioning properly.
Fiber's Role in Digestion
A fiber-rich diet is integral to a digestive system that works properly. When your diet is low in fiber, constipation is a typical result. The fiber in figs is made up of soluble and insoluble fiber, each of which has a role in healthy digestion. Soluble fiber attracts liquid as it moves through your digestive system, while insoluble fiber helps to expedite your stool through your system.
Figs Are High in Fiber
Dried figs are high in fiber, and eating several pieces of this dried fruit can often provide enough fiber to cause noticeable changes to your digestive system. A serving of 1.5 dried figs provides 3 grams of fiber, which is composed of 1.4 grams of soluble fiber and 1.6 grams of insoluble fiber. This small serving of dried figs has more total fiber than a medium-sized apple.
Figs and Other Sources of Fiber
Making figs a part of your diet can help you meet the daily fiber requirements for your gender. On average, adult men and women should consume about 38 grams and 25 grams, respectively, of total dietary fiber per day. You don't need to solely rely on figs as a source of fiber, however. Many other types of food -- including raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds -- provide a source of fiber.
Uses for Figs
You don't have to be experienced in the kitchen to include dried figs in your diet for their digestion benefits. This fruit makes a convenient snack on the go, and you can also dice it and toss it on a bowl of cereal in the morning. Stewing dried figs makes them easier to chew, but doing so reduces their dietary fiber significantly, making the dried, uncooked variety a more valuable ally in your battle against constipation.
- MedlinePlus: Fiber
- Harvard University Health Services: Fiber Content of Foods in Common Portions
- Institute of Medicine: Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs): Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes, Total Water and Macronutrients
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Figs, Dried, Uncooked
- U.S. Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Figs, Dried, Stewed