Produce routinely travels thousands of miles from harvest to plate, making fresh figs a seasonal luxury. With an ultra-short shelf life, the majority of figs are dried before market. But fresh ones are worth the wait — there are few fig calories per fruit, and each morsel is quite tasty.
Fig Calories and Nutrients
According to the USDA, a medium-sized fresh fig weighing a little less than 2 ounces contains 37 calories. You'll get about 30 calories from a small fruit measuring 1.5 inches in diameter, while a large raw fig measuring 2.5 inches in diameter supplies close to 50 calories.
One medium fig provides about 10 grams of carbohydrates and very little fat. Simple sugars account for roughly 85 percent of the carbohydrates in figs, and, therefore, most of the calories.
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Most fresh fruits provide right around 100 calories per serving, and fresh figs are no exception. The standard amount for a single serving of fresh figs is three medium-sized fruits, an amount that delivers approximately 111 calories. As per the USDA, the nutrients in one serving of figs include the following:
4 grams of fiber, which helps you normalize your bowel movements and maintain a healthy weight.
0.45 grams of total lipid fats, which assist in organ protection and energy storage.
7 micrograms of vitamin K, an often-overlooked vitamin that works to stabilize blood calcium levels.
213 international units of vitamin A, a vitamin necessary for good vision, bone growth and a healthy immune system.
3 milligrams of vitamin C, which also promotes a healthy immune system.
10 percent of the recommended daily dose of potassium, one of the macronutrients necessary for fluid balance, electrical conduction and muscle contractions —
figs make a healthy workout snack for this reason.
Just over 1 gram of protein; a nutrient that supports bone growth .
Fig Benefits and Side Effects
Fresh figs don't just provide a healthy dose of the macronutrients your body needs to properly function; they also provide additional vital health benefits, such as the following:
- They contain strong antioxidant and anticancer properties: According to a February 2015 study published in the African Journal of Biotechnology, researchers found that a powder made from fig plants can be used for important therapeutic purposes including combating breast cancer and warding off cellular damage.
- They help treat a vast number of illnesses: A November 2014 study from Pharmaceutical Biology found that figs can help with the treatment of a large number of ailments including anemia, skin and liver diseases, ulcers, digestion issues, urinary tract infections, diabetes and cancer. Figs also serve as a promising candidate for use in the development and formulation of future drugs.
- They can even fight wrinkles: Although genetics play a heavy role in how you age, you should follow a healthy diet as you try to win the war against time. To do this, you might want to consider adding figs to your diet, as they've been found to contain anti-wrinkle capabilities. In a July 2015 study from Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology, researchers discovered that fig extract significantly decreased length, depth and area of facial wrinkles — especially in the crow's foot regions — as compared with a placebo.
Raw fig side effects are uncommon. However, you could have an interaction with the vitamin K they contain. According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), vitamin K can interact with a few medications, including antibiotics, cholesterol-reducing medications and Orlistat, which is used for weight loss.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: “Basic Report: 09089, Figs, Raw”
- African Journal of Biotechnology: “Evaluating the Antioxidant and Anticancer Property of Ficus carica Fruits”
- Pharmaceutical Biology: “Traditional Uses, Phytochemistry and Pharmacology of Ficus carica: a Review”
- Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigational Dermatology: “In Vitro Antioxidant, Collagenase Inhibition, and In Vivo Anti-Wrinkle Effects of Combined Formulation Containing Punica Granatum, Ginkgo Biloba, Ficus Carica, and Morus Alba Fruits Extract”
- National Institute of Health: “Vitamin K”