Figs are a nutrient-dense fruit that can be yellow-green, copper or purple in color. You can peel them and eat them out of hand, use them to make jam or add them to ice cream or baked goods. Fresh figs aren't always available year-round in the United States, but dried figs are relatively easy to find. Although figs may provide some health benefits, treatment of any medical condition with figs is based only on traditional use and not on scientific evidence.
A 1/4 cup serving of dried figs contains 93 calories, 1 gram of protein, 0.4 gram of fat and 24 grams of carbohydrate, including 4 grams of fiber, or 16 percent of the daily value for fiber. Dried figs have more fiber per serving than any other fruit, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Each serving of dried figs provides 253 milligrams of potassium and 6 micrograms of vitamin K, or 7 percent of the DV, along with 60 milligrams of calcium and 25 milligrams of magnesium, or 6 percent of the DV for these nutrients. Potassium is necessary for proper heart, muscle and digestive function. Your body uses vitamin K for blood clotting, calcium for strong bones and teeth and magnesium for immune system, heart and nerve function.
Potential Health Benefits
Figs contain a type of antioxidant called phenols, which may lower your risk for heart disease and cancer by preventing cell damage by dangerous free radicals. Fiber lowers your risk for high cholesterol, heart disease and constipation. The fiber in figs may also help you lose weight since it makes figs more filling, helping you eat fewer calories.
Use in Traditional Medicine
Figs have been used in traditional medicine for lowering cholesterol levels and treating diabetes, constipation and skin problems like vitiligo, psoriasis and eczema. The safety and effectiveness of figs for preventing or treating these conditions has not been tested using high-quality clinical studies, so don't attempt to use figs in place of any treatment prescribed by your doctor.