Dried figs are very nutritious and rich in antioxidants, but don't overdo it
Dried fruit, properties and calories
During the Christmas period, it is impossible to give up the pleasure of dried figs: they are the perfect complement to any meal, a delight to be enjoyed instead of dessert. And since their nutritional profile is really interesting, they are an excellent choice to fill up on well-being.
A portion of dried figs, corresponding to 100 grams of product, provides 250 calories: we are therefore talking about a food to be consumed in moderation, if you are on a diet. Its caloric content is in fact justified by the presence of an important amount of sugars, substances that are concentrated when the fruit is dried. However, this delicious snack can prove beneficial to our health – just be careful with the portions.
Dried figs are in fact very rich in fiber, substances that perform multiple functions at the digestive level. Passing unscathed into the stomach, they increase the sense of satiety and help you eat less, while helping to reduce the absorption of sugars. And in the intestine they provide nourishment to the bacterial flora, stimulating our immune defenses. Furthermore, their action against constipation is now known, favoring intestinal transit.
Among the fibers, pectin stands out in particular: a recent study published in Nutrients highlighted how this compound is able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, since it helps to keep the level of cholesterol in the blood under control. Always for the benefit of the heart, dried figs contain good amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which in particular reduce "bad" cholesterol and counteract hypertension.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, are excellent allies for the body: they fight the formation of free radicals, which often cause an increased risk of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and cancer. As shown in a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, dried figs contain high concentrations of polyphenols, but also vitamins C and E, which play an important antioxidant role.
Finally, we find excellent amounts of mineral salts: a portion of 100 grams of dried figs provides 20% of the recommended daily intake of calcium, a fundamental substance for bone health. Also present are magnesium and potassium, both of which are important for the well-being of the body. The first plays a leading role in blood coagulation and in the process of transforming food into energy, and also has a relaxing action on muscles and the nervous system. Potassium helps to keep blood pressure under control.