The Ficus tree is same family of the mulberry tree. They are unusual in the fact that the fruit is like an inside out flower.
Some do not consider them vegetarian or vegan as a wasp might die in the inside of the fruit and the wasp metamorphosis into the fruit. Nothing will remain of the wasp, and it is a natural event, but many will not eat it for this reason. I suppose it would be the same for the wine, as in making the wine, wasps and insect will be in that boiling fermenting wine.
They have an opening called the “ostiole” or “eye”, that is not connected to the tree but that helps the fruits development, which communicate with the environment.
Figs are very sweet and they have a chewy texture as well to their skin and flesh. The crunchiness is due to the seeds that they are full of. The fresh figs do not last long, so needs to be eaten within few days or max a week. Hence, they are often dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process.
My parents have three trees and hence my mum decided to dry them in the sunshine in Italy for the winter. My parents are the reason I became a nutritionist, I saw first-hand the nutritional value of food. Unfortunately, I did not get the same green finger!
Figs vary in color, from green to black and red purple, depending from their origins. Figs are from the Mediterranean and Middle East and they have been around for a long time.
The figs nutrients, apart for being a very good fibre source, they have high simple sugars (hence 1 fig is enough for the day), They are rich in potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and manganese.
Eight to 10 figs will supply you with 249 calories, 9.8 grams of fiber and 47.9 grams of natural sugars from glucose and fructose, as well as 162 mg of calcium and 680 mg of potassium.
Figs are very good for the intestine, because they supply food for the friendly bacteria, they are alkaline foods, so good to balance your blood pH. The figs leaves have shown to reduce the insulin injection need. More research is needed for this, but good start. Someone, somewhere said that all the answer for our health is in nature! I think so too!
Reference: Michael Murray, “healing foods.”
© Maria Esposito BSc (Hons) R-Nutritional Therapist – NAET – R-Craniosacral Therapist – NLP practitioner – Angel Guide – Meditation teacher.