Friday, March 10, 2006

The Sweetest Fruit- Fig

Although considered a fruit, fig (Ficus carioca) is actually a flower that is inverted into it. The seeds are drupes, or real fruit. Figs are the only fruit to fully ripen and semi-dry on the tree. Fig is a one of juiciest, sweetest and most fragrant fruit. There are different varieties of figs which have different characteristics. Some of them are dark purple, whilst others are yellow and pale pink. Figs are some loving plants and are often seen around the Mediterranean countries.

Figs are originally from small Asia and know as the one of the first cultivated ever. The Greeks have mentioned them around 60 A.C. Plato promoted fig as nutrition for athletes. The Greek are thought to know about twenty nine fig types. Officially figs were imported to Europe around 1600. Today there are more than 600 different fig types. For many years fig has been used as a coffee substitute. Figs contain a proteolytic enzyme that is considered an aid to digestion.

Today figs are widely used by pharmaceutical industry. And, because of high alkalinity fig has been consider good to quit smoking. A chemical found in figs, Psoralens, has been used for thousands of years to treat skin pigmentation diseases. Figs provide more fiber than any other common fruit or vegetable. It contains both soluble and insoluble fibers. Figs are found to contain most of the nutrients like iron, calcium, potassium etc. Figs don’t contain fat, sodium and cholesterol. Recent researches have shown that they have quantity of polyphenol antioxidants.
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