The Greek's sacred fruit

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The Greek's sacred fruit

Friday, 16 January 2015 | Pioneer

The Greek's sacred fruit

Figs have multifarious functions both as the fleshy fruit and as the dried anjeer. Controlling blood pressure and curing anaemia are just a few of them

  • Although they are pear shaped, figs are a member of the mulberry family
  • It is believed that the Phoenicians introduced figs into India and China and they were also used by the Roman armies.
  • They are available in fresh and dried preserved forms. The fresh fruit is best eaten raw while the dried ones, called anjeer, makes a good snack or an addition to cakes and desserts.
  • Fig fruit tree is native to temperate climate of Asia Minor or Turkey and today, it grown as an important fruit of commerce in the eastern Mediterranean region, USA, and Spain. However, it is also cultivated as a fruit tree in home gardens in many other regions as well. During each season, fig bears hundreds of pear-shaped fruits twice a year, which vary in size and color, depending on the variety.
  • They contain carbohydrates, protein, cellulose, oil, mineral salt and water. Moreover, it is a good source of iron, vitamins, lime, potassium, sodium, sulphur, phosphoric acids and other vital nutrients.
  • The high mucilage content in anjeer helps to heal and protect sore throats.
  • Figs contain folate, which combat with heavy menstruation and proves highly beneficial for pregnant and lactating women. The presence of vitamin A is beneficial for good skin.
  • In Greece, figs were considered as a sacred fruit and were associated with fertility and love. Scientifically, figs improve fertility and libido because they are loaded with minerals like zinc, manganese and magnesium which play an important role in boosting reproductive health.
  • Regular consumption of this fruit helps improve memory and relieve sleeping disorders. Being a rich source of iron, it works wonders for anemia.
  • Apart from being rich in fibre, dried figs are low in calories. One piece of dried fig has just 47 calories making them an ideal snack for people who want to lose weight.
  • Various civilisations through time have revered figs as sacred denoting a sign of peace, fertility and prosperity.
  • Ancients claimed that if you tied a mad bull to a fig tree he would quickly become tame and gentle. Furthermore, some claim that, like the bay tree, the fig tree is never hurt by lightning.
  • Figs are available all around the season; however, they are at their best from May through November.

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