Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

By Richie Santucci, RDN, LD, CDE, NCSF-CPT

You may know that mid-summer to early fall is fig season – but how much do you know about the benefits of this sweet and delicious fruit? Find out how to pick the perfect fig, how to prepare them and get some fun fig recipes to try with the family!

Fun fig facts

Figs are a nutritious fruit that can be incorporated into a healthy diet anytime, anywhere! Just 3-5 dried (¼ cup) or fresh (½ cup) figs count as one fruit serving, contributing just 100 calories and a whopping 20% of your daily value for fiber. That’s a punch of nutrition! And while the peak of fresh fig season is mid-to-late summer, dried figs are dehydrated and packaged at their peak freshness, so they’re delicious all year round!

Ripeness and storage

When are figs ripe? Here’s how to tell: gently use your thumb to ensure they’re soft, not mushy. Hard figs don’t ripen as well as other fruits once picked; for best results, keep hard figs at room temperature for a few days to continue the ripening process. Figs are ready when they first fall off the tree, but stay fresh for only a short time after. For best results, they can be enjoyed within a few days and can be stored in the fridge to help prolong their already short shelf life. Dried figs can be stored in a cool, dry place for a much longer period of time. Before eating a fresh fig, be sure to wash and remove the stems. The whole fruit is edible, and it’s always a good idea to eat the skin as it contains fiber.

Benefits of figs

Did you know that ½ cup of dried figs has as much calcium as ½ cup of milk? Figs also contain potassium, which is a mineral that supports blood pressure maintenance by blunting sodium’s effects. Figs are also rich in phytonutrients, natural compounds found in plants that support immune health, slow aging and prevent or reduce the risk for chronic diseases. That’s good reason enough to incorporate sweet-tasting figs into your eating routine!

There are also a handful of studies suggesting figs may help manage cholesterol, constipation and IBS-C symptoms. Last but not least, some fig varieties outdo most fruits in regards to the amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese they contain Figs really are a powerhouse of nutrients – it’s an added bonus that they’re downright delicious, too!

Fantastic fig recipes

Besides enjoying them fresh during fig season, you can also enjoy dry figs in recipes or as a snack. Here are some recipes to help you enjoy figs year-round and have a “figtastic” fig season:

Now that you have the 411 on all things figs, it’s time to start experimenting with this fruit! For more questions regarding nutrition and the nutrient values of food, sign up for a telenutrition appointment at www.kroger.com/dietitian.

Other References:

  1. https://californiafigs.com/resources/nutrition-professionals/
  2. https://www.britannica.com/plant/fig
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327207#nutrition

Explore more healthy living advice from our team of experts.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.

Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

Fig Season: All About this Nutritious Fruit

By Richie Santucci, RDN, LD, CDE, NCSF-CPT

You may know that mid-summer to early fall is fig season – but how much do you know about the benefits of this sweet and delicious fruit? Find out how to pick the perfect fig, how to prepare them and get some fun fig recipes to try with the family!

Fun fig facts

Figs are a nutritious fruit that can be incorporated into a healthy diet anytime, anywhere! Just 3-5 dried (¼ cup) or fresh (½ cup) figs count as one fruit serving, contributing just 100 calories and a whopping 20% of your daily value for fiber. That’s a punch of nutrition! And while the peak of fresh fig season is mid-to-late summer, dried figs are dehydrated and packaged at their peak freshness, so they’re delicious all year round!

Ripeness and storage

When are figs ripe? Here’s how to tell: gently use your thumb to ensure they’re soft, not mushy. Hard figs don’t ripen as well as other fruits once picked; for best results, keep hard figs at room temperature for a few days to continue the ripening process. Figs are ready when they first fall off the tree, but stay fresh for only a short time after. For best results, they can be enjoyed within a few days and can be stored in the fridge to help prolong their already short shelf life. Dried figs can be stored in a cool, dry place for a much longer period of time. Before eating a fresh fig, be sure to wash and remove the stems. The whole fruit is edible, and it’s always a good idea to eat the skin as it contains fiber.

Benefits of figs

Did you know that ½ cup of dried figs has as much calcium as ½ cup of milk? Figs also contain potassium, which is a mineral that supports blood pressure maintenance by blunting sodium’s effects. Figs are also rich in phytonutrients, natural compounds found in plants that support immune health, slow aging and prevent or reduce the risk for chronic diseases. That’s good reason enough to incorporate sweet-tasting figs into your eating routine!

There are also a handful of studies suggesting figs may help manage cholesterol, constipation and IBS-C symptoms. Last but not least, some fig varieties outdo most fruits in regards to the amount of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, and manganese they contain Figs really are a powerhouse of nutrients – it’s an added bonus that they’re downright delicious, too!

Fantastic fig recipes

Besides enjoying them fresh during fig season, you can also enjoy dry figs in recipes or as a snack. Here are some recipes to help you enjoy figs year-round and have a “figtastic” fig season:

Now that you have the 411 on all things figs, it’s time to start experimenting with this fruit! For more questions regarding nutrition and the nutrient values of food, sign up for a telenutrition appointment at www.kroger.com/dietitian.

Other References:

  1. https://californiafigs.com/resources/nutrition-professionals/
  2. https://www.britannica.com/plant/fig
  3. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327207#nutrition

Explore more healthy living advice from our team of experts.

Disclaimer: This information is educational only and is not meant to provide healthcare recommendations. Please see a healthcare provider.