Fruits

Figo’s health benefits

Do you know what the fig is ? A fruit, maybe you’ll answer. This is not necessarily a wrong answer, nor is it the right answer. Figs are two things: flower and fruit.

This happens because, at the beginning of its development, the fig goes through the stage we call inflorescence, that is, it is a set of several flowers that are united by the same base, the receptacle. With the passage of time, the fig becomes an infructescence, which is a fruit connected to each other.

As the receptacle grows, it wraps around the entire flower forming an urn – that shell we think of as the fig itself. Inside this urn we find a handful of grains, these are the fruits. They are called caprigos.

THE WASP AND THE FIG

The fig is a fruit (or flower) so peculiar that, for it to exist, it still needs an external action of a third party: the wasp. Her name is quite strange, it looks like it came out of an alien in a science fiction movie, it’s called Blastophaga – or Vespa do Figo (its cutest name). The whole thing goes like this:

Insects in general are responsible for the pollination of flowers, as they carry pollen from one flower to another – wind, water, other animals and even man also do this process. In the case of our fruit-flower, the fig, access to pollen is much more complex. Remember the urn closes when the receptacle grows? Well then, only this wasp can penetrate inside the urn of the fig flower.

After reaching the inner part of the flower, Blastophaga fertilizes the part of the flower inside. This is how both the pollination of the fig flower and the reproduction of the fig wasp happen. It is there that the fig wasp puts its larvae and feeds them.

To reproduce, the fig wasp sacrifices itself. The hole she opens to get into the flower is very, very narrow. Therefore, when crossing this tiny passage, it loses its wings and never leaves it again. Exactly…

…Never.

That’s right, when you hit the fig, you hit the wasp. As a matter of fact, the average is that there are at least 10 dead fig wasps for each fruit.

This is because only female wasps will leave. Males are born without wings and are responsible for opening tunnels for the females to leave, but before they fertilize them so that they leave and continue the cycle of carrying the pollen to another fig. Males never leave and end up dying inside the fruit.

But don’t worry about it, until you enjoy the fruit blossom mixed with dulce de leche, the little bodies of those male wasps and the mother wasp have been digested, because our pseudofruit has an enzyme that turns them into protein. Do not worry.

THE FIG TREE

The fig tree has its origins in the Mediterranean region, it looks more like a bush than a tree exactly. It is between 3 and 10 meters high, and adapts well to different types of climate, because it has spread to different parts of the world. In Brazil, it was brought by Portuguese settlers in the 16th century.

FIG PROPERTIES

Figs are very rich in sugar, which makes them a great source of energy. It has vitamin A, C and B, and a good amount of minerals, potassium, calcium and phosphorus. These components are super important for having stronger bones and for the proper functioning of our body in general. Figs are also rich in fiber, fatty acids and antioxidants.

Many people wonder about fig leaf tea, what is it for?

Fig leaf tea is recommended in the treatment of many diseases, from bronchitis and asthma to hypertension, as it helps control blood pressure and others.

BENEFITS OF FIG

  1. Cholesterol Control – Fig leaf tea lowers triglyceride levels, which lowers bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and increases good (HDL) cholesterol. In this way, it prevents the accumulation of fat in the arteries and their possible clogging, which is the main cause of heart attacks.
  2. Prevention of cardiovascular disease – Because it has a high potassium content and is very low in sodium, the fig helps to reduce blood pressure and heart rate.
  3. Figs help you lose weight – Figs make you slimmer, it is rich in fiber and acts against intestinal constipation, as it has a laxative effect. The fig also gives you a greater feeling of satiety, which helps you to eat less. Satiety + well functioning bowel equals weight loss.
  4. Your skin more beautiful and healthier – The levels of vitamins C and B complex present in the fig give it an oxidizing factor that improves the appearance of your skin, including preventing inflammation such as acne. You can also find exfoliants on the market that use figs in their composition and are very good for your skin.
  5. Fig in the treatment of diabetes – Chlorogenic acid helps control blood glucose levels and may be an option to help control type II diabetes. However, never change the conventional treatment for trendy teas or recommendations from friends. Use it only as a supplement for better health.
  6. Energy source – When consumed dry, they are an excellent source of concentrated energy. Fresh figs have around 74 calories for every 100 grams, while dry figs have 250 calories for every 100 grams. With this the feeling of satiety is even greater and your hunger much less.
  7. More energy and more (much more) health – Being so rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber, consuming figs regularly only benefits your health and your body.

HOW TO EAT FIGS?

Eating a good fig starts with choosing the fruit, so make sure it is ripe. You can tell this by observing if it is soft and smells strong and sweet. Fruit colors can vary depending on the diversity (green, yellow, brown, lilac).

Avoid hard figs, with deep marks, cracks or moldy.

When you get home, wash it well using ice water and dry it with a paper towel.

Ready, you can eat freely, in natura, with dulce de leche or using the recipes we’ve set aside for you, take a look.

FIG RECIPES

FIG CAKE

what do you need

  • ½ kg of figs (not very ripe);
  • 1 tablespoon of margarine;
  • 3 eggs (reserve 1);
  • 1 cup (tea) of milk;
  • ½ cup (tea) of sugar;
  • 2 tablespoons of wheat flour.

how to make

  • Add sugar, eggs and flour in a bowl and beat until dough is smooth.
  • Then add the milk and bring to low heat while stirring constantly.
  • Remove mixture from heat, add margarine and another slightly beaten egg. Mix well.
  • Sprinkle a mold with flour and arrange the dough.
  • Decorate with halved figs and sprinkled with sugar.
  • Take the pan to the oven and wait for the dough to bake completely.

Ready, you can serve it natural or chilled.

FIG PAVE

What do you need

  • 1 pack of champagne biscuits;
  • 1 can of heavy cream (without whey);
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch;
  • 1 can of condensed milk;
  • 1 can of fig jam in syrup;
  • 4 eggs;
  • 300 ml of milk;
  • 4 spoons of sugar.

How to make

  • Add the condensed milk and cornstarch with milk in a pan and cook.
  • Stir without stopping until you get a thick cream. This is cream yellows, set aside.
  • For the white cream, beat the egg whites and add the sugar while beating nonstop.
  • Then add the cream and set aside.
  • Separate the figs from the syrup and cut them into slices. Reserve.
  • Dip the biscuit in the fig syrup.
  • Assemble the pave.
  • In a container, place a layer of yellow cream that you have reserved, another of figs, another layer of yellow cream and another layer of biscuit.
  • Finish with white cream and garnish with figs.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour.
  • Serve!

 

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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