People have eaten figs for millennia, and you’ve probably eaten your fair share of Fig Newtons.
But did you know that figs are a great addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle?
Figs are a nutritional powerhouse, high in fiber and many nutrients, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
A cup of dried figs, about 10, contains:
All that, and they’re low in fat and sodium, too!
Figs also provide 29% of your daily intake of potassium, which helps you maintain the balance of water and electrolytes in your body.
That’s important when you’re sweating in the summer heat.
Potassium also helps you maintain a healthy blood pressure and lessens the effects of sodium in your diet, and it helps you build muscle and aids your metabolism – both important if you’re watching your weight.
Raisins, almonds, and sunflower seeds are great sources of potassium; combined with some snipped dried figs, they make a portable, nutrient-rich and tasty trail mix to take with you when you’re hiking or any time you’re on the go.
Note: Low potassium levels may increase the risk of diabetes, especially for those patients taking diuretics for high blood pressure or heart disease. Patients with diabetic kidney disease need to monitor their intake of potassium carefully because too much potassium in the blood, when the kidneys cannot filter enough out, can cause irregular heart rhythm.
To add potassium to your diet, try this delicious chicken salad recipe. Use fresh figs or substitute plums, apricots, or other fruits. Changing the fruit or nuts in the recipe lets you come up with endless flavor combinations!
Visit our Healthiest Best Foods homepage for more great ideas to get you and your family eating healthier.