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The common fig is a species of flowering plant in the genus Ficus, from the family Moraceae, known as the common fig, anjeer (Hindi), and dumur (Bengali). It is the source of the fruit also called the fig, and as such is an important crop in those areas where it is grown commercially. Native to the Middle East and western Asia, it has been sought out and cultivated by man since ancient times, and is now widely grown throughout the temperate world, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.

Mountain fig
Mountain fig or rock fig (called "Anjeer Kohi" in Persian) is a wild fig, naturally growing in the rocky mountainous area of the Kavir desert of Iran, especially in the Khorasan Mountains of Kohestan.

The only difference between the mountain fig and other figs is its tolerance of dry and cold climates. It usually does not need any irrigation and is able to survive extremely dry weather and temperatures of -40 °C (-40 °F). The most productive and the oldest mountain fig trees are located in the Zibad mountains.

Figs can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms, since the ripe fruit does not transport well, and once picked does not keep well. The widely produced fig newton or fig roll is a biscuit (cookie) with a filling made from figs.

Figs are among the richest plant sources of calcium and fiber. According to USDA data for the Mission variety, dried figs are richest in fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and vitamin K, relative to human needs. They have smaller amounts of many other nutrients. Figs have a laxative effect and contain many antioxidants. They are a good source of flavonoids and polyphenols including gallic acid, chlorogenic acid, syringic acid, (+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin and rutin. In one study, a 40-gram portion of dried figs (two medium size figs) produced a significant increase in plasma antioxidant capacity.

Health benefits of figs

Fig fruit is low in calories. 100 g fresh fruits provide only 74 calories. However, they contain health benefiting soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins, and pigment anti-oxidants that contribute immensely for optimum health and wellness.

Dried figs are an excellent source of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants. In fact, dried fruits are concentrated sources of energy. 100 g dried figs provide 249 calories. 

Fresh figs, especially black mission, are good in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, lutein, tannins, chlorogenic acid...etc. Their anti-oxidant value is comparable to that of apples at 3200 umol/100 g.

In addition, fresh fruits contain adequate levels of some of the anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin A, E, and K. Altogether these phyto-chemical compounds in fig fruit help scavenge harmful oxygen derived free radicals from the body and thereby protect us from cancers, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infections.

Furthermore, research studies suggest that chlorogenic acid in these berries help lower blood sugar levels and control blood-glucose levels in type-II diabetes mellitus (Adult onset) condition.

Fresh, as well as dried figs contain good levels of B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pyridoxine, folates, and pantothenic acid. These vitamins function as co-factors for metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Dried figs are an excellent sources of minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. 100 g of dried figs contain 680 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, and 2.03 mg of iron. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is required for red blood cell formation as well for cellular oxidation. 

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Nutrition Data for Figs, raw (09089)

NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 large (2-1/2" dia)1 medium (2-1/4" dia)1 small (1-1/2" dia)
Water79.11 g50.6304 g39.555 g31.644 g
Energy74 kcal47.36 kcal37 kcal29.6 kcal
Protein0.75 g0.48 g0.375 g0.3 g
Total lipid (fat)0.3 g0.192 g0.15 g0.12 g
Carbohydrate, by difference19.18 g12.2752 g9.59 g7.672 g
Fiber, total dietary2.9 g1.856 g1.45 g1.16 g
Sugars, total16.26 g10.4064 g8.13 g6.504 g
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 large (2-1/2" dia)1 medium (2-1/4" dia)1 small (1-1/2" dia)
Calcium, Ca35 mg22.4 mg17.5 mg14 mg
Iron, Fe0.37 mg0.2368 mg0.185 mg0.148 mg
Magnesium, Mg17 mg10.88 mg8.5 mg6.8 mg
Phosphorus, P14 mg8.96 mg7 mg5.6 mg
Potassium, K232 mg148.48 mg116 mg92.8 mg
Sodium, Na1 mg0.64 mg0.5 mg0.4 mg
Zinc, Zn0.15 mg0.096 mg0.075 mg0.06 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 large (2-1/2" dia)1 medium (2-1/4" dia)1 small (1-1/2" dia)
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid2 mg1.28 mg1 mg0.8 mg
Thiamin0.06 mg0.0384 mg0.03 mg0.024 mg
Riboflavin0.05 mg0.032 mg0.025 mg0.02 mg
Niacin0.4 mg0.256 mg0.2 mg0.16 mg
Vitamin B-60.113 mg0.07232 mg0.0565 mg0.0452 mg
Folate, DFE6 µg3.84 µg3 µg2.4 µg
Vitamin B-120 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin A, RAE7 µg4.48 µg3.5 µg2.8 µg
Vitamin A, IU142 IU90.88 IU71 IU56.8 IU
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)0.11 mg0.0704 mg0.055 mg0.044 mg
Vitamin D (D2 + D3)0 µg0 µg0 µg0 µg
Vitamin D0 IU0 IU0 IU0 IU
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)4.7 µg3.008 µg2.35 µg1.88 µg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 large (2-1/2" dia)1 medium (2-1/4" dia)1 small (1-1/2" dia)
Fatty acids, total saturated0.06 g0.0384 g0.03 g0.024 g
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated0.066 g0.04224 g0.033 g0.0264 g
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated0.144 g0.09216 g0.072 g0.0576 g
Cholesterol0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
NutrientNutrient value per 100 gm1 large (2-1/2" dia)1 medium (2-1/4" dia)1 small (1-1/2" dia)
Caffeine0 mg0 mg0 mg0 mg
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page
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