Figs can be eaten either fresh or dry and has a sweet taste and variety of health benefits that it provides. Though in India fresh Figs are not easily available but can be found in the form of dry fruits popularly known as Anjeer. The high amount of calcium, iron and potassium present in it along with the high amount of fiber and low fat makes it a healthy food to include in your diet which can be eaten alone or mixed in yogurt, salad and toppings on cereals and oatmeal.
Figs are nutritious but do they help in weight loss ? Should one eat figs regularly if you are trying to lose weight. Lately figs are fast becoming popular with nutritionists that are recommending it as a part of weight loss diets. Let us help you understand why it might not be the healthiest weight loss food option.
Lets start with understanding the calorie and nutrition content of figs. Figs are rich in Vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, and phosphorus. The high levels of potassium and low sodium helps people with hypertension. High calcium levels present in figs promote bone health. High mucilage content in figs, helps to heal and protect sore throats. Figs also contain beta-carotene as well as benzaldehyde (anti-cancer compound), flavonoids and a digestive enzyme called ficin.
Dried figs provide higher amount of calories than fresh figs and around 100gms provide 220 calories approx. Though it is recommended to be eaten in moderations but its sweet taste and pulp makes it addictive making you eat more than actually required. Other than the calories figs are sweet and have a medium glycemic index of 61 and a glycemic load of 16 which is high.
The high glycemic load (GL) of figs makes the blood sugar levels rise as dried figs quickly release high level of sugar in the body which may not be helpful for people on weight loss and people suffering from type 2 diabetes. The high amount of fiber and high glycemic load makes the body feel satisfied. The GL provides energy and makes you feel fuller longer making you crave less food. This might make you miss out on a balanced diet which is essential to regulate the metabolism in the body.
Besides it high glycemic load figs have other benefits also. The high fiber content improves digestion and benefits people with constipation. The fiber helps in throwing away the toxins out of the body. They have anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants present in them fights diseases and cancer in the body. They help regulate blood sugar levels and reduces cholesterol in the body.
Foods that are sweet and provide quick energy should be eaten early in the day so that the energy released by them can be burnt in the day itself. Also figs are recommended to people who have iron deficiency. Every diet especially available online is very generic and might not be applicable to you. You need a diet plan that is customized to your lifestyle, eating habits and medical conditions. Its important to get professional consultancy from a qualified fitness expert before you start any diet plan.
Are you tired of falling sick every time there is a slight change in the weather or being extremely vulnerable to other people with viruses or bacteria. Body produces antibodies that help identify and neutralize foreign bodies like bacteria and virus in the body thus providing immunity. Immune system is the body’s defence against organisms and foreign substance which have potential to cause diseases and health problems. The immune system is made up of cells, tissues and organs that fight together to protect the body.
There are three types of immunity in the body known as innate, adaptive and passive. Innate is the natural immunity that we all are born with for general protection. Adaptive immunity is the active immunity which develops throughout our lives and in some cases where the infection is too dangerous to fight we can be immunized through vaccination. Lastly, passive immunity is which is borrowed from other sources like mothers milk that provides immunity to child when he is born until he develops his immunity.
Lymphocytes, which are the white cells, are the key laborers of the immune system. The primary lymphocytes are B-cells, T-cells, natural killer cells, macrophages and dendritic cells.
You could strengthen your immune system naturally through balanced diet and exercise. Good nutrition with vitamins and minerals and other important nutrients will keep the immune healthy and ready to ward off invaders. A life style that indulges in the consumption junk foods, fear, worry, and anything that promotes stress will weaken and destroy the immune system. Here are some food options for building immunity.
Garlic: It is a powerful immune booster and stimulator which increases the production of infection fighting white blood cells, boosts natural killer cells and destroys antibodies. Allicin and sulphides present in garlic boost immune system. Garlic is an anti-oxidant which fights free radicals in the body and helps clear out toxins from the body.
Carrots: Carrots, his food of choice, contain loads of beta carotene, which is a powerful phytonutrient that boosts the immune system’s production of infection-fighting natural killer cells and T cells. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases and kills free radicals which cause aging and strengthens the immune system.
Yogurt :Ingesting live bacteria might not seem like the best way to stay healthy, but, on the contrary, your body needs certain bacteria to function properly. Lactobacillus acidophilus is an example of good bacteria that your body needs, because it produces lactic acid in your gut, which helps you digest food and break down complex compounds into usable bits.
Mushroom: Mushrooms increase white blood cells in the body to fight diseases and infections. They help build the immune system. Mushrooms contain beta glucans which are one of the best immune enhancing substance. They provide rich nutrition to the body and keep foreign substances away.
Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is an antioxidant which eradicates free radicals from the body and keeps the body in fighting mode from all foreign substances. Vitamin c increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies in the body fighting the immune system. Vitamin C has rich anti-inflammatory properties helping fight cold and bruises, wound healing cuts, swelling etc. It keeps a good body immunity fighting against the bacteria and fungi causing allergies.
Drinks lots of water to flush out toxins from the body and include vegetables, fruits which contain fiber beneficial in removing toxins from the body. Exercise to keep the body healthy and increase blood flow in the body and fight infections better.
All of us eat vegetables in some form or the other. Maybe in salads, mixed veggies etc. Do you know about the benefits of the vegetables that you eat. Some of them are as common as cabbage, that are loaded with nutrition.
Fruits are a major and natural source of many vitamins, minerals and other natural substances to protect you from chronic diseases. Fruits are available through out the year and some are seasonal too.
Here is a list of commonly available fruits that you can include in your daily diet to boost immunity to stay away from infections with its anti-oxidation properties to destroy free radicals. Read more