Fall Spotlight: Figs

Fall is the time to enjoy fresh figs. When it comes to superfoods for brain health, figs might not be the first fruit that comes to mind, but these sweet and delectable treats are rich in potent polyphenol antioxidants, which play a crucial role in protecting brain cells from oxidative stress. The antioxidants in figs, including quercetin and anthocyanins, can help reduce inflammation in the brain, improve blood flow, and support the overall health of your neural pathways. Read more.

What would happen to you if you ate figs every day? A newly published study has the answer: regularly eating figs boosts micronutrient status and improves the overall diet. Here are some fig facts to consider:

  • A half-cup of dried figs has as much calcium as a half-cup of milk. Most Americans fall short on meeting calcium intake goals, so every source counts.
  • 3-5 figs is a good source of fiber and can offer as much as 5 grams of fiber (20% of the Daily Value). Fiber is important for digestive health, cholesterol-lowering, and the steady release of energy. That last point means figs can help stabilize blood sugar levels even though they contain some natural sugar themselves. Stable blood sugar means it’s that much easier to avoid energy crashes that can impact cognition.

Fresh California figs are really amazing right now, but when fresh are no longer available, look for dried figs. All forms matter and nourish the body with important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other phytonutrients.

Some of my favorite ways to enjoy figs are:

  • On top of sourdough toast with yogurt, mint, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and a pinch of good quality finishing salt like flaky Maldon salt
  • A variation on the above fig toast idea is to add a drizzle of dark honey or microgreens into the mix
  • In a simple salad with baby arugula, walnuts, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, black pepper and a pinch of salt
  • On top of yogurt along with a sprinkling of your favorite nuts

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