Figs

Figs

  • Bresug Cosmin Nicolae

  • Clasa a 12-a B

  • Colegiul Național “Mircea cel Bătrân

General details

Figs are the fruit of a small tree which is part of the Ficus species. Originating from south-oriental Asia, the fig grows wildy also in the Mediteranean Sea area, but also in Romania, especially in Dobrogea. Recent scientific research showed that figs are the oldest plant used by man, even before vegetables and cereals. Figs were an important food in antiquity and were very apreciated by greeks and romans due to the nutritional properties. It is said that figs were Cleopatra’s favorite fruits.

There are 3 types of figs: the ones pollinated by Blastophaga wasp, the San Pietro ones and the dioecious ones (with fruits that do not require pollen). These produce figs of different varities: Alma, Brown Turkey, Celeste, Desert King, Negra.

Cultural aspects of figs

In greek mythology, Apollo, being thirsty, sent a raven to bring him water from a river. Seeing a fig tree, the raven was tempted by its fruits so he stopped there and waited for the fruits to ripen. Knowing that he was late and that he would be punished for this, the raven did the following: he took water in the goblet and also caught a snake which he found on the shore. After getting back to Apollo, the raven used the snake as an excuse for his delay. Apollo furiously threw the raven, the snake and the cup into the sky, where they formed the constelations Raven, Hydra and Goblet.

In Ancient Rome, the fig was considered a sacred tree because in the Romulus and Remus myth, the two were raised by the wolf under a fig tree.

Buddha reached enlightment under the Bodhi tree, an old saint fig (Ficus religiosa).

The indian fig. Ficus bengalensis, is the national tree of India.

Chemical structure of figs

Figs are an important sourse of fibers, fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6.

They contain vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, iron, posphorus, manganese, sodium, chlorine, beta-carotene, flavonoids and an enzyme called ficine, which helps digestion.
Six figs contain 891 mg of potassium, almost 20% of the daily need and two times as much the content of potasium of a banana.

Figs are also a sourse of calcium. Six figs contain just as much calcium as half a cup of milk.
Medical benefits of figs

Medical benefits

Figs are a very good tonic and energizer, which makes them indispensable in the diets of sportsmen, pregnant women and people that make a lot of physical and intelectual effort. Also, they contain latex, a substance with the same properties as pancreatic juice, producing a small laxative effect. Moreover, their high potassium levels lower arterial pressure and regulate the pH of the organism. Figs are also useful in respiratory problems, otitis, abcesses. They also protect against colon cancer and remove insomnia thanks to a substance called tryptophan.

Aside from the fruit, the leaves also have medical properties. Tea or extract of fig leaves reduce the insulin level which is needed by the organism. Therefore, the need to inject insulin lowers too, fact that represents a great benefit for diabetes patients. They can also prevent bronchitis and Buerger disease (blood vessels obstruction).

Recipe

Figs are delicious in their natural form, but also dried. They can also be consumed in salads, sweets and ice creams.

Cheesecake raw-vegan with lemon and figs

Crust:
smochine

  • 1 cup of pecane nuts (hydrated 4-6 hours)

  • 1 cup of raisins soaked for 20 minutes

  • 1 pinch of Himalayan salt

Crem:

  • 2 cups of caju soaked for 2 hours

  • 1/3 cup of liquid coconut oil ulei de cocos lichid (heated at bain-marie)

  • 1 cup of dried figs

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1/2 cup of water

  • 1 pinch of Himalayan salt

  • 1/4 cup of honey/agave syrup/maple tree syrup/persimmon raw pasta

Preparation:

Crust:

  • Blend the pecane nuts and salt until they become tiny.

  • Add the raisins and continue blending at maximum speed until you get a homogeneous composition.

  • Put the composition in a form and leave it in the fridge while preparing the cream.

Crem:

  • Put all ingredients in a blender, except the coconut oil.

  • Process until you get a creamy texture (aproximately 3-5 minutes).

  • Stop the blender and add the coconut oil.

  • Blend until fully mixed.<

  • Pour the cream un the crust made before

  • Leave in the fridge until it hardens and then add fresh figs on top.

In my opinion, figs are one of the healthiest and delicious fruits and therefore should be indispensable from one’s diet.

Bibliography

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