This amazing plant is called in different ways: Wine berry, fig, fig-tree, and finally, a Fig, which is known to all as a figs. Such an enviable quantity of plant names demonstrates not only the genuine love of people to this amazing fruit, but also about the long history of "tasty and cultural" mutual relations with it.
Biblical legend states that the fig tree leaves served as the first clothing for Adam and Eve. Archaeologists smile in response to this, but quite seriously affirm, that the "passport" age of the plant has more than 5000 years. And as the first documentary "picture" show to public its image on the Egyptian bas-reliefs, which about four and a half thousand years.
However, a great "vitality" of figs well is justified because of its testudinate longevity. In favourable conditions, the tree can live and bear fruit twice a year for 200 years. In doing so, there amazing thing: being an undemanding plant, figs insensibly took a fancy to stay the best resorts on our planet - Greece, Egypt, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Coastal Crimea, Central Asia, Caucasus and even America. Add to the list of places of its habitation India, Iran and Afghanistan, and you will get a full picture.
Unfortunately, fresh figs can be eaten only in places of its "habitation" - shelf life of ripe fruit is very short! Such unexpected petulance is there, because the ripe fruit are filled with sweetest "jelly" and the smallest round seeds. If just a little to overdo ripe figs in the sun, a tasty mixture immediately begins to ferment, turning the fruit into wine berries. So Fresh Fig best to enjoy during a trip to hot country, and no less tasty dried version now can be purchased in any supermarket.
If you want to buy "dry", but the best sort of fig, pay attention to dried fruit, light yellow color - they just are sweet and "elite" of figs family. Of course, dark-red and purple figs are also good, but the varieties, the fruit of which have almost black colour in the East, do not enjoy high demand - they are considered as weeds.
Did you ever think about what people at first trial and error method chosen "very tasty" from fruit and vegetable arsenal of nature, and then turned out, that all this is still "very useful"? This includes the figs. Since ancient times its fruits are used for cooking jam, pastila, jellies and even wine. In Central Asia, fresh fruits are used for cooking concentrated fig juice, which can be kept for a long time and can be used for various cooking needs. In addition, figs are added as the filling into spice-cakes, cakes and candy.
"The internal reserves" of figs are remarkable for such enviable wealth that one might as well to share supplies with less "gifted" wilds. Fresh fruits contain about 1% of protein, 15-23% of sugar and less than 1% of organic acids, including boric, plus useful enzymes and pectins. Incidentally, during the process of drying, figs protein level increases to 3-6%, and sugar - up to 40-70%. In addition, figs contain the following vitamins: beta-carotene and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6, PP and C.
The group of minerals also looks very impressive. At the potassium content the figs yields only to nuts. Iron in this sweet fruit is contained so much that it quietly wins over apples. For example, 200 g figs contain 35% of our daily norm of potassium and 30% of calcium and iron. Magnesium, iodine, copper and phosphorus also play not the latest role in this "theatre of profits".
Since ancient times known that the tender fresh fruit pulp has a good sudorific and ANTIPYRETIC action, and hot fruit broths, especially dairy, are considered to be one of the best natural medicines for cough and quinsy.
One of the many unique properties of figs is that in soluble fibers of its cellular tissue are contained substances that reduce the level of cholesterol in the blood. In this connection, scientists assert, that the real figs lovers rarely are ill with cardiovascular diseases. Incidentally, during the experiments were found, that fresh fruits, despite a record quantity of glucose and fructose, lower sugar content in the blood. In all this the fig remains for human one of the most efficient suppliers of energy, eliminating the mental and physical overstrain and restoring power. Nature did not deprive of healing properties and fig leaves - broth of them, having antiseptic and anti-inflammatory actions, are applied for regulation of disturbed metabolism. When chemists investigated the fresh leaves, they found active substances that are used in pharmaceutics to make medicines used in treating vitiligo and alopecia areata. Incidentally, the ancient healers, too, knew about the powerful healing properties of figs and used pulp of fresh fruit for the treatment of various kinds of fungous diseases. So the latest pharmacological revelations again and again confirm or supplement the accumulated during long history knowledge about the medicinal properties of this amazing plant.
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