Benefits Of Figs For Weight Loss

What are figs?

One of the numerous sweet and highly nutritious fruits commonly found in Asia and North African countries that have found their way to our stores are figs.

The fig fruit has a tear-drop shape with a purple or brown outer layer when ripened and green in colour when the fruit is unripe. It contains a lot of crunchy seeds and is usually referred to as a multiple fruits due to it containing numerous amounts of one-seeded fruits. 

It also has a milky sap of the green parts which is found to be an irritant to human skin. It comes from the fig plant known as Ficus carica.1

Ficus carica is a small to medium-sized woody plant about 23-33 feet tall. It belongs to the Moraceae plant family. Its flesh is known to be sweet and soft with a reddish colour.

Its leaves are flat, large and wide and are universally used due to their wholesome benefits, such as in cooking, grilling, or making tea.

The fig fruit is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated fruits, with its leaves being used for  medicine and as a symbol of modesty in art.

Figs can be eaten in their fresh and dried forms. Dried figs are found to be more common in stores and supermarkets due to their longer shelf life. The fig fruit can also be processed into jam, biscuits, rolls, and other desserts. 

Benefits of figs for weight loss

Over the years, a variety of chronic illnesses have been noted to stem from excessive weight gain which is usually due to an unhealthy lifestyle and diet.2

A moderate amount of weight loss is found to bring about benefits such as diabetes prevention and reducing the risk of heart diseases and symptoms of sleep apnea. Furthermore, weight loss reduces the risk of knee pain and osteoarthritis of the knee.3

Figs are one of the amazing fruits you can eat with little or no fats in them, so they'll be a great addition to your weight loss diet. They are also known to be a good source of dietary fibre, which help prevent constipation and make you feel fuller for longer.2

Other health benefits of figs

Although fig fruits barely contain any amount of fats and protein, they are still a rich source of many other nutrients, such as calcium, iron, magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, and certain antioxidants.

Since time immemorial, fig fruits, leaves, and roots have been used in treating different kinds of sicknesses. Figs or Anjeer still remain a natural cure to some of these illnesses to date.4 Examples include:

  • Breast cancer
  • Blood pressure
  • Blood sugar level
  • Digestive problems such as diarrhoea, constipation, and indigestion

In ancient times, fig fruit paste was used to relieve pain, and treat inflammation and swelling. It was also used to treat tuberculosis and coughing!

Nutritional facts

Figs are enjoyed in a variety of ways, for a variety of benefits such as raw figs, dried figs, fig leaf tea, and soaked figs.

Dried figs are noted to contain a higher amount of calories and sugar.

Per 100-gram serving, Raw figs contain 79% water, 19% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and contain negligible amounts of fat. They are a moderate source (14% of the Daily Value, DV) of dietary fibre and have 74 calories.1

Dried figs contain only 30% water, and provide about 249 calories. They are also a rich source (more than 20% DV) of dietary fibre and the mineral manganese (26% DV), while potassium, iron, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin K are in moderate amounts.1

Side effects and other concerns

Although figs have a variety of benefits, overeating figs could be a cause of certain health problems. While it is true that fig fruits help cure diarrhoea, an excessive amount of fig fruits could cause overstimulation of your bowels, thereby causing diarrhoea.5 Figs are also rich in vitamin K which could interfere with blood thinning medications and their effects. Lastly, there are people with fig allergies, meaning that eating figs with an undiagnosed allergy could cause a severe reaction.

Do ensure to notify your health care practitioner if you notice any form of abnormal reaction after eating figs.


  1. Fig. In: Wikipedia [Internet]. 2023 [cited 2023 Jan 11].
  2. Barber TM, Kabisch S, Pfeiffer AFH, Weickert MO. The health benefits of dietary fibre. Nutrients [Internet]. 2020 Oct 21 [cited 2023 Jan 12];12(10):3209.
  3. Ryan DH, Yockey SR. Weight loss and improvement in comorbidity: differences at 5%, 10%, 15%, and over. Curr Obes Rep [Internet]. 2017 Jun [cited 2023 Jan 12];6(2):187–94.
  4. Khan SS. Medicinal plants of the holy quran-i teen (Ficus carica L.). Indian J. Applied & Pure Bio. Vol. 2018;33(1):103-18.
  5. Solo D. 10 amazing facts you didn’t know about figs | khoshbin group [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2023 Jan 12].
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Faaizah Ibrahim

BSc Human Anatomy, University of Ilorin, Nigeria

Faaizah is an Anatomist with experience as a Radiographer Assistant both in the hospital and outpatient centers.
Faaizah is an Author, a blog writer with 2 co-authored published research articles.
With three years experience working as a writer and editor for her University magazine.

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