Health Benefits of Anjeer
- Author :
- TATA AIG Team
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Since we were young, our elders have spoken about the importance of including dry fruits in our breakfast routines. However, while there is plenty of information about almonds and dates, little is known about the humble fig, also commonly known as anjeer in Hindi.
Figs are fruits of the ficus tree and belong to the mulberry family. Interestingly, figs and their leaves are packed with essential nutrients such as copper and vitamin B6 which provide numerous health benefits.
Let’s have a closer look at this fruit and discover the many health benefits of anjeer.
Health Benefits of Anjeer
Figs are small bulbous fruits filled with hundreds of tiny, crunchy seeds, with an edible green or purple peel. The flesh of the fruit is pink and it has a mildly sweet taste. While this delicious fruit can be enjoyed by itself, you can also purchase dry figs (where the fruit is dried, either by exposure to sunlight or through an artificial process).
Since fresh figs are seasonal and perishable, their dried variant, anjeer, can be enjoyed all year round. Here are the top dried fig benefits that have made anjeer such a staple in the dry fruit box:
Improves Digestive Health
Figs have been a common home remedy to aid digestive concerns. A prominent advantage of anjeer is that it can aid in relieving problems such as constipation. The fruit contains the necessary fibre that can enhance digestive health by bulking and softening the stool.
A dried fig benefit to your gut is that it acts as a prebiotic (fibre that is digested by the healthy bacteria populating your gut).
A study examining a group of 150 people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) with constipation found that those who ate around 45 grams (roughly four dried figs) twice every day experienced a significant reduction in symptoms — including constipation, aches, and bloating.
Promotes Vascular and Heart Health
A healthy heart lies at the centre of your well-being. For Indians, focusing on a healthy heart is particularly essential considering how heart ailments remain in epidemic proportions in India with an estimated prevalence of 1.5-2 per 1000 individuals. One of the best advantages of eating anjeer is that it may assist in improving your blood pressure and blood fat levels. This consequently improves your heart health and lowers your risk of heart disease.
Can Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels
Amongst numerous other health benefits of figs, an important one is that it can help with the management of blood sugar levels. According to a recent study, drinks that comprised high doses of fig fruit extract had a lower glycemic index (GI) when compared with no fig fruit extract. This indicates that these drinks may have a more favourable effect on blood sugar levels.
It is important to note, however, that figs, and particularly dried figs, contain high amounts of sugar and in the short term can increase blood sugar levels. So, if you find it challenging to manage your blood sugar levels, you must refrain from eating dried figs.
Contains Potential Anti-Cancer Properties
Of the notable benefits of anjeer fruit is that the leaves and its natural latex have potential anti-cancer properties. These benefits of anjeer fruit derived from the leaves and latex showcase antitumor activity against cervical cancer, colon cancer, liver cancer, and breast cancer cells.
However, this does not mean that the consumption of figs or dried figs will lead to the same effects. Human studies are required to know whether the fruit affects cancer.
Improves Skin Health
Everyone seeks healthy skin and with countless pieces of advice on the “right” skincare routine, individuals are spoiled for choice. However, while topical applications can be effective, it is just as important to eat right for healthy skin.
Another anjeer benefit, which is going to make those with skin concerns happy, is that it can help people with dry and itchy skin. Moreover the high levels of phenols in anjeer act as a natural antioxidant for your skin.
They decrease the breakdown of collagen thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkles and preventing fine lines and premature ageing.
Beneficial During Pregnancy
The nutritional advantages of eating anjeer particularly benefit the health of the mother and assist with the development of the foetus. The nutritionally dense fruit comprises essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre that can help during pregnancy. It can also alleviate morning sickness because of vitamin B which is known for its role in enhancing the nervous system and can assist in reducing symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
The aforementioned health benefits of figs make it an essential component of a balanced and nutritious diet. Let’s now explore the nutritional value of anjeer to see what essential components are supplemented.
Nutritional Value of Anjeer
To understand the complete benefits of anjeer fruit it is important to acquaint oneself with the nutritional value of this dynamic fruit. The following table highlights the nutritional value (in 100 grams) of both anjeer and raw fig fruit.
|Lutein and Zeaxanthin
The nutrient-dense and power-packed anjeer has a host of potential health benefits. You can include several components of the fig plant in your diet right from consuming the raw fruit or dried fruit (anjeer), to including fig leaves or tea from fig leaves as a part of your meal.
Ways to Include Anjeer in Your Diet
There are several anjeer uses through which you can incorporate the fruit in your diet. On most occasions the fruit can be consumed by itself, however, there are many unique anjeer uses:
Halwa or Barfi: Numerous Indian desserts incorporate the use of anjeer. Particularly delicious ones are anjeer halwa and barfi. It becomes a healthy alternative to processed sugar because anjeer is sweet in itself.
The common ingredients of halwa and barfi are ghee, dry fruits such as almonds and cashews, and the delicious anjeer.
Breakfast Preparations: If you are puzzled over breakfast preparations and are bored with the usual preparations, then you can turn to anjeer to make a unique and healthy breakfast. Whether it is cereals, oats, cornflakes, or muesli, anjeer can be included in everything.
Baked Goods: An important advantage of anjeer is that it is highly versatile and it can be a delicious inclusion even in baked goods such as cakes. You can also make flavoured bread by adding finely cut pieces of anjeer.
Soaked Overnight: To reap the many dried fig benefits one can also soak them overnight in either water or milk and eat them first thing in the morning. It is believed that dried figs can aid weight loss.
For this purpose, they can be eaten throughout the day as part of your meal. However, as mentioned earlier, since anjeer contains sugar, it must be eaten in moderation.
Disadvantages of Eating Anjeer
For a balanced and healthy diet, any food item can do you good only when consumed in moderation. The same applies to anjeer.
If consumed in excess, anjeer can lead to stomach aches owing to its high content of sugars.
Moreover, because they have a lot of fibre, they can also lead to gases if consumed beyond the recommended amount.
Individuals on blood thinning medications must consume figs thoughtfully because the Vitamin K in anjeer can interact with the medicines.
Finally, those who are allergic to birch pollen may also be allergic to figs.
It is important to be mindful of these allergies before consuming the fruit.
The Bottom Line
There are many anjeer benefits that individuals can take advantage of for improving their health. It is easy to include the delicious and versatile fruit in one’s diet. However, as figs can interfere with blood thinning medication owing to their vitamin K content and because they are high in sugars, they must be consumed in moderation.
In addition to focusing on your diet for the wholesome protection of your health, you must also invest in a comprehensive health insurance plan. In the age of soaring hospital bills and poor lifestyle decisions, a medical insurance plan becomes imperative to safeguard your financial health so you are not worried about the bills when recovering from an illness.
Our Tata AIG health insurance plan acts as your financial safety net so you do not drain your savings when visiting the hospital. It is important to prudently analyse your healthcare needs before investing in individual health insurance.
What are the primary health benefits of eating anjeer regularly?
Anjeer is best known for improving digestive health. The high fibre content contributes to alleviating concerns such as constipation. Some other advantages of eating anjeer are improved heart health, relieving morning sickness during pregnancy, potential diabetes management, and more.
How much anjeer should I eat every day?
Ayurveda recommends eating 2-3 soaked anjeer regularly, first thing in the morning. This promotes your bowel movement and relieves constipation.
Who should not eat anjeer?
Patients on blood thinning medication must speak with their doctor before including anjeer in their diet. Additionally, those with diabetes must closely monitor their blood sugar when eating anjeer owing to its sugar content.
When is the best time to eat anjeer?
The best time to eat anjeer is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach by including it in your breakfast.
How does anjeer improve your skin?
As anjeer is high in antioxidants, it is effective in combating skin-damaging free radicals. This keeps your skin looking more youthful and radiant.
In addition to this, anjeer can also reduce the appearance of dark spots, blemishes, and acne, which makes your skin smoother and gives you a clearer complexion.
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