Fabulous Fig Facts
Figs are yummy, exotic and SO good for you! They’re loaded with fibre, calcium, minerals and vitamins. No wonder that figs are seen as one of the healthiest foods around!
However, there’s a lot more that makes figs super awesome! Check out these fabulous figgy facts:
- A fig is not a fruit: Then, what is it? Figs are actually enclosed flowers that bloom inward. Isn’t that wonderfully weird? So, next time you bite into a fig, pause to admire the hundreds of tiny thread-like blossoms inside it.
- Figs and fig wasps: Because a fig is actually a ball of flowers, it requires pollination to reproduce. Here’s where the miniscule fig wasp comes in! Each of the 1,000 species of fig has evolved with its own species of pollinating fig wasp, whose life cycle is actually intertwined with the figs. **
- No fig trees = no forest: Thanks to their super-smart wasp reproduction technique, fig trees can bring deforested land back to life! Did you know that 70% of wildlife is dependent on figs for survival? Right from birds and insects to monkeys and squirrels – they all love figs! And humans do, too.
- Figs and Olympic medals: The Rio Olympics may have had nothing “figgy” about them. But, it was a different story back in the early days when athletes used figs as a training food. In fact, figs were presented as laurels to the winners – technically, becoming the first Olympic “medal.”
- Meet the wild Himalayan fig: Uttarakhand’s wild Himalayan fig a.k.a. Timla/Bedu is a wonder plant! Locals mostly use its leaves for their cattle. However, research indicates that these figs are a solid source of calcium and antioxidants. They also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol, plus aids in digestion and weight management. What’s not to love?
How many of these fig facts were you aware of? Leave a comment below to tell us what else makes figs so fab!
At Himalayan Haat, we have the privilege of sharing this figgy goodness with you. Our love for experimenting with seasonal, local produce led us to create a limited-edition Wild Himalayan Fig preserve we make each summer. Have you tried it yet?
** We were fascinated to learn about this amazing inter-dependence between two species of plant and insect. In fact, when preparing the wild Himalayan figs for our preserves, the Himalayan Haat ladies had to painstakingly check each fig for the mummies of these other-worldly insects. We’d never seen anything like ‘em!