The fig tree has a place in the history of many cultures. Buddha is said to have achieved enlightenment in 528 B.C. while sitting under a fig tree. In Greek and Roman mythology, figs are sometimes associated with Dionysus/Bacchus, god of wine and drunkenness, and with Priapus, a frisky satyr. In India, the goddess Nirantali is credited with creating human’s tongues from the fluttering leaves of a fig.

In the 21st century, we credit the fig with packing a lot of nutrition into one 37-calorie, teardrop shaped package.

- One fresh fig provides 1.4 grams of fiber, a bit of nine important minerals, including magnesium and potassium, and vitamins from A through the Bs to C, K and more. Each fig also contains around 8 grams of sugar.

- 1.5 ounces of dried figs (around six) contains about 125 calories, and 8% of your daily magnesium requirements, 7% of daily potassium, and 6% of daily iron and calcium needs. Although six dried figs have about 24 grams of sugar (natural, not added), they also have around 17% of your recommended daily intake of fiber — and that slows down the effect of the sugar on your blood glucose level.

So figure out how to get some figs into your day: As a snack, a fresh fig sliced in half with a walnut on top provides energy and a flavor festival. Or try the Blueberry, Fig, Prune & Balsamic Dressing and “Addictive” Quinoa Salad recipes in Dr. Mike’s “What to Eat When Cookbook.”

©2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

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