Properties of dry figs

Nutritional and medicinal benefits of dry figs

Fruits of winter 1Fruits of winter 2Fruits of winter 3


What are dried figs?

Photo of dry figs
Photo of dry figs

Dry figs are the fruits of the fig tree (Ficus carica) once they have been dried.

Figs have a shape similar to pear, but with a thicker and smoother skin.

The color of the skin indicates its state of maturation, varying from light green to dark black, as the fruit ripens.

If we peel a fig, inside it contains an edible pulp of an intense red color with multiple small white seeds.

The dried figs are dehydrated figs, that is, figs whose water has been removed.

Why are figs dried?

The drying of the figs is done to preserve them throughout the year.

By eliminating water, an environment is established where bacteria have more difficulty developing

This method allows to have a fruit that has very short duration in raw but that can be preserved , when preservation has been is made by hand, throughout the year when it has undergone the drying process.

In an industrial use, the vacuum packaging allows a much longer storage than when it is packaged with homemade methods.

How are figs dried?

Dry figs in a basket
Dry figs in a basket

Traditionally the drying of the figs has been done manually, placing the figs spread on hurdles placed in the sun.

This process is still being done in rural communities

Most dried figs sold in the market are dried with industrial processes using dehydration ovens .

(See how to dry fruits)

What do dried figs contain? Composition of dry figs

As an energy source, 100 grams of dried figs provide 255 kilocalories.

Photo of dry figsNutritional composition of dry figs

Its proportion of nutrients is divided into:

  • More than 28% is water.
  • More than 1.17% of fats.
  • More than 3% of proteins.
  • Close to 64% carbohydrates.
  • Almost 10 % fiber.

Minerals in dry figs

It is a fruit very rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus, but it also contains sodium, iron, zinc, selenium, manganese and copper.

Vitamins in dry figs

They are rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamins of group B, especially vitamin B9, but the also contain vitamin E.


The most important properties of a dry fig are the following:

  • It has a good content in water that prevents us from getting dehydrated.
  • It gives us a lot of energy to have vitality during the day.
  • It is a poor source of fat and protein.
  • It has a very high content of carbohydrates, specifically in sugars.
  • It has a moderate fiber content.
  • It helps us eliminate toxins from our body, because of its potassium content.
  • Calcium together with phosphorus, maintains the balance of the formation of strong bones.
  • It helps us maintain correct brain functions, due to its content in phosphorus and vitamins of group B.
  • For its content in vitamin B9 it helps to grow properly.
  • Magnesium helps the muscles relax.
  • It protects our skin and helps keep it healthy, due to its vitamin A content.
  • It protects us from colds and helps to heal wounds, due to its vitamin C content.
  • It protects us from toxic substances and aging, due to its vitamin A, C and E content and the minerals selenium and zinc.

Dried figs are very energetic

fig bread
Photo of fig bread, a preparation made with dry figs and almonds

Dried figs are extremely energetic – 250 kcal per 100 grams compared with 220 kcal for the same weight of pork chops

Very high in calories, figs are great for energy during the icy winter days. They are very nutritious for children and for athletes, especially the “fig bread” formed by these fruits when dried, mixed with almonds.

An older combination, easy to prepare, has been called “Nougat for the poor”; it consisted in opening a dried fig in half and place a sweet acorn inside. This could be replaced by a peeled almond.

Dry figs for constipation

Dry figs are very rich in fiber so that they regulate intestinal transit.

Dry figs for anemia prevention

Their richness in iron and vitamin C and B makes them very suitable for the manufacture of red blood cells, much needed to prevent anemia.

Similarly, they contain much potassium, a mineral that is essential to regulate body fluids and to control heart rate, nervous system and the production of muscle mass.

Dry figs, very rich in calcium

Dried figs have quite a higher amount of calcium compared with the figs – 144 mg 35 mg, respectively, which are suitable for growth and to prevent osteoporosis.

Dry figs, against cough and cancer

We can prepare a syrup against cough based on 6 dried figs cooked per glass of water, until the liquid becomes thick. We will take four tablespoons per day.

In addition to these traditional uses as nutritious, dried figs, according to recent research, are considered anti-cancer food.

Thus, we should dry the fresh figs, collected in summer and autumn, to take advantage of all its virtues, even increased, when winter comes. For this purpose, extend over canes in the sun. Then place them in cardboard or wood boxes, rather dry.

Dry figs, very important in Man History

Given the nutritional capacity of this fruit and its many healing properties, figs have had a great importance throughout history.

This fruit has a fundamental role in classic mythology.

The fig tree was considered sacred by the Romans, so it was especially dedicated to the god Bacchus.

We must bear in mind that a fig tree was the tree where the wolf that suckled Romulus and Remus lay

In major parties Roman people offered the figs as an offering to those who visited their home and, in many writings of this culture, there are continuous references to this fruit.

Composition of dry figs compared to raw figs by each 100 gr.
Dry figs
Raw Figs
Water30,05gr79.11 gr. high
Calories249 kcal74
Fat0,93 gr.0,30
Protein3.30 gr.0.75
Carbohydrates63.87 gr.high19,18 gr.
Fiber9.8 gr.2,9
Calcium162 mghigh35 mgs
Potassium680 mghigh232 mgs
Iron2.03 mg0.37 mgs
Magnesium68 mghigh17 mgs
Phosphorus67 mghigh14 mgs
Sodium10 mg1 mg
Vitamin A10 IU142 UIhigh
VitaminB1(Thiamin)0.085 mg0,060
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.082mgs0, 050
Vitamin C1.2 mg2 mgs
Vitamin E0,35 mg
Fruits of winter 1Fruits of winter 2Fruits of winter 3

punto rojo More information on figs.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

16 January, 2021

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