Dates vs figs? Argh, perform we have to choose?
Don’t worry, that’s not what this is all about. It’s an ext of one in depth look in ~ both to gain a much better understanding the what they’re every about. In this post, we’re going come look at everything from health benefits and nutritional information, with to the different species of dates and figs you have the right to buy in your neighborhood store.
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So, enough of all this chatter, let’s get to it!
Are dates and figs the very same thing?
This is more than likely the most generally asked question, for this reason let’s resolve it right away.
In short, no, they’re no the very same thing.
Despite many people thinking that dried figs space dates, or evil versa, they room actually completely different points altogether. In bespeak to clean up any confusion, let’s take it an in depth look at both before we go any further:
What are dates?
Nothing to execute with romance (well, I can fall in love with day cake, but that’s alongside the point), days are the fruit of Phoenix dactylifera, more frequently referred to together the date palm.
These sticky, brown oblong fruit are exceptionally high in fructose, about 80%, which can reason many to raise an eyebrow once “healthy” recipes call for a large amount the them, yet they’re plainly head and also shoulders above refined sugars in state of other nutritional services such as their mineral and vitamin contents (more on that later).
Traditionally get an impressive in middle Eastern and also North african countries, dates have been grew for centuries and play a huge part in many international cuisines. Today, typical varieties choose Deglet Noor and also Medjool are also grown in the US and Mexico, with states such together Arizona, California, and Florida top the way.
Dates are typically mentioned in both the Bible and also the Qur’an, and the date palm has taken ~ above a symbolic function in plenty of cultures. The tree even shows up on Saudi Arabia’s cloak of arms over two swords which represent the dwellings which formed the nation we know today: the home of Wahab, and the home of Saud.
Date palm trees have actually been around for somewhere in the region of 50 million years (according to fossil records) and their fruit’s popularity with us human beings shows no sign of letting up any kind of time soon.
What is a fig?
A fig is an reverse flower – they’re technically not a fruit, think it or not – the is found, less surprisingly, on fig trees. While there are over 850 different types of fig trees, or Ficus, one particular form is generally grew for its tasty produce, the usual Fig (Ficus carica).
Ficus carica is actually a relative of the Mulberry Tree and also falls under the more comprehensive plant family Moraceae. Breadfruit, too, is component of the Moraceae family. Other varieties of edible fig space available, but may it is in harder to uncover in part regions.
Although aboriginal to locations such together Western Asia, the middle East, and also the Mediterranean shore of both Europe and also Northern Africa, figs have the right to be grown anywhere with warm, dry conditions, for this reason California, again, is a significant producer because that the us fig market.
Like dates, figs are incredibly sweet and also delicious, but their texture is fairly unlike something else. They’re smooth and also chewy, yet their seeds give them a crunch together well. This sets castle apart from comparable fruits and makes lock the perfect enhancement to salads. The distinction in mouthfeel, however, isn’t for everyone, as part regard the fig come be too grainy in texture.
Interestingly, figs are thought to be the first ever “fruit” grew for human intake and, like dates, they appear throughout ancients texts such as the scriptures (fig leaves, anyone?). Old Egyptians, too, were rather keen top top both, and a basket that dates and also figs from the era have the right to be checked out at the brothers Museum in London.
Although they space truly delicious, figs do have a gnarly secret, and also it’s one that some vegans may want come consider before purchasing…
Hey! What’s all this around figs and also wasps?
Sorry to be the bearer of negative news if friend didn’t already know, however yep, it’s true, some figs do contain dead wasps ? There to be no means to break the to you gently, apologies.
So, what’s the deal? Well, the comes under to a symbiotic relationship in between the trees and tiny fig wasps. For more information ~ above fig wasps, fig pollination, and also more, check out the brilliant video clip below from brain Stuff.
So, are figs vegan?
It’s the apparent question come ask, isn’t it? If figs room responsible for the fatality of a living being, can they be thought about a vegetable foodstuff?
First off, figs space not “responsible” for the wasp’s demise. The process, together we alluded come above, is mutualistic and also actually advantageous to both species. That may be difficult to wrap your head roughly considering one of them winds up dead, but the fact remains that without the procedure occurring, no the fig tree nor the fig wasp would survive.
So, are figs vegan or not? for me they are, however I guess a lot will come down to an individual choice. If the thought of that grosses you out, you can exercise your personal choice by not eating them. Simple.
Remember, though, the there is very small that we eat which can be considered 100% vegetables if we’re going to take points to the Nth degree. For example, harvesting of all fruit and vegetable plants runs the threat of causing harm to animals and also insects, and even essential farmers will use natural pesticides the still kill insects. I don’t prefer it, however it’s kind of inescapable in today’s world, unfortunately. Come pretend that it isn’t would certainly be, frankly, disingenuous.
Oh, and also if you’re wondering why you never actually view a wasp corpse inside her figs it’s because an enzyme completely digests the bad blighter. The crunchy bits room seeds, thankfully!
Okay, now that’s out of the way, ~ above the next question…
Fresh or dried?
Both figs and dates can be consumed in either dried or new form, although finding castle fresh might be nigh on difficult at details times of the year in some components of the world.
Fresh figs are fragile things, therefore you’ll frequently see slight imperfections once shopping because that them. Provided they aren’t break-up or oozing, they’ll it is in fine. In fact, a slight wrinkle come the fig’s skin is in reality a good sign of ripeness, for this reason opt because that those over the shinier, more firm looking fruits. Avoid any kind of that look too many shrivelled, though.
Fresh figs work particularly well in salads and also such, whereas your dried counterparts are frequently used together a snacking food fairly than one ingredient in recipes. The being said, dried figs deserve to be used for baking if wet first.
The very same rules apply to fresh and also dried dates, although soaking usually isn’t necessary. Fresh dates are not always easy come find, though, and not every dried days are equal. Shot and obtain the plumpest, shiniest fruits you have the right to find, as these will certainly be the freshest dried dates…if that provides sense!
Sometimes, dried days can be a small too dry and papery, therefore it’s worth being choosy. If friend can, offer them a tiny squeeze before you buy. While practically all dried days will be a bit wrinkly, they need to never it is in hard.
If you really want to take your fig and also date intake to the pro level, girlfriend could constantly consider purchasing a an excellent food dehydrator for residence use. These equipments are an excellent for making your very own dried fruits, veg, and even nuts.
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Are there different varieties of dates and also figs?
Yep, there certain are. Rather a few, in fact.
While you’ll frequently see the same ranges on store shelves, a little much more searching can bring a wider range the figs and dates. Let’s take a look at several of the sport you can come across:
Different species of dates
There are lots of different varieties of dates, but not numerous of them will certainly be easily accessible to purchase from consistent stores or also health food shops. Below, however, are several of the day varieties you may encounter:Amber
Much drier than others, Amber dates are often a many sweeter due to the fact that the herbal sugars have actually crystalized for this reason they hit the tastebuds through a punch. These cute small fruits likewise have a note of cinnamon about them, make them right for a variety of dessert dishes.Barhi
Not the largest date in the world, yet it’s absolutely one to try if you can uncover them. The Bahri day is an extremely soft and delicate, with a rich and also syrupy taste. Delicious one of two people in a difficult toffee pudding or on their own.Dayri
This is one because that the connoisseurs. Dayri days are quite big compared come other types of this fruit and also have delicate vanilla notes within your deep flavor. If you discover Medjool dates a tiny on the sweet side, try and hunt under some Dayri instead. You won’t it is in disappointed.Deglet noor
One the the most common dates around, Deglet Noor days are just on the dried side, however that functions in their favor. The chewy and sticky texture renders them an excellent for baking (think vegetables brownies) with and they taste just as a day should without being overly sweet.Halawy
Halawy dates are probably not the many attractive that the family, but they comprise for their wrinkly figure by offering you a really complete flavor. These days have more flesh than other varieties and also their taste is memory of caramel and honey. These are perfect come be consumed as lock are.Khadrawi
Khadrawi days (sometimes spelt Khadrawy) are not as sweet as countless other dates, but they’re extremely tasty, nonetheless. Widely concerned as among the finest varieties to eat fresh…if friend can gain them.Medjool
Possibly the finest of them all, Medjool days give girlfriend a little bit of everything – and leave girlfriend wanting more! These days fit what in the middle of the texture variety with a firm, however succulent, flesh and really sweet, affluent flavor. Medjool days are quite huge in comparison and also are easily accessible all year round.Thoory
Perfect because that baking, the Thoory date is sweet and also nutty with a rather dry, chewy texture and also firm skin. Regularly referred to together the “Bread Date”, these dates will most likely only be available in season.Zahidi
Last on our list of different types of days is the Zahidi. If the thoory is often called “bread date”, Zahidi dates take the moniker, “Butter Dates”. This nickname is thought to come from your lighter, gold color. One more date that’s an excellent for baking, Zahidi dates have huge seeds and very syrupy flesh. Even human being who don’t like dates like Zahidis!
Different species of fig
As through dates, the different varieties of fig the you have the right to buy will largely depend upon where you are in the world and also the time of year. While there are countless different varieties of fig available, the ones below are the most common:Adriatic
At very first glance, Adriatic figs don’t look lot like figs at all/ many of us are familiar with the darker varieties, so the light green/yellow shade can do you take it a 2nd glance. Adriatic figs are really sweet and can be eaten as lock come. The shade contrast in between their interior flesh and also external skin do them very attractive when slice and also presented on a pure white plate.Black mission
Probably one of the most typical fig arrays in the world, black color Mission figs are quite tiny and deliciously sweet. Their flesh is both sticky and smooth in ~ the very same time, and the many seeds include a welcome crunch to the experience. Black Mission figs can also be left to ripen more on their trees, and doing so improves their chewiness and also sugary flavor. I love this on optimal of vegetables waffles with a little maple syrup…delicious!Brown Turkey
The Brown Turkey fig is an outstanding specimen. Bigger than countless other different varieties of fig, the is practically pear-like in that is appearance and also has a milder flavor 보다 its cousins that renders it delightful in salads. Together their name suggests, the skin has actually a brownish hue and should be tender to the touch when choosing in store or in ~ your local farmer’s market. Tougher Brown Turkey figs are usually those which have been picked also soon, and also the resulting lack of flavor will leave friend disappointed.Calimyrna
Another the the greener variety, Calimyrna figs have a flavor all of their own and pair details well through a great nut cheese. Just like the Adriatic figs, the contrast between their inner and outer layers do them an extremely attractive when plated up together a simple dessert option. Shot them broiled if you like a gooey, super-sweet texture.Desert King
Another environment-friendly fig, the Desert King fig is an exceptional eat if left to ripen properly on the tree. Very sweet and also with a very strong aroma, Desert King figs are an ideal for use in a number of different dishes. Your texture is one that melts in the mouth fairly than being as well chewy, and also the irradiate strawberry shade of your insides make this a really attractive fruit come serve.Kadota
Kadota figs space not together sweet as some of the various other varieties that figs on ours list, but that doesn’t typical you should neglect them. Most likely the many effective way to enjoy these is to cook with them, yet they’re still great when eaten raw. Those who prefer their fruit to it is in smoother in texture will certainly appreciate this typical green fig.Sierra
This fig has actually only fight the step in the us over the last te or so, but boy has actually it captured on. The Sierra fig is on the bigger side when compared to the rather here and also they don’t have as lot of a pronounce teardrop characteristic either. Sierra figs are quite mild and creamy, yet still sweet, which renders them perfect because that breakfast dishes.
Why friend should include dates and figs in her diet
If you’re not already eating dates and figs, you really should think about incorporating them into your diet. If the involves over furustos levels space understandable, there space some amazing wellness benefits to be had. Below are simply a few:
The health benefits of dates
They may be high in fructose, yet they’ve acquired plenty of great things going for them too. Dates have been displayed to enhance our health and wellness in a variety of different ways, providing we consume castle in moderation.
Here are several of the main health and wellness benefits that dates:1. Great for her bones
If you space looking to enhance your bone health, days may be wonderful thing to add to your diet. These tiny brown nuggets are rich in copper, manganese, and also magnesium, all of which are good for bone health and keeping conditions such as osteoporosis in ~ bay. Vitamin K is likewise present in dates, i beg your pardon can help coagulate the blood and metabolize ours bones.2. Great source of protein
Dates room a decent means to obtain a little an ext protein, so they’re the perfect sweetener for her post-workout, whey-free smoothie (check out our finest rated Ninja blender evaluate to gain yourself a an excellent machine if girlfriend haven’t already). Throwing a pair of dates into her blender can give you a herbal protein rise that’s far much better for you than any type of synthetic powder.3. Far better digestive health
High in dietary fiber, days give the body what it needs to, err, get things moving. This improved transit can help lower LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) absorption and also may additionally increase her body’s ability to rid itself of major toxins together they bind to the fiber together it passes v the colon.4. Happy heart
Vitamin B6, magnesium, and also potassium room all great heart healthy nutrients, and you can find them every in dates. If they space by no way a silver bullet, dates can give your body a boost as just an oz of this wrinkly fruit will administer around 3 to 5 percent of every nutrient.5. Much better blood pressure
The exact same three nutrients outlined over can also aid with blood pressure issues too. Potassium in details is thought to be very beneficial because that blood press levels together it can help offset the result of salt in the body.6. An important vitamin A
Dates provide you a healthy and balanced does that vitamin A, too. This is essential for healthy skin and also can also assist protect her eyes and mucus membranes. Not just that, vitamin A likewise plays an essential role in protecting the body from details forms that cancer.7. Inflammation protection
The phenolic ingredient of day palm fruits and also their antioxidant tasks are thought to administer the body with feasible protection versus oxidative stress and also inflammation in the brain, which can prove to be valuable for neurological illness like Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and Alzheimer’s.
The health benefits the figs
You’ve more than likely gathered by now that ns think these small beauties are pretty amazing, yet if you still require convincing here are a couple of good reasons you need to start falling because that figs too.
By the way, the nutritional file of figs actually enhances when they’ve to be dried, however don’t allow that put you off of new figs; both room amazing and also contain many healthful antioxidants which can assist your body assist itself. Just remember, moderation is important due to the fact that of the high levels of fructose.
Here some of the main health and wellness benefits of figs:1. Herbal prebiotics
Figs are good providers of organic prebiotics i beg your pardon can assist promote the expansion of advantageous microorginisms currently found in ~ the cradle tract, which in turn enhances your gut flora and overall health and also wellbeing. Prebiotics are additionally thought to help the body combat invading pathogens, which may reduce the possibilities of bowel infections.2. Far better insulin regulation
Like dates, figs space high in both magnesium and potassium. This provides them great at regulating insulin levels within the body, i beg your pardon may assist lower the hazard of contracting diabetes.3. Glorious hair
Ever wonder why so many hair care products save on computer fig extracts? Well, figs are full of useful nutrients (vitamin C, copper, zinc, and also magnesium) that deserve to actually stem hair loss, promote hair growth, and aid rehydrate your locks, too.4. Fabulous skin, too
Rich in antioxidants, figs can help rid the body of toxins that might adversely influence the problem of your skin. Similarly, your high fiber content will certainly also assist your body decoding itself naturally.5. Calcium kings
Figs room an amazing plant-based way to get an ext calcium right into your diet. Just an oz of dried figs can give you about 5% of her recommended everyday value. Just one solitary solitary dried fig will nearly match the calcium levels found in an egg!6. Easy estrogen buster
Having too much estrogen in our body is no a great thing, yet figs can help. They are one of the finest estrogen inhibiting foods items you deserve to eat, for this reason if you’ve to be told through your medical professional that your levels room a tiny high, a couple of figs a job could aid rebalance your body and improve your wellness.
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While there’s still more research to it is in done, plenty of scientists are excited through the cancer fighting properties found within figs. One examine has discovered that details elements found within Ficus carica are actually toxicity to a number of cancer cabinet lines discovered in humans. Here’s hoping additional studies lead united state to a better understanding of the condition and a future cure.
Dates vs figs: Nutritional information
Let’s take it a closer look in ~ the nutritional profile of dates and figs: