Legend has it that eating a fresh fig while naked, in front of a woman, is one of the world’s most erotic acts. (I cannot vouch for this, since I’m not in the habit of eating naked in front of other women.) But, as the story goes, when a fig is split down the center and cradled in your palm, its pink flesh is said to resemble a woman’s sweet unmentionables. This is only one of the weird and wonderful benefits of figs.
Figs in history and literature
It is perhaps the allure of the fig’s pink flesh that has captivated poets, authors and artists for many centuries. One of my favorite examples involves one of literature’s dirtiest birds, author D. H. Lawrence. His poem, entitled “Figs,” is dedicated entirely to what he views as the erotic powers of this one summer fruit.
Another interesting note that may lead to the fig’s allure, some historians suspect that the fig’s original home was the Garden of Eden. And so, this belief follows that the fig was the original temptress, the true forbidden fruit. (Of course, there are others who say the true fruit of temptation is the pomegranate, so I’m not sure how much weight this line of thought holds.)
Some health benefits of figs
But even those who still cling to the myth of the apple (or the pomegranate) find the fig’s charms to be undeniable. However, I for one believe that there’s more to the fig’s historic reputation as aphrodisiac than their slight resemblance to a lady’s most secret parts.
From a nutritional standpoint, the benefits of figs are impressive. The fruit is a fine source of magnesium and potassium. Both of these minerals are essential to sexual performance. And, according to the USDA’s Food Data Central, a single fig also offers a healthy dose of vitamins K, B6, copper and iron.
Figs are also a source of fiber. And while that may not sound sexy, dietary fiber is key not only to maintaining a healthy weight and heart health but also to helping you feel your most sexy. Dried figs are higher in fiber than fresh figs. But there are a few things to consider before you choose the benefits of figs that are dried over fresh. Dried figs are remarkably higher in calories and sugar than the fresh fruit.
Can figs treat erectile dysfunction?
One study, published a few years ago, offers a theory that fig may directly aid in treating erectile dysfunction. However the study included extracts from three plants and it is difficult, from the research provided, to determine if one of the plants was the effective agent in improving male sexual performance, or if it was the combination.
So while we may not know if the benefits of figs includes treating erectile issues, we do know that figs are sexy both in reputation and their plush texture and velvety skin. But fig season is short, so be sure to enjoy these gifts of nature while you can…and be prepared for some positive effects on your sex life!
Need some fresh ideas for serving figs? Here are a few of my favorite fig recipes.
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