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Sep 17, 2022
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Interesting facts about figs

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Welcome to our website, dear readers. The fig, also known as the common fig tree (Ficus carica), is a ficus fruit native to the Middle East. Although there are other varieties of ficus, Ficus carica is exactly the famous “fig” that we can see on store shelves. And it is believed that figs were one of the first plants that people began to cultivate. Its agricultural history spans at least 11,000 years.

And today we decided to take a closer look at this amazing plant. In the article we have collected the most interesting facts about figs.

#1

In a good climate, this tree produces two crops in a season: one in early summer, from last year’s buds, the second in autumn (which is the main crop), from those buds that grow in spring.

#2

The fig fruit is actually an inverted flower (known as a syconium). And because of its “inside-out” nature, this plant’s flowers cannot rely on conventional pollination methods such as wind or insect pollination (particularly bees). Its flowers, hidden inside the “fruit”, later turn into familiar figs – real fruits (there are a lot of them and each has its own bone). And the only insect capable of pollinating flowers located inside the shell is Blastophaga psenes. It is a tiny black wasp (known as the fig wasp), whose body size does not exceed 2 mm.

Number 3

All “fruits” of Ficus carica are divided into “boys” and “girls”. Fig wasps breed only in “boys”. When the female penetrates the male “fetus” (because of the narrow opening, she often loses her wings), she lays her eggs there. Due to the narrow opening, she cannot go back, which leads to her death. The eggs hatch into males and females. Males wake up earlier, fertilize sleeping females and gnaw passages to the outside, after which they die. Females, having got out (while capturing male pollen), begin to look for a new shelter where they can lay their eggs. It is at this time that the female “fruits” begin to exude a pleasant aroma that attracts females of Blastophaga psenes. They climb into the female “fruits” and carry pollen there. But there is no room in the female fetuses to lay eggs, so the females leave the fetus in search of a new shelter. So one female can visit several female “fruits” before she finds a male one and lays her eggs there.

#4

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Many fear that wasps and their larvae live in edible fruits. As we noted above, wasps do not lay eggs in female “fruits” (and we only eat female “fruits”). But even if the female climbs into the fig and cannot get out of it, she will die and be completely split by the juice. Therefore, there is no trace of the wasp there.

#5

Fresh fruit is rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants such as carotenes, tannins, lutein, and chlorogenic acid, as well as antioxidant vitamins such as vitamins A, E, and K. Together, these phytochemicals help cleanse the body of harmful free radicals, thus protecting the human body from cancer, diabetes, degenerative diseases and infections.

It also contains more potassium than the famous bananas and more fiber than prunes.

#6

Just 100 grams of dried figs contain 162 milligrams of calcium. This is about 16% of the recommended intake for a person. The amount of calcium obtained from half a glass of milk can be obtained by eating just half a glass of figs.

#7

Figs, on an equal footing with grapes, are the fruit that contains the largest amount of sugar in its composition. 100 grams of grapes and figs contain about 16% sugar. Next in the list after grapes and figs in terms of sugar content are mango (14%), cherry (13%), banana (12%), pear (10%).

#8

Turkey ranks first in the world in terms of the production of this fruit. Turkey is followed by Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Iran.

#9

Some figs, such as those found in South Africa, have incredibly deep roots. The deepest roots (from those registered) reach 120 meters.

#10

There are rumors that the emperor Octavian Augustus (the founder of the Roman Empire) was poisoned by figs from his garden, which his wife Livia Drusilla smeared in poison.

#11

As we wrote earlier, Ficus carica, the only type of fig, the fruits of which we eat, is pollinated only by wasps of the species Blastophaga psenes. But there are other types of figs, which are also pollinated exclusively by their wasp species. For example, about 60 species of figs have been introduced in Hawaii. Only 4 species of pollinating wasps were introduced to them. As a result, only 4 species out of 60 species took root in this US State, since the rest were simply not pollinated.

#12

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It was used by athletes as a training food at the first Olympic Games. It is also the first Olympic “medal” as it was awarded to the winners of the Greek Olympic Games.

#13

In some countries, dried discarded figs are roasted and ground. It is then used as a coffee substitute. In Mediterranean countries, its low-grade fruits are turned into alcohol to add flavor to alcoholic beverages.

#14

Due to its high alkalinity, this fruit can reduce the desire to smoke, which is why it is recommended for people who are struggling with this bad habit.

#15

In addition to nutrition, a person uses this fruit in the pharmaceutical industry, for the production of creams, lotions, etc.

#16

The Bodhi Tree is the legendary tree in Uruvella Grove, under which Gautama attained enlightenment and became a Buddha while meditating. This is a tree of the species Ficus religiosa (Ficus sacred). The Bodhi tree is a direct relative of our fig. This concludes our article, dear readers. Thank you for paying attention to our site.

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