benefits of figs

Longevity Secret #1: Eat Figs, Glorious Figs

This health food is a favorite on a Greek island where life expectancy is unusually high.

benefits-figsPhotograph By Diane Kochilas

Editor's Note: Diane Kochilas, author of Ikaria, is sharing a series of longevity tips popular on the Greek island "where people forget to die."

On Ikaria, the island of longevity, where people "forget to die", figs play an important part in the local diet. They are one of nature's late-summer, nutrition-packed gifts and, dried, are an important food in winter. 

For a few short weeks, we enjoy them fresh. One of my greatest childhood pleasures was to scurry about my Aunt Mary's garden, twisting off figs straight from the tree. She used to berate me for not peeling them, but to me they were delicious skin and all—and still are. (Try growing your own fig tree!)

Dried figs are equally, if not more, significant in the local diet, a staple food that people prepared in the summer and consumed in the winter. Figs are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin B6, and minerals such as potassium, copper, and manganese. They are one of the world's healthiest foods, and I dare say, its healthiest sweet! 

More From Rodale News: 5 Recipes for Healthy, Yummy Fruit Bars

On Ikaria, dried figs are sprinkled with antioxidant-rich oregano when stored, which has a dual purpose: to stave off bugs and to add an extra layer of flavor and nutrition to this already delicious, totally natural food. (An added bonus? Figs contain natural pain-relieving compounds.)

Check our Ikaria Longevity Secret #2!


Published on: August 19, 2014

More from our Authors

Learn the culinary secrets of Ikaria, the beautiful island where people live so long, it's been dubbed "the place people forget to die."
Start Your Wellness Journey!
Sign up for updates on Rodale Wellness and get your FREE wellness journal to help you find your path to vibrant health. Click here to start your unique journey!

Free Newsletter
Sign up for our FREE newsletters to stay up to date on all of our wellness news.

  The Daily Fix
Useful news and practical tips to help you live a healthy life on a healthier planet.

  Wellness in Action
Find your path to vibrant health, and get your free wellness journal as our thanks!

You may unsubscribe at any time.

Your Privacy Rights. About Us.