Bonus! – Weird Fig Facts

BONUS POLLINATION FACTS!

  • Fig WaspSince the fig flowers are on the inside of the fig, most figs need to be pollinated by a fig wasp!
  • Female fig wasps implant themselves inside of either the male or female edible fig, both of which grow on the same plant. No matter what gender the fig, the wasp will pollinate it. Inside a male fig, the wasp will lay her eggs. But if she lands in a female fig, she will be unable to lay her eggs and eventually dies. Regardless of the figs gender after pollination the wasp dies and decomposes inside the fruit!
  • Figs contain an enzyme called ficin, which essentially digests the wasp, making it a part of the fruit.

Fig 5HOWEVER!! This wasp is not native to the US! So how are our figs pollenated? They aren’t. In the case of common figs, the flowers are all female and need no pollination. :D This is called parthenogenesis meaning without pollination.

There are 3 other types of figs trees besides the common fig.

  • The Capri fig, has male and female flowers requiring visits by the tiny wasp.
  • The Smyrna fig, needing cross-pollination by Capri figs in order to develop normally.
  • The San Pedro fig, which is intermediate, its first crop is independent like the common fig, and it’s second crop is dependent on pollination.

I found this part of learning about figs to be ultimately fascinating. I hadn’t studied figs, and learning about them was by far one of the most interesting things I’ve learned of late. Hope you enjoyed it too.

More About Figs

     Fun Facts About Figs

  • Fig 7Figs can help prevent cancer!
  • Figs can help reduce cholesterol
  • Figs can help prevent high blood pressure and heart attacks!
  • Figs can help cure diabetes!
  • Figs can help reduce fatigue, improve brain memory and prevent anemia!
  • Figs are very helpful in treating chronic constipation!
  • Fig 2Daily consumption of figs is an effective treatment for hemorrhoids!
  • Figs are naturally helpful in killing pathogens, fungus’ and virus’ in the human body!
  • Figs are rich in dietary fiber, making them very effective in weight loss programs!
  • Figs are rich in calcium and are an excellent source for those allergic to dairy products!
  • Figs calcium and potassium content helps prevent bone thinning and helps increase bone density!
  • Fig 3Figs have tryptophan which induces good sleep and helps get rid of sleep disorders like insomnia!
  • Baked figs, when applied to skin, can cure inflammations like abscesses and ulcers!
  • Due to figs high water content, mashed figs act as an excellent skin cleanser and helps in preventing and curing acne!

Really Fun Facts!

  • Fig TartsFig trees have no blossoms on their branches! The blossoms are inside the fruit! The flowers produce the crunchy little edible seeds!
  • Figs are harvested according to nature’s clock, fully ripened and partially dried on the tree.
  • Figs naturally help hold in moisture in baked goods.
  • Fig puree can be used to replace fat in baked goods.
  • California produces 100% of the USA’s dried figs and 98% of the fresh figs.
  • Many believe that it was figs in the Garden of Eden with Adam and Eve, and not apples.
  • The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food.
  • Fig WreathFigs were presented as laurels to the Olympic winners making them the first Olympic “medal”!
  • In Roman times, figs were considered to be restorative, increasing the strength of young people and maintaining the elderly in better health and making them look younger with fewer wrinkles. ~ Pliny (52 – 113 AD)
  • Figs made their first commercial product appearance in 1892 with the introduction of Fig Newton’s cookies.
  • Eating ½ cup of figs has as much calcium as drinking ½ cup of milk!

The fig tree is a symbol of abundance, fertility and sweetness!

Fig Facts

Jesus and fig tree     HISTORICAL FIG FACTS

  • Figs can be traced back to the earliest times, being mentioned in the Bible and other ancient writings.
  • It is thought that figs were first cultivated in Egypt, then they spread to ancient Crete. Around the 9th BC century to ancient Greece.
  • Figs were held in high esteem by the Greeks they created laws forbidding the export of the best quality figs.
  • According to Roman myth, the wolf that nurtured the twin founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus, rested under a fig tree.
  • Black Mission FigsIn the 16th century figs were brought to the Western Hemisphere by the Spaniards.
  • In the late 19th century Spanish missions in San Diego California planted fig trees. This is how the black mission fig got its name!

HEALTH FACTS ABOUT FIGS

  • 100 g. of fresh figs provide only 74 calories & contain healthy soluble dietary fiber, minerals, vitamins and pigment anti-oxidants; contributing to optimum health and wellness!
  • Fresh fig fruits, (especially black mission) are good in poly-phenolic flavonoid anti-oxidants such as carotenes, lutein, and tannins, which detoxify cell damaging free radicals!
  • Fresh figs also have good levels of anti-oxidant vitamins: vitamins A, E and K!
  • FigsDried figs are an excellent source of minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc!
  • 100 g of dried figs contain 680 mg of potassium, 162 mg of calcium, and 2.03 mg of iron!

 

Quinoa Fun Facts

Quinoa isn’t a grain? What’s that you’re saying?!  Well, quinoa is a pseudo-grain, its not in the grain family at all. It is, in fact, a green! Like spinach!

spinachDid I just say quinoa is more like spinach than wheat? Why, yes. I did. And it’s true! Quinoa is a member of Chenopodiaceae Family (ken-oh-poh-dee-AY-see-ee), or in the common tongue, the Goosefoot family.

  • It’s in the same family classification as spinach, beets and swiss chard! So It’s a green!
  • After exercising, Quinoa’s potassium content helps pump body fluids from the bloodstream to your muscles, helping prevent cramping and the Vitamin B helps you recover faster!
  • It’s magnesium content helps fight migraines.
  • bluejayQuinoa has a natural bitter soapy-like coating called saponin. It keeps the birds away.
  • THE FOA tried to grow a strain without the resin, the birds ate it!
  • The Natives of south America used to save the resin and use it to wash their clothes and bathe.
  • oatmeal-heartQuinoa has twice as much fiber as oatmeal!
  • The saved resin can be used as a mild antiseptic and may cause mild eye irritation.
  • The FOA declared 2013 the international year of quinoa
  • NasaNASA provides Quinoa to it’s astronauts on long space trips because it keeps so well!

Fun Teff Facts

teff-bagged

One pound of teff grains can grow an acre of teff! VS 100 lbs or more of wheat to grow an acre of wheat.

  • Its name is assumed to be related to the world “lost” in Amharic – because of the tiny size of the the seeds
  • Teff requires 36 hours to sprout! The shortest of any grain!
  • Three thousand grains of teff weigh just one gram.
  • Teffs protein content (around 14%) is largely easily digested albumins (basically vegetable egg whites!)
  • Teff is thought to have originated in Ethiopia about 4000 – 1000 BC
  • Teff is fermented by a symbiotic yeast living in the soluble fiber on the grain’s surface (like the blush on grapes!)
  • Eragrostis tef (or Maskal Teff) borrows its scientific name from Greek, to mean “the grass of love” from eros – love, and agrostis – grass.
  • One pound of teff can produce up to one ton of grain in only 12 weeks
  • teff uses a type of photosynthesis called Carbon 4, which allows it to be most efficient in temperatures as high as those of the human body, as opposed to wheat whose optimal temperature is at 60 °F.
  • Teff was long believed to be high in iron, but recent tests have shown that its iron content comes from soil mixed with the grain after it’s been threshed on the ground. The grain itself is not unusually high in iron.
  • Many of Ethiopia’s famed long-distance runners attribute their energy and health to teff.