Common fig vs Prune - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison
Figs are lower in carbs and calories; however, figs have a higher glycemic index. Prunes, on the other hand, have a richer vitamin and mineral profile. Prunes are richer in copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, and vitamins K, B2, B6, and A.
Table of contents
Figs come in a variety of colors and sizes, and they are shaped like a pouch. It has a sweet taste and a soft interior packed with tiny seeds. Their sizes range from tiny to big pouch, with the most common colors being green and dark purple. They're from the Middle East and Western Asia.
Fig eating may be traced back to about 9000 BC, when fossils containing fig remains were discovered.
They were well-known fruits consumed in ancient Greece and Rome.
The fig tree is a dioecious tree, which means it has both a pollen-carrying and a seed-carrying tree. A certain wasp is required to transport pollen from one tree to another. However, with agricultural development, the wasp is no longer required to pollinate seed-bearing trees, eliminating the wasp from the tree's life cycle. As a result, the fig tree spread all over the world.
Prunes are dried plums, and plums were one of the first domesticated fruits in human civilizations. Their origin traces to eastern Europe and the Caucasus. Not all plums can be dried into prunes. A specific type of plums is required for this process which does not get fermented during the drying process. Prunes are also known as dried plums which were renamed by the FDA.
Figs have a shorter shelf life than prunes because they ripen sooner.
Figs may be eaten raw or dry, and they are also used to make jam.
Dried figs are used in various ways, including as a garnish or topper on European fusion salads.
The sugar and calorie content of fig jam must be considered while eating it.
Prunes have various usages in the culinary world. They are mostly eaten as they are, mixed in fruit, cereal, or oat bowls. They can be made into cookies, power shakes, and deserts. Prunes can be associated with meat. A fillet mignon with prune sauce is a gourmet European dish that has strong and rich flavors.
In this article, we will compare figs to prunes according to their difference in nutritional content, weight loss and diet effects, and health impacts.
Nutritional data comparison
In this part of the article, we are going to compare common figs and dried prunes. The nutritional content of dried prunes differs from that of common plums as they are dehydrated; their mass is mostly composed of macronutrients and micronutrients. As the data shows, in 100g of each fruit, 80g are water in figs, and 30g are water in dried prunes.
Prunes are higher in calories compared to figs. As mentioned above, the prunes are dried, they contain less water than figs. The difference in calories is 3.5 times more in prunes than figs.
The glycemic index of figs is double the glycemic index of prunes. Figs are categorized as medium glycemic index foods, whereas prunes are categorized as low glycemic index foods.
Prunes contain triple the amount of carbs compared to figs. Figs are lower in carbs. Prunes contain high amounts of carbs. However, it is important to note that the prune taken into consideration in this article is dried prune which is dehydrated. Most of its mass is macronutrients instead of water.
Prunes are richer in fibers compared to figs. Although the amount is not very high to satisfy daily requirements, overall, mixed with a balanced diet containing salads and fruits, prunes become complementary.
Prunes contain higher amounts of proteins. However, this amount is not very relevant for the recommended daily value.
Both prune and fig have negligible amounts of fats.
Prune has a richer mineral profile than fig. Prune is richer in copper, potassium, magnesium, iron, and manganese. The amounts of copper in prunes satisfy 31% of the recommended daily value, and the amount of potassium satisfies 22% of the recommended daily value.
Figs have a substandard mineral profile. All the minerals that are in figs do not satisfy even 10% of the recommended daily value.
Prunes have a diverse and rich vitamin profile. Prunes are richer in vitamin K, B2, B6, and A. the vitamin K amount of prunes is important as they satisfy 50% of the recommended daily value. Similar to their mineral profile, figs have a substandard mineral profile relative to prunes.
Diets and weight loss
Figs are suitable for weight loss, and it has proven to induce metabolism. Figs are known to satisfy a craving and reduce hunger. Meaning that if figs are eaten before a meal, it is more likely to feel fuller quicker.
On the other hand, prunes are packed with nutrients, mostly vitamins and minerals. Consuming prunes as part of an organized and planned diet plan helps reduce weight.
Both prunes and figs are recommended to be consumed as snacks instead of a chocolate bar or any other snack that is mostly made of refined and processed elements.
Figs and prunes can be consumed in vegan diets. They are recommended to be eaten as part of snacks or made into cookies or energy shakes.
Prunes and figs can also be associated with salads, or fig jam or prune compote can be eaten for breakfast. However, the amount of excess sugar should be monitored in these cases.
In moderation, figs are recommended in the keto diet; mostly dried figs or even fresh can be associated with a breakfast made with a low-carb toast and goat cheese.
Although the carbohydrate amount of prune is high, they are recommended to be consumed in lower amounts or even moderate amounts. This is mainly due to its laxative effect and gastrointestinal benefits. Thus the pros outweigh the cons. However, one must be careful of the amounts of sugars, mostly sorbitol, that are present.
Figs also have anti-diabetic effects due to Abscisic acid, a phytohormone found in figs. It was shown that after eating, glucose balance in the blood was better maintained in those who ingested abscisic acid compared to individuals who did not. Furthermore, it benefits reducing the insulin index, lowering the risks of developing insulin-resistant diabetes and type 2 diabetes. (1)
Prunes have anti-diabetic properties that increase insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin spikes and their long-term bad effects. Uncontrolled insulin spikes and glucose levels negatively affect the long run, increasing risks of metabolic disorders, diabetes, and obesity. Thus, controlling insulin sensitivity and levels has positive effects on the overall system. (2)
Although the fig itself does not have anti-tumor capabilities, fig latex and fig leaf components have been shown to have anti-tumor characteristics based on evidence. These include sitosterols, palmitoyl, and linoleyl. They can suppress cancer cell growth. (3)
Prunes reduce the risks of developing colon cancer; this is discussed further in the subsection of the digestive tract.
Luteolin, found in figs, has anti-inflammatory effects and functions as a neuroprotective agent. (4)
Polyphenols present in prunes have antioxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. These polyphenols induce macrophage performance in scavenging oxidative stress elements and free radicals. (5)
As mentioned in the subsection of cancer, fig latex has protective roles against stomach cancer cell lines. (6)
In addition to that, figs have anti-diarrheal, anti-secretory, antispasmodic, and anti-ulcer properties, which means figs have an overall benefit on the overall digestive system. (7)
Fibers and phenolic compounds present in prunes have positive effects on the gastrointestinal tract. They positively affect the gut microbiome and decrease the risks of colon cancer. In addition to that, prunes reduce constipation and control bowel movements. (8)
Fig extracts have positive effects on the cardiovascular system. Figs have antihypertensive properties. It was shown that fig extract could reduce high blood pressure in diabetic conditions. (9)
On the other hand, prunes have a cardioprotective role by reducing blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides and increasing HDL levels. This, in turn, helps protect against atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases. (10)
Comparison summary table
|Rich in minerals|
|Lower in glycemic index|
|Rich in vitamins|
|Lower in Sugar|
|Lower in Sodium|
|Lower in Saturated Fat|
|Lower in price|
|Lower in Cholesterol||Equal|
All nutrients comparison - raw data values
Which food is preferable for your diet?
|Low Fats diet|
|Low Carbs diet|
|Low Calories diet|
|Low glycemic index diet|