How Figs Can Help You Gain Weight in a Healthy Way

Figs Benefits For Weight Gain

For those struggling to gain weight, figs may be an unexpected but highly beneficial superfood. Often overshadowed by other fruits, the humble fig packs a nutritional punch that supports healthy weight gain while delivering an array of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Calorie-dense yet nutrient-rich, figs have been used for centuries to promote strength and fertility. Their unique nutritional profile makes them an excellent choice for people aiming to put on pounds in a nourishing way.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore how incorporating figs into your diet can be an asset for weight gain goals. From their macro and micronutrients to their potential medicinal effects, figs are a whole food worth considering.

Figs Benefits For Weight Gain

How Figs Can Help You Gain Weight in a Healthy Way

Here are some key benefits of figs for weight gain in brief:
  1. High in Calories: Figs are dense in calories, providing around 80-100 calories per 3-4 figs, making them an excellent energy-dense food for weight gain.
  2. Rich in Carbohydrates: Figs are primarily composed of carbohydrates, which are essential for energy production and weight gain.
  3. Good Source of Dietary Fiber: Despite being high in carbs, figs also contain soluble and insoluble fiber, which can aid digestion and nutrient absorption.
  4. Contain Protein: Figs provide a small amount of plant-based protein, which can contribute to muscle growth and repair.
  5. Provide Vitamins and Minerals: Figs are rich in vitamins like B6, K, and minerals like potassium, manganese, and copper, essential for overall health.
  6. Easy to Incorporate: Figs can be eaten fresh, dried, or added to various dishes, making it convenient to include them in a weight gain diet plan.
Overall, the high calorie, carbohydrate, and nutrient content of figs, combined with their ease of consumption, make them a beneficial addition to a weight gain diet.

The Nutrient Profile of Figs

Figs are low in saturated fat yet provide a concentrated source of calories, carbs, fiber and various essential vitamins and minerals. Here's a breakdown of the key nutrients in just 1 cup (144g) of raw figs:
  • Calories: 186
  • Carbs: 50g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Vitamin B6: 19% DV
  • Copper: 23% DV
  • Manganese: 16% DV
  • Magnesium: 13% DV
  • Potassium: 12% DV
  • Thiamine: 11% DV
As you can see, figs are loaded with energizing carbs, bone-building minerals like magnesium, copper and manganese, plus antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids. This nutrient symphony is ideal for supporting healthy weight gain.

Healthy, Complex Carbs for Energy

The high carb content of figs makes them an excellent energy source, especially for those aiming to gain weight through increased calorie intake.
With 50g of complex carbohydrates in just one cup, figs provide ample fuel for both physical and mental activity. Complex carbs are digested more slowly than simple carbs, leading to prolonged energy release over time.
Additionally, the rich fiber content in figs contributes to that feeling of fullness and satiety, which can help discourage overeating and unhealthy snacking between meals.

Ample Calories for Weight Gain

At nearly 200 calories per cup, figs offer one of the most concentrated calorie sources of all fruits and vegetables. Packing that energy punch into such a portable, naturally sweet package makes figs an ideal snacking companion for those aiming to increase calorie intake.
Dried figs are even higher in calories, with just 1/3 cup providing nearly 250 calories. The drying process removes moisture but concentrates sugars, minerals and fiber. Paired with a source of protein like yogurt or nuts, dried figs can become an incredibly effective compact calorie bomb.

High in Bone-Boosting Minerals

Gaining muscle and weight puts additional demands on our skeletal structure, which is where the mineral content of figs becomes so valuable. Figs are particularly rich in bone-supporting macrominerals like:
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Copper
Adequate magnesium intake helps bones better absorb and metabolize the calcium and phosphorus they need to grow and stay strong. Meanwhile, copper is essential for healthy bone metabolism and structure.
The manganese in figs helps activate enzymes responsible for building bone cartilage and connective tissue. Together, these minerals promote strong, resilient bones capable of handling the demands of increased weight loads.

Full of Energy-Boosting Vitamins

Beyond carbs and minerals, figs contain vitamins that are crucial for transforming the food you eat into usable energy and muscle:
  • Vitamin B6 aids protein and carb metabolism
  • Folate is involved in energy production from amino acids
  • Thiamine activates enzymes required for cellular energy
Vitamins B6, folate and thiamine are necessary cofactors in the process of converting protein, fats and carbohydrates into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the fuel that powers every cell in your body. More fuel means more energy available to build new muscle tissue.

Rich in Antioxidants

Despite being energy-dense, figs also deliver a wide range of antioxidants like vitamin C, polyphenols and flavonoids that may provide health benefits beyond just weight gain.
While not necessarily linked directly to gaining weight, these antioxidants do protect cells from oxidative stress and inflammation that can hinder your fitness progress. Some preliminary research even suggests fig antioxidants may:
  • Improve insulin sensitivity
  • Relax blood vessels
  • Reduce LDL cholesterol
Minimizing cellular damage through antioxidant intake creates an optimal environment for muscle growth and recovery. So while weight gain may be the primary goal, figs still support whole-body health.

Fiber to Ease Digestive Issues

One of the biggest challenges of significantly increasing food intake for weight gain is digestive discomfort like gas, bloating and constipation. The high fiber content of figs can help ease these issues.
A single cup of fresh figs provides 7g of fiber - almost 30% of the recommended daily intake. This combination of soluble and insoluble fiber helps improve stool consistency and promotes regularity, relieving constipation.
Fiber also feeds the beneficial gut bacteria of the microbiome, supporting healthy digestion, immune function and even nutrient absorption. For those looking to gain weight through increased food intake, fiber becomes even more crucial.

Potential Medical Benefits of Figs

Beyond macronutrients, scientific evidence suggests some intriguing potential benefits of eating figs as part of your weight gain diet:
  1. Improved insulin sensitivity: Studies demonstrate fig polyphenols like psoralens may enhance insulin sensitivity and glucose control.
  2. Cholesterol reduction: Figs contain pectin, a soluble fiber linked to lower total and LDL cholesterol levels.
  3. Blood pressure support: Potassium and antioxidant compounds in figs may help stabilize blood pressure.
  4. Anti-inflammatory properties: Anti-inflammatory effects of fig chemicals like benzaldehyde may ease inflammatory conditions.
  5. Healthier body composition: Animal trials hint at less abdominal fat accumulation when figs are incorporated into a high-calorie diet.
While more human clinical trials are still needed, figs appear to offer unique metabolic advantages on top of being weight-gain boosters.

How to Enjoy Figs for Weight Gain

Thanks to their versatility, figs can be seamlessly incorporated into virtually any meal or snack to help increase your daily calorie intake:
  1. Bake figs into high-calorie protein muffins or breads
  2. Chop and mix dried figs into homemade granola or trail mixes
  3. Blend fresh or dried figs into nutrient-dense smoothies
  4. Top figs on a bowl of high-protein oatmeal with nuts and nut butter
  5. Make a fresh fig jam or spread to enjoy with crackers or toast
  6. Sauté figs with onions and toss with pasta or pizza
  7. Pan fry figs in olive oil and serve with yogurt or ice cream
Whenever you need a calorie boost, figs give you a sweet and satisfying way to squeeze in extra nourishment.
The key when gaining weight is to pair figs with sources of lean protein like Greek yogurt, eggs, milk or nut butters. Combining the carbs of figs with protein encourages greater muscle growth while minimizing fat accumulation as you increase calories.

Choosing and Storing Figs

Fresh figs are highly perishable, so choose plump, soft specimens without any bruising or cuts. For best quality and longevity, enjoy fresh figs within 2-3 days of purchase.
Dried figs offer a longer shelf life and retain all the nutrient density while keeping calories highly concentrated. Look for no preservatives or added sugars, just 100% dried figs.
Once at home, fresh figs will stay fresh longer when stored in the refrigerator. Try to consume dried figs within a few months.

The Bottom Line
Offering a potent source of energy-dense carbs, hunger-satisfying fiber and a constellation of muscle-building minerals, figs are an ideal superfood for safely gaining weight in a healthy, nourishing way.
Whether you blend them into smoothies, bake them into snacks or enjoy them fresh from the stems, figs give you a portable way to sneak in additional calories while also benefiting from their antioxidants and potential therapeutic effects.
Just be sure to incorporate figs as part of an overall balanced diet with sufficient protein for muscle growth. By combining the natural power of figs with exercise, you'll be able to gain pounds of lean mass through quality calorie sources.