Figs vs Dates – Health Benefits, Nutrition Facts, Side Effects


The fig tree is part of the mulberry family, native to Western and Middle East Asia. In the present day, they are cultivated throughout the world, especially in Turkey, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Iran, Algeria, and Tunisia.

Nutrition Facts

They are high in dietary fiber and an excellent source of several essential vitamins and minerals, including manganese, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), magnesium, pantothenic acid, vitamin K, vitamin E, iron, copper, calcium, and potassium.

Health Benefits

Reduced LDL Cholesterol

Low-density lipoproteins, better known as “bad cholesterol,” can build up in the arteries and lead to life-threatening health problems, such as – stroke and heart attack.

This fruit contains pectin, a type of soluble fiber. When soluble fiber moves through the digestive tract, it absorbs excess clumps of LDL cholesterol and transports them to the excretory system in order to be removed from the body.


According to the National Institute of Diabetes, more than 70 million people in the United States are affected by some type of digestive disease. Antibiotics kill good bacteria (unfortunately) along with harmful bacteria, frequently leading to cramping, gas, or diarrhea. Probiotics can help offset the bacterial problems caused by the use of antibiotics.

This remarkable fruit contains prebiotics, that supports the pre-existing good bacteria in the large intestine, hence, improving overall digestive wellness.

Prevents Depression

About 300 million individuals, or more than 4% of the world population, were living with depression in 2016, which is actually an 18% increase over the last decade. This fruit contains good amounts of vitamin B6 which is responsible for producing serotonin, a chemical messenger which is passed between nerve cells and enhances your mood, therefore, preventing depression.


This severe condition occurs when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way. Some cancers may also spread to other tissues. With 338 people per 100,000 being diagnosed in 2012 with this medical condition, the highest cancer rate for women and men together was found in Denmark.

Some elements contained in these fruits are toxic to some types of human cancer cell lines, according to a study done by the Department of Natural Medicinal Chemistry, China.

Side Effects

There are no scientifically proven side effects, however, overconsumption can cause stomach ache.


These fruits grow on a plant species with the botanical name of Phoenix dactylifera, that is a palm plant which originated near Iraq more than 8,000 years ago.

Nutrition Facts

Dates are an excellent source of energy, natural sugars, and dietary fiber. Moreover, they contain phosphorus, calcium, iron, sodium, magnesium, potassium, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), and vitamin K.

Health Benefits


They contain a good amount of antioxidants, that are used by the human body to help protect cell structure from free radical damage.

Free radicals have unpaired electrons in their outermost shell. Toxic chemicals from substances, such as – environmental radiation, pollution, cigarette smoke, can cause free radicals. Furthermore, an intake of toxic metals in the human body increases the activity of free radicals.

Prevention of Chronic Constipation 

Constipation refers to bowel movements that are hard to pass or infrequent. Chronic constipation is a difficult passage of stools or infrequent bowel movements which persists for a few weeks or longer. These are a good source of soluble fiber, a type of fiber that plays a vital role in promoting a comfortable passage of food through the intestinal tract as well as healthy bowel movements.


About 200 million individuals in the world suffer from osteoporosis. Also, more than 30 percent of all postmenopausal women have this condition in the European Union and the United States.

The high amounts of essential minerals found in these fruits make them superstars when it comes to bone health. They are also good at fighting off debilitating and painful bone diseases, such as – osteoporosis.

More importantly, according to studies, fewer hours of sitting daily and higher levels of moderate physical exercise, leisure time, and household chores are linked to a considerably lower risk of hip fracture.

Reduces Total Cholesterol

Raised total and LDL cholesterol is a leading cause of disease burden in both the developing and developed world as a high-risk factor for stroke and ischemic heart disease (a serious condition when the coronary arteries become narrowed – mainly by cholesterol – by a build-up of fatty material within their walls).

When you regularly consume these fruits, you increase your dietary fiber intake (plus they are cholesterol-free, unlike meat, dairy products, and eggs) which, in turn, can notably lower LDL and total cholesterol naturally.

Side Effects

There are no scientifically proven side effects.

Figs vs Dates – Which Have A Better Nutritional Profile?

Both these dried fruits are nutritious and healthy but figs win this contest due to their higher content of iron, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, and manganese.

Images credit – Shutterstock

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