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Are Figs Low FODMAP? (Bad News?)

Following a diet low in FODMAPs can be tricky, especially in the beginning stages. You have to strictly eliminate a lot of foods, as they contain a low of FODMAPs – indigestible carbs that can trigger digestive system issues in people with IBS.

Many fruits contain a lot of carbs, including FODMAPs, which means they should be limited on a low FODMAP diet. Luckily, small portions of most fruits should be well-tolerated by people with IBS.

For example, figs are high in carbs and sugars. But how low or high are they in FODMAPs? Can you have figs on a low FODMAP diet?

Are Figs Low FODMAP?

Fresh figs are considered a high-FODMAP fruit that should be avoided, especially at the beginning stages of switching to a low FODMAP diet. This is because they are high in fructose, which is a type of FODMAP bad for people with IBS.

Luckily, smaller servings of fresh figs are allowed on a diet low in FODMAPs at the later stages. If you consume them in small quantities, you can get a lot of health benefits from this delicious fruit.

How high in FODMAPs are figs?

Fresh figs are rather high in fructose, which is a type of FODMAP that can trigger and worsen the symptoms of IBS. 

Because of that, experts recommend avoiding fresh figs, particularly in the beginning stages of starting a low FODMAP diet.

Later on, you might be perfectly fine with consuming small servings of fresh figs – about one teaspoon. According to experts at Monash University, this serving shouldn’t trigger any IBS-related symptoms.

Can you eat figs on a low FODMAP diet?

In moderation, figs are allowed on a low FODMAP diet as long as you’re being mindful about the serving sizes. This is important since it’s very easy to overdo it.

If you consume servings of about 2/3 of one fresh fig, you should be perfectly OK and avoid any IBS-related issues. So, keep your portions small to avoid any digestive system problems.

Are canned figs low in FODMAPs?

Canned figs might be acceptable for a low FODMAP diet, depending on the way they’re canned. For example, avoid choosing figs canned in heavy syrups.

This kind is high in fructose and added sugars, which trigger IBS symptoms. So, these should be avoided altogether.

On the other hand, choosing figs canned in water or regular brine should be OK for everyone with IBS. But still, make sure to stick to a small serving.

Are dried figs low in FODMAPs?

Dried figs are OK for a low FODMAP diet in small servings. If you consume a serving of 20 grams (about 2/3 of a dried fig), you shouldn’t experience any negative digestive system issues.

But it’s easy to overdo it, so make sure to stick to this serving. This is important as anything more than that contains a lot more fructans, which are a type of FODMAPs.

Are figs good for you?

Figs contain several powerful nutrients that can contribute to good health. For example, a single fig (64 grams) contains 1.9 grams of fiber – about 7% of your daily need for this nutrient.

The fiber found in figs helps feed the ‘good’ gut bacteria in your digestive system. It also prevents constipation and helps food pass through your digestive tract.

So, it’s beneficial to consume foods containing this type of fiber.

In addition, figs are a good source of vitamin B6. This micronutrient helps improve mood and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. It also promotes brain health and aid in the production of hemoglobin.

Vitamin B6 has also been shown to help treat nausea during pregnancy. So, it might be beneficial to up your intake of foods containing this vitamin.

Fresh figs also contain high levels of copper. This mineral helps your body form red blood cells. It also aids in the maintenance of bone, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function.

Copper is also important for iron absorption, which lowers your risk of anemia. So, it’s important to consume copper-rich foods for good health.

Figs also contain smaller amounts of other micronutrients, including vitamin K, potassium, and manganese. 

These minerals are important for your health for several reasons. For example, vitamin K helps ensure proper wound healing and blood clotting. Potassium helps offset the negative effects of dietary sodium on your blood pressure.

Finally, manganese helps your body create connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones. 

So, since mineral deficiencies can be common these days, eating mineral-rich foods is incredibly beneficial.

Plus, figs are especially rich in antioxidants – plant compounds that have protective effects on your health. These plant compounds, called polyphenols, help prevent oxidative damage and stress to your cells.

As a result of that, you’re at a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic health conditions.

Several studies also show that eating figs can improve the health of your cardiovascular system. The compounds found in this fruit have the ability to lower your blood pressure, decreasing your risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Eating figs can also improve the levels of ‘good’ cholesterol while decreasing the levels of the ‘bad’ kind. So, you’re also at a lower risk of heart disease, among other issues.

Even though figs contain quite a lot of sugar, eating them actually doesn’t raise your blood sugar levels, as long as you eat them in moderation. This is because figs have a rather low glycemic index when eaten sparingly.

So, there are many benefits to including figs in your diet.

Conclusion

Fresh figs are very high in FODMAPS, so they should be avoided at the beginning of starting a low FODMAP diet.

Later on, you might be able to tolerate smaller amounts of fresh figs, but start slowly and check how your body’s reacting.

Consuming small quantities of figs can help you load up on several nutrients and antioxidants that help you stay healthy.

But as with everything, make sure to consume figs as part of a healthy, balanced diet. 

Sources: Nutrition Data and National Library of Medicine