Are you confused about dates and figs? Then you're not alone because their sizes, shapes, and sweetness are almost identical to my perspective. To set a clear distinction between these two fruits (dates vs. figs), we'll compare their nutritional values, health benefits, and more characteristics.
I am adamant to search for the differences between dates and figs after I made a blunder in buying dates instead of figs. My frustration led me to explore the two fruits further. To help those who like to know the difference between the two fruits, I'll share the results of my research below.
Dates Vs Figs: Description
Dates are traditional fruits that were believed to be part of the staple food for the Babylonians way back 8,000 years ago. There are about eight varieties including Medjool. Dayri, and Deglet Noor. Colors may range from black, red, and yellow, but brown is the most common.
While dates originated from Iraq, figs came from Western Asia. Figs have more varieties which total to 15 including Alma, Adriatic, and Black Mission. Colors may differ from red, green, and purple.
Both fruits can be bought either fresh or dried, and they have a sweet taste. When ripened, dates are dark brown in color while figs transform to green or greenish-purple. Dates have a rich, somewhat chewy texture while figs are remarkably luscious with a delicate aroma.
Outside, fresh figs don't have the sheen and stickiness of dates. Inside, figs have hundreds of little seeds which are held by the soft fibrous flesh. On the other hand, dates have a firm, inedible pit which you need to get rid before eating the flesh that encloses it.
Dates Vs Figs: Nutrition
Based on the nutritional data shown by SkipThe Pie.org, dates have higher contents of calories, protein, and carbohydrates. In terms of vitamin content, dates offer more vitamin A, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folate, and choline. On the other hand, figs are better sources of vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and thiamin.
In terms of minerals, dates have higher concentrations of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. Although figs have lower mineral content, they have selenium which dates lack. Figs contain more water, while dates contain more dietary fiber.
So taking everything into consideration, it's safe to say that dates are better sources of vitamins. Although figs have lower amounts of minerals than dates, they provide more amounts of essential minerals as they offer selenium. If you're on a diet, figs could be a better choice because they have lower sugar, carbohydrates, and sugar.
Dates Vs Figs: Health Benefits
Both dates and figs can help prevent constipation, heart disease, and cancer. However, dates offer more health benefits than figs. Such additional health benefits include improvement of muscular strength, prevention of nerve damage, treatment of diarrhea, prevention of nerve damage, stronger bones, and treatment of gastrointestinal problems.
On the other hand, figs offer additional health benefits such as controlling blood pressure, increasing hemoglobin, preventing macular degeneration, and relief of nervous tension.
In terms of skin benefits, dates can provide anti-aging benefits as well as reduction of wrinkles, treatment of skin diseases, and lighten skin complexion. Like dates, figs can also brighten and lighten your complexion, plus it can treat acne, hydrate and rejuvenate the skin.
Selecting The Best Dates And Figs
In selecting the freshest dates, look for ones that are plump and dewy with shiny skins. Dried dates should not appear shriveled, although they're a little wrinkly, and they should still be shiny with a smooth color.
You can store fresh dates in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about seven days while dried dates can be placed in an airtight container in a cool, dark place for not more than a year.
You can learn how to choose and store dates in this video here.
In buying for the best figs, choose those that are plump and feel soft without bruises on the skin. Fresh figs should have a faint bloom and no sour smell.
For proper storage, wrap each ripe fig loosely with kitchen paper and store in the refrigerator for up to two days of purchase. If you've bought some unripened figs, let them ripe outside at room temperature.
Dates and figs are almost identical because of their very sweet taste. However, they differ concerning nutrition and health benefits. While dates can provide more vitamins, figs can give you more minerals. Even if dates can give more health benefits, figs are lower in calories, carbohydrates, and sugar.
Have you tried eating dates or figs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. If you like this article, don't hesitate to share it on your social media.