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In season now: Figs

Thought to be native to Western Asia or Egypt, figs were cultivated very early throughout the Middle East and Europe and finally reached England and China by the mid-1500s. 

Spanish missionaries planted orchards in California, where they still thrive today. The priests at Mission San Diego originally planted figs in California in 1769. This is how the dark purple fig became known as the “mission fig.”

The early Olympic athletes used figs as a training food. Figs were also presented as laurels to the winners, becoming the first Olympic “medal.”

In Roman times figs were considered to be restorative. They were believed to increase the strength of young people, to maintain the elderly in better health and to make them look younger with fewer wrinkles. –Pliny (52-113 AD).

Figs are high in fiber and a good source of several essential minerals, including magnesium, manganese, calcium (which promotes bone density), copper, and potassium (which helps lower blood pressure), as well as vitamins, principally K and B6. Whether fresh or dried, figs contain powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals in your body and fight disease.

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