More than just a part of our annual Tu Bishvat platter, almonds and figs are recommended by Rambam as especially healthful and nutritional nourishments. Today, modern science has shown us why these foods are so valuable to a healthy diet.

Almonds, Nutritiously Rich

While all nuts are generally laden with calorie-rich essential fats,almonds are high in monounsaturated fats, the same type of health-promoting fats found in olive oil. Research at the King’s College in London suggested that “the fiber structure of almonds may block some of the fat from being absorbed, thereby reducing the calories available from almonds.” The researchers further claimed that because of this fibrous presence, the addition of as little as two servings of almonds a day will also help prevent the additional absorption of fats from other foods consumed throughout the day – thereby reducing general calorie consumption. Almonds also have a high concentration of protein. A quarter-cup contains 7.62 grams protein, whereas the typical egg contains 5.54 grams. Almonds are a good source of manganese, copper and B2, and one of the richest sources of vitamin E in a typical diet.

Figs, Laden with Minerals

Figs contain a remarkable 250 mg of calcium per 100 grams of fruit, compared to whole milk which only provides around 118mg. They also contain magnesium, copper, iron, phosphorus, vitamins A, B1 and B2, manganese and potassium, which helps regulate blood sugar levels. Dried figs contain omega 3, omega 6 and phenol, which are beneficial in reducing the risk of heart disease. Their high fiber content assists in the prevention of breast and colon cancers. Figs are a good source of potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure. The edible leaves of the fig tree have repeatedly been shown to have antidiabetic properties and can actually reduce the amount of insulin needed by persons with diabetes who require insulin injections.

Adding one or both of these wholesome products to your diet is an easy and tasty way to help promote overall good health and wellbeing.