By Colleen McTiernan

Hailing from one of the world’s oldest trees, the fig is often overlooked in American cuisine. While they are more commonly consumed dried, you can also find fresh figs when they are in season, which usually lasts from early summer to fall. With their sweet taste and chewy texture, they make for a very healthy way to satisfy your dessert cravings.

These little fruits offer about 1.5 grams of fiber each, depending on their size, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. If you are trying to manage your weight, adding a few figs (and the accompanying helping of dietary fiber) may be helpful. And while dried figs may be a better source of fiber, fresh figs offer a better source of antioxidants, which according to The World’s Healthiest Foods, can help fight macular degeneration. Figs are also a good source of potassium, a mineral that can help lower blood pressure.

Figs are native to the Mediterranean, but they are also commonly cultivated on the west coast, particularly in California. According to UF/IFAS, if you are craving fresh figs, you can try growing common fig trees right in your own backyard!

Figs are so much more than just the filling in Fig Newtons. Whether you prefer them dried or fresh, consider adding figs to your next bowl of oatmeal, a delicious salad or just eating them on their own for a healthful and tasty addition to your regular diet.