Skip to main content

The Difference Between Dates and Figs (Apart From How They Look)

I like to write about interesting commercial topics, and good eats are no exception.

What are the real differences between dates and figs?

What are the real differences between dates and figs?

Dates and figs are both sweet and nutritious fruits that can be eaten as snacks or in a variety of different recipes. They are known to be the oldest cultivated plants in the world. Both fruits have a variety of health benefits, for example, figs are known for being rich in vitamins and fibers, while date seeds contain essential oils that have various medicinal uses.

While dates are similar to figs in many respects, they are very different fruits. The main difference between dates and figs is that dates are much sweeter, with over 30% more sugar than figs! Here are some other surprising ways that dates are unlike figs, plus some ideas on how to incorporate them into your diet.

What Are Dates?

Dates are the fruit of the date palm. They are a type of dried fruit, usually found in pairs inside a hard, dry shell. They are surprisingly one of the oldest fruits in the world. Dates have been cultivated since prehistoric times and are mentioned throughout the Bible.

In Arabic and Persian, the word "date" is used to describe a wide range of fruit. The English word "date" is thought to have derived from the Arabic word "dahat", referring to different types of fruit.

Dates are very popular in Middle Eastern countries, where they are eaten as snacks or used as ingredients in many desserts. They are well known for being rich in proteins, vitamins, and minerals.

How to Eat Dates

Perhaps the most enjoyable way to eat dates is to simply enjoy them as they are as a snack. Many people like to add them to cereal or yogurt. If you're going to eat dates that way, it's a good idea to get organic dates as they are much tastier than regular dates. They are also tasty when incorporated into smoothies, or in dessert recipes. Date squares are an extremely popular dessert. Here's a quick and easy recipe to try from Ricardo:

Dates are delicious simply eaten as a snack

Dates are delicious simply eaten as a snack

What Are Figs?

Figs are also one of the oldest fruits in the world, dating back to at least 7000 BC. They were first cultivated in Egypt and later spread to Greece, Italy, and India. Figs were considered sacred in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

As with dates, the word "fig" is used to refer to a wide range of fruit around the world. The English word "fig" is thought to have derived from the Latin "ficus", which is also the origin of the word "sycamore", referring to the Ficus sycomorus (common fig tree).

The fig tree is a low-growing tropical tree with a large trunk and branches. The fig tree also produces a lot of leaves. Fruit-bearing starts when the tree is about four years old.

Its fruit comes in two varieties – the ripe fig and the unripe, or green, fig. But most often, the fruit is simply known as a "fig". The ripe fig color ranges from pink to purple.

How to Eat Figs

There are several ways to eat figs. The first is to simply cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. They are sweet and delicious when eaten this way. Another way is to add them to your cereal or blend them into smoothies. You can also puree figs with honey for a healthy snack. Here is a highly rated fig smoothie recipe that also incorporates dates into the mix:

Cut figs in half and scoop out the flesh

Cut figs in half and scoop out the flesh

Comparing Dates vs. Figs

When thinking about the difference between figs and dates, the main contrasts are those of taste and nutritional value.

From a taste standpoint, figs and dates are somewhat different. Fig seeds have quite a crunchy texture to them with a certain sweetness, while dates are much sweeter and are notorious for being soft and sticky to the touch.

According to Healthline, both fruits are similar in their nutritional values. Their calorie and carbohydrate contents are almost the same, and they are both sources of fiber, magnesium, and potassium.


Dates and figs are similar in some ways. But they also have their differences. Figs and dates are two types of dried fruits. Many people eat them for their delicious taste, but not everyone knows that they can also be used for medicinal purposes. Figs and dates are fruits that are healthy and good for the body in many ways. They can help to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, provide a good source of energy and help with weight loss. They can also act as a laxative and help with constipation. Even though both fruits have their differences, they may both make a healthy addition to your diet.

Sources and Further Reading

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Louise