Health Benefits of Nopal Cactus

Health Benefits of Nopal Cactus

Nopal cactus or prickly pear cactus is indigenous to Northwestern Mexico and Southwestern United States desert areas. The fruit has been utilized in different ways for hundreds of years now. Its fruit stems and its leaves are used like a food compound and an extract in numerous treatments. The Nopal cactus is regarded as the “tree of the earth”. This is because only the seed is needed for it to be buried in the earth and grow. The fruit is consumed after taking out its robust and razor-sharp thorns. The Nopal cactus is a great addition to the diet as it offers a myriad of health benefits.



Nopal Cactus Benefits

 

Weight Control


Bodyweight is achieved when more calories are consumed than spend. Focusing on low-calorie food can help restrict calorie intake and maintain a healthy weight. Nopal cactus is a great inclusion to the diet as it can help avoid extra weight and slim down because 88% of the fruit weight comes from its water content. Water is a calorie-free nutrient that suppresses the appetite to feel full.


Good for Blood Pressure


Every four-ounce of Nopal cactus has 227 milligrams of potassium and 5 milligrams of sodium. A diet that is high in potassium and low in sodium can help avoid hypertension and decrease blood pressure when it’s high. Hypertension can increase the chance of having heart stroke and kidney diseases. With fruits and vegetables that are rich in potassium and low in sodium, these health risks will be avoided.


A Source of Essential Micronutrients


One great advantage of nopal cactus fruit is that it can help fulfill nutritional requirements. Every four-ounce of it has 14 milligrams of vitamin C. Every four-ounce serving consists of 88 milligrams of magnesium- a nutrient essential for muscle function and bone health. In addition, four-ounce of it provides 6 milligrams of calcium.


A Source of Antioxidants


The juice of the nopal cactus is a good source of antioxidants known as Betalains. These are normally present in some vegetables and fruits like rainbow Swiss chard and beets.  These are the ones that provide the pinkish-red pigmentation. In the case of human beings, these rare anti-oxidants play a specific purpose in the cells- they capture and then diffuse the free radicals or unstable molecules before they get the opportunity to eliminate or damage anything. This free radical injury to the cells is what causes aging and nopal cactus juice has anti-aging qualities.


Cleanse the Colon


Nopal cactus fruit has insoluble plant fibers that act as dietary roughage to enhance normal bowel motions. Additionally, the soluble plant fibers found in the fruit assist in soaking up the harmful toxins in the body to clean the colon.


Protects the Liver


The anti-oxidants flavonoids in the fruit reduce the effects of free radicals before they cause injury to the liver. They are capable of soaking up the toxic compounds in the liver so they can effectively concentrate on balancing the bodily processes.


Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol)


This is also referred to as the excessive amount of fat within the blood. The fruit helps assist in reducing this condition and maintain the cholesterol level in the body.


Ulcers


Nopal cactus has been utilized in Sicily folk medicine to deal with gastric ulcers. In fact, Italian researchers pre-treated laboratory animals with nopal before inducing them with gastric ulcers and found out that the pre-treatment supplied a protective action against ulcers due to the mucilage contained in the plant.


Soothes the Stomach


The mucilage in the Nopal cactus helps keep a regular PH balance in the stomach and soothes the lining. It is also used to successfully cure those with ulcers and lower the swelling within the stomach.


Hangover


The fruit is a great help when experiencing the after-effects of too much consumption of alcohol. It calms the stomach, enhances liver function, and rehydrates the body from the drying effects of alcohol. Consume the fruit after drinking and there will be no worries about hangovers.


 


Summary

 

This pear-shaped delicious cactus fruit is known in the Latin world as “tuna”. Every tuna fruit measures 5cm in diameter and weighs about 700-100g. It has a sweet and juicy taste, which is somewhat reminiscent of strawberry and watermelon combined. In addition to its taste and beautiful color, the fruit is filled with great health benefits. Adding this to the diet plan can create a huge difference in one’s health than no other fruit can.

Post a Comment

0 Comments