Prickly pear is scientifically known as Opuntiahumifusa other common names are nopal, pear cactus, cactus fruit, sabra fruit, tuna fruit, barbary pear, cactus fig, and Indian fig. Opuntia is a type of cactus that produces sweet and delicious fruit. The fruit is not poisonous and safely be eaten. The pads of opuntia are also edible. Cactus fruit has a sweet taste and the flavor is similar to a melon. To Eat Prickly Pear Cut A Quarter Inch Off From Both Ends. Remove The Peel Lengthwise Across The Fruit. Then Cut It Into Slices And Enjoy. Cactus Fruit Contains Many Tiny Seeds Which Are Edible And Have No Side Effects.Pear cactus
Prickly pear rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that supports healthy body. Prickly Pear Cactus Acts As A Moisturizer For Skin And Hair. It Boosts The Immunity, Good For The Liver, Heart, And Kidney And Controls The Blood Sugar Level And Blood Pressure.
Prickly Pear Nutrition
Prickly Pear Nutrition Values Per 100 Grams Are As Follows;
- Prickly Pear Fruit Contains 42 Calories per 100gram Of Edible Amount.
- Carbohydrates, 11 Grams
- Fats, 0.6 Grams
- Protein, 0.75 Gram
- Cholesterol, 0 Gram
- Fiber, 3.8 Gram
Prickly pear Vitamins content:
Prickly pear vitamins value per 100 grams are as follows;
- Vitamin B6, 0.15 mg
- Vitamin C, 20 mg
- Vitamin E, 16.3 mg
- Vitamin K, 3 mg
- Calcium, 65 mg
- Zinc, 0.1 mg
- Folic acid, 0.5 mg
- Sodium, 6.3 mg
- Phosphorus, 23.5 mg
- Copper, 0.1 mg
- Potassium, 328 mg
1. For Skin
Prickly pear is the best nourisher for the skin. It hydrates the skin and prevents dryness and dullness. Cactus fruit fight off free radicals from the body that causes aging effect and thus works as anti-aging. It contains Vitamin E which improves the texture of the skin and reduces dark circles. Prickly pear has anti-wrinkle properties removes fine lines and makes skin tightens.
Prickly pear has soothing properties and works best for acne scars and eczema. Its vitamin C content improves the complexion of the skin removing blemishes and making skin shinier and brighter.
2. For Hair
Prickly pear contains antioxidants and phenolic compounds that reduce the itchiness of the scalp. It has hydrating properties to prevent the scalp from dryness and dandruff. Cactus fruit extract is often used to treat dull and dry hair. It is mostly added to different shampoos and conditioners for healthy bouncy hair. Cactus fruit extract retains the moisture of the scalp.
Prickly pear contains vitamin E which is act as a natural conditioner making hair soft and smooth. Prickly pear seed oil is used to treat scalp dandruff and scalp eczema. It has anti-inflammatory properties which prevent hair loss. Cactus fruit oil promotes hair growth.
3. For Weight Loss
Cactus pear is rich in dietary fibers which help in losing weight. Cactus fibers reduce the absorption of energy thus leading to a decrease in body weight. Dietary fiber foods make you feel fuller for a longer time thus preventing overeating. They fasten the metabolism thus reducing belly fat.
Prickly pear cactus is an ancient remedy to lose weight. Cactus extract act as a diuretic means it helps the body to remove extra fluid and thus reduce body weight.
Prickly Pear Obesity
Prickly pear cactus has many antioxidants and flavonoids that help with obesity. They have aft-binding properties that reduce the absorption of fat thus preventing belly fat.
4. For Diabetes
Prickly pear cactus lowers the blood sugar level by increasing the breakdown of other sugar molecules. It has low sugar, starch, and carbs content. It is a safe choice for people suffering from diabetes. It often prevents people with type-2 diabetes. Pear cactus has 0 glycemic indexes per 100 grams of serving. Low glycemic index food helps to control blood glucose levels.
5. Cactus For Cholesterol
Prickly pear fruit lowers LDL (bad cholesterol). Cactus fruit has fat-binding properties thus reducing the risk of fatty liver. This fruit contains a lot of soluble fibers which control the cholesterol level in the body. They trap the fat molecules and prevent them from absorbing them into the bloodstream.
6. For Pregnancy
Prickly pear cactus proves beneficial for both pregnant ladies and fetal. It is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants which support the growth and development of fetal. Pear cactus contain iron helps in the production of red blood cells and prevent anemia in pregnant mothers.
Prickly pear juice contains essential vitamins and minerals which are needed during pregnancy. Vitamin C improves immunity and makes a strong defense against viral and bacterial attacks thus preventing infections.
7. For Blood Pressure
Cactus pear regulates healthy blood pressure. It is rich in potassium, magnesium calcium and iron all are effective in controlling high blood pressure. Nopal (prickly pear) prevents hypertension (high blood pressure). Magnesium reduces systolic blood pressure and Potassium helps to ease the tension in blood vessels. Potassium supplements are often used to treat high blood pressure.
8. For Liver Health
Prickly pear cactus supports liver health as it neutralizes the free radicals that cause damage to liver cells. It makes the immune system strong and prevents the organs from invaders that cause infections. Cactus fruit has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce liver swelling and oxidative stress that causes liver damage. Pear cactus also prevent fatty liver as it has fat binding properties.
9. For Osteoporosis
Prickly pear cactus supports bone health and bone density. They are rich in the minerals calcium, potassium, and vitamin K which are essential for bone health. They are rich in iron which produces new red blood cells thus preventing bones from being porous.
Cactus pads contain elements like pectin and mucilage which increases the lubrication of bones preventing them from friction and swelling.
10. For Cancer
Pear cactus extract is significantly used to treat different types of cancers like cervical, bladder, or ovarian cancer. Cactus extract inhibits the growth of epithelial cells as well as tumor cells. They protect the cells of the epithelial lining of ovaries or bladder from abnormal growth thus reducing the risk of certain types of cancer.
11. For Heart
Nopal cactus is good for heart health. They are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins all contribute to healthy heart activities and reduce blood pressure, blood glucose levels, and cholesterol levels. Prickly pear decreases the risk of peripheral heart disease or coronary heart disease.
12. For The Immune System
Pear cactus is promoting a healthy immune system. They increase the production of white blood cells that defend the body against invaders. They are rich in vitamin C which boosts immunity and makes our defense system strong. They have antioxidants that fight off free radicals that cause a decline in immunity.
13. Prickly Pear Juice
Blend the fresh cactus fruit with simple water and make a juice. This works a lot for the body.
- Nourishes the skin
- Reduces tension and stress
- Detoxify the liver and kidneys
- Regulate the blood pressure
- Prickly pear juice is good for diarrhea and improves digestive tract activity and bowel movement.
14. Prickly Pear Oil
Prickly pear oil is extracted from prickly pear cactus seeds and has many health benefits.
- Good for hair reduces itchiness and dandruff.
- Support hair growth.
- Reduces joint pain.
- Pear cactus oil has soothing properties.
- Cactus oil is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antifungal.
- It removes fine lines or wrinkles and has anti-wrinkle or anti-aging effects.
15. Prickly Pear Syrup
Prickly pear syrup has a deliciously sweet-tart taste and the flavor is similar to the combination of strawberries and watermelon. It is used in cake toppings, pancakes, desserts, and refreshing’s.
Note: How to make prickly pear syrup?
For homemade prickly pear syrup, scoop the flesh out of the peel. Mash it with a spoon and then strain out all the juice and flesh without seeds. Pour it into the pan add some sugar and boil until it thickens. Let it cool for some minutes and enjoy this homemade prickly pear syrup.
Side Effects Of Prickly Pear Cactus
- Overeating fibrous fruit like prickly pear causes bowel irritation.
- Some mild disadvantages of cactus are vomiting, nausea, or mild diarrhea.
They contain many minerals and vitamins which are essential for a healthy body. They contain antioxidants that prevent infections and different diseases.
It is not recommended for people suffering from kidney problems because of its sodium content.
Prickly pear cacti can be eaten whole as it has no poisonous content.