The fruit that grows on top of the leaves of Nopales Cacti is commonly known as Prickly Pear or Cactus fruit. It is spread through North and South America having 200 different species of Nopales (Opuntia) Cacti is found. However, some forms of Prickly Pear are not edible. The most commonly used species that is used in eating and cooking is O. Ficus Indica also known as Indian Fig Opuntia.
The health benefits of Prickly Pear includes boosting of the immune system, stimulating bone density, lessens cholesterol level, the digestive system is improved, and decreases the risk of diabetes. This fruit that is rich in antioxidants helps in strengthening blood vessel, reduces inflammation and it is the best aid in weight loss.
Nutritions of Prickly Pear
Along with the uncommon name and unbelievable origin; this fruit has a unique composition of nutrients that includes a high level of Vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, copper, magnesium, potassium and dietary fibre. In terms of biological composites, it has high levels of polyphenols, flavonoids, and betalains that have a positive impact on health
Health benefits of Prickly Pear
- It has anti-cancer potentials
- It improves the density of bones and teeth as it has calcium properties
- It is a great immunity booster
- It lessens inflammations
- It protects the health of your heart
- It is good at losing weight
Uses of Prickly Pear
This cactus fruit is used in medicine as well as some of the species is even edible. They have wealth of nutrients and health benefits.
Following are some of the uses:
- Either in raw or dry; this fruit can be used in many ways such as making of jellies and jams, candies or alcohols like vodka.
- Native American usually used Prickly Pears to make colonche, as well as many varieties of cactus, possess psychotropic compounds that include making the cactus fruit useful in creating Ayahuasca and mescaline.
- It is used since eras as a hangover cure
- It is used to reduce a headache that is created due to excess consumption of alcohol.