I could guzzle it nonstop—and not just in the name of better skin, it turns out: "Cactus water made from prickly pear cactus has so many health benefits," says dermatologist Judith Hellman… It is also referred to as Nagfani in Hindi, Nagajemudu in Telugu, Kallimullpazham in Malayalam, and Dindla in Gujarati. Its texture is similar to that of okra when cooked. Is it safe to consume? Read: 22 Proven Health Benefits Of Henna & Benefits To Skin, Hair And Nails. Transfer the fruits to a large, clean bowl or bucket. Here’s a simple recipe to concoct your own hair conditioner at home using prickly pear cactus: 1. Cut the prickly pear in half and remove the pulp present inside. I recommend testing your cactus on this inside of your arm to make sure it's right for you. They can also be refrigerated for 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Their low cholesterol and saturated fat content make them a suitable option for many people across the globe who are suffering from obesity and heart disease. Share your experience with us in the comments section. It contains moisturizing fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Just one cactus leaf and a dash of sweet almond oil can give you a spa-like hair mask in 20 minutes. Regular intake of prickly pear can maintain normal blood pressure levels and give relief from hypertension. Apply this oil regularly to reap its healing benefits. The fiber content of prickly pear helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and maintain blood pressure. Prickly pear has been known to increase hemoglobin. The purported benefits of fresh nopal juice include lowering blood sugar, healing wounds, and reducing cholesterol. Use a blender to mix your ingredients together and viola! It can be eaten raw, boiled, or grilled. Read on to know more. The pulp of this fruit is often added to hair care products as its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can give relief from many scalp conditions and, in turn, reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth (33, 34). The gastric mucus production is regulated, and there is also a reduction in the pro-inflammatory chemicals. They convert it into carbohydrates for their nutrition and supply us with fresh oxygen to breath. Experiments have shown that prickly pear can reduce both plasma levels and hepatic levels of cholesterol (3, 4). Prickly pear is a cylindrical fruit that has a firm outer skin with barbs and softer inner flesh, which is edible. Hence, it is best to consume it in moderate amounts. The fruit is relished not just for its flavor but also for its health benefits. Enough glucose is absorbed, and unhealthy fats and excess bile are eliminated from the body. Later use a moisturiser suitable for oily skin. Linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid, not only nourishes the skin but also eliminates dullness. Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Add ice cubes and drink this refreshing lemonade with a twist. Eating the prickly pear fruit is not a difficult process. Prickly pear is a fruit that grows on the leaves of the Nopales cacti, belong to the genus Opuntia, it’s scientific name is Opuntia ficus-indica. Pruning is best done in spring or late summer to remove damaged, poorly formed, or excessive cactus pads. Cut wounds, scars, and other blemishes that may have formed due to various reasons will start healing and fading over time. A fruit belonging to the cactus family that possesses a wide range of benefits. It also helps in the elimination of dietary fat by binding it and excreting it from the system. After washing my leaf with cold water, I peeled only the bumpy areas with the assumption that a thorn was underneath and left some of the skin on my leaf.If you've got yourself a fat cactus, I would advise only using the pulp and ditching the cactus skin all together just like you would with aloe vera. While its use as medicine is covering the drug for minor injuries, burns, thanks … Yes, y'all, it's that serious. This is technically a dietary pigment that can reduce various pro-inflammatory factors in the body (26). Swelling and irritation due to insect bites, scrapes, or inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis can be reduced by the application of this oil. Instead of resorting to extreme measures like harmful medications or surgery, a simple solution to this problem could be consuming plenty of dietary fiber. To reduce the itching and irritation, you can use over-the-counter steroids or antihistamines. Prickly pear seed oil contains skin nourishing fatty acids that also possess skin brightening properties. 2020 Bustle Digital Group. Prickly pears can be easily found in regular grocery stores. Cactus juice is very similar to aloe juice, with both having been used for … Aura Cacia Body & Massage Oil Renew & Recover, $11, Amazon. It is present in the form of a non-absorbable complex (calcium oxalate). The use of cacti for skin dates back to the Aztec era. We often consume carcinogens and other compounds that can damage the liver without realizing the damage they can cause. Because cactus also has cooling properties, it can help to soothe irritated and red skin. Sounds like an anti-aging ingredient that's honestly tempting me to move to a desert climate. People also use the supplement before drinking alcohol to reduce the symptoms of an alcoholic hangover. Beware of the spines on the nopales and also the glochids (microscopic spines) on the fruit. Cactus … The prickly pear cactus plant has different parts that are edible. This xerophytic plant’s oil has great inflammation-fighting capabilities because of the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds. It also reduces other symptoms like nausea and dry mouth (14). It should come off easily. Choose a cactus leaf that is green all over and tender, but not overly floppy. The green pads are the vegetable whereas the red pear is the fruit. Cactus contains a range of nutrients and antioxidants, including vitamins C, E, … If you do not have access to a store where you can purchase this fruit from, there are extracts available in the market. Dice this into small squares and add chopped cucumber to it. One cup of cactus pear contains around 61 calories. Accidentally stumbling upon a cactus leaf was the highlight of a rather boring/grueling/painful grocery trip with my roommate. What Are The Health Benefits of Cactus Fruit? Dark circles under the eyes are formed due to many reasons. Supports Healthy Digestion. A decrease in total body fat and elevated cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels can all impact cardiovascular health in a very positive way. Cactus fruit’s antioxidants also help to enhance cardiovascular health (19, 20). 3. Cactus is known for its soothing and healing properties (think aloe, but better). Skin-Beneficial Vitamins and Nutrients Found in Nopal Cactus Vitamin A: Offers superb anti-aging, antioxidant, and moisturizing capabilities. Being a cactus, the prickly pear plant can survive in dry weather conditions. Antioxidants can benefit everyone, regardless of age and preexisting conditions. What kind of cactus is edible? How To Incorporate Prickly Pear Into Your Diet? Aids In Weight Loss. Now that we have a brief understanding of the nutrients found in prickly pear cactus fruit, let us look what the presence of these nutrients implies. Leave on for 10 or 15 minutes and then remove with cold water. It’s taste is similar to watermelon/raspberries and it has cucumber-like fragrance. Obesity is a global epidemic and needs to be managed at the earliest. ISSA Certified Specialist in Fitness & Nutrition, She is a Biotechnologist, what we in normal English would call Scientist. Benefits of cactus leaves very much at all, usually made as juice, jelly, jam, alcoholic beverages and candy. Prickly pear is a cylindrical fruit that has a firm outer skin … “This means that the oil helps the skin retain moisture in the long-term.” Cactus seed oil contains large amounts of linoleic acid, vitamin E, and flavonoids, all of which have anti-inflammatory properties… Cactus oil is light and absorbs well, while providing a huge kick of moisture to skin cells. One of the few inconveniences of some oils is that they absorb hard in … This also gives the immune system a boost (15, 16). Are all prickly pear cactus edible? The fruits arise from the top of the cactus pads and are edible. It is often added to lemonade or margaritas for that extra zing. The antioxidants present in prickly pear eliminate the free radicals and inflammation-inducing compounds, thus cleansing and protecting the colon (11). What Are The Health Benefits Of Prickly Pear Cactus? Apart from the cactus pad, the fruit or the pear itself can be eaten. Have you ever tried prickly pear fruit? Does prickly pear/tuna increase hemoglobin? Health benefits of Indoor Cactus Plants. These factors are associated with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and other heart diseases. This is prepared from the juice of the fruit and filtered water, along with some additional ingredients like lemon juice. Widely known as “cactus pear”, prickly pear by different names in different countries and regions like Tuna, Nopal, Nopales, Barberry figs, Indian figs. Furthermore, prickly pear cactus and cactus seed oil contain incredibly high levels of antioxidants to protect the skin from the oxidative effects of free-radical damage. What Are The Facts About Prickly Pear I Need To Know? New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner told Elle.com that the insides of a prickly cactus can prevent moisture loss and restore moisture in skin. If you're a regular DIY-er, know that cactus acts similar to aloe in a slimy-yet-soothing fashion for your face. It is also used to make juice and jams. Prickly pear is rich in many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. The flowers of this plant are often used as garnishing or added to salads for extra flavor. The prickly pear cactus is one of those plants that is a vegetable and a fruit. 1) It contains 1/3 of the daily vitamin C requirement. Prickly pear seed oil can be used to moisturize dry and damaged nails and restore the health of the nails and cuticles. You see, I personally find any kind of shopping with someone else as excruciating as getting my teeth cleaned and a pap smear simultaneously while listening to Donald Trump speak on a loop. As these levels are reduced in the body, the risk of stroke or heart attack goes down (24, 25). It also reduces their intensity and frequency. Prickly pear exerts a positive effect on the gastric mucosa, and this activity is mainly facilitated by a compound called betanin found in this fruit. We already know that the oil from the seeds of this cactus fruit contains plenty of fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit the skin. On peeling the outer layer of cactus skin, the pear found inside can be cooked or eaten raw. Or have you had a chance to have one of those delicious Mexican dishes with the cactus pads in it? Cramps, back pain, headaches, and breast tenderness are common symptoms that woman experience during PMS. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly. Its fiber (pectin) content can be held responsible for this as it helps eliminate LDL cholesterol from the body. StyleCraze provides content of general nature that is designed for informational purposes only. Nopal cactus is full of antioxidants, and a 2013 study found that the cactus is able to reduce oxidative stress. Constant intake of nopales plays a vital role in your food consumption and this … Nopales (the cactus leaf, scientifically called Opuntia) is a food staple in Latin America served mostly with eggs, and salads because of its health benefits. It contains zero cholesterol. The biologically active flavonoids in prickly pears normalize the blood platelet stickiness, which helps to maintain good cardiovascular health (21). Prickly pear is also known as the nopal cactus and has flat, oval green leaves called pads, which are covered in spines. The essential micronutrients found in prickly pear are vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. This fruit has the ability to reduce the effects of a hangover. The genus Opuntia consists of different species of cacti that are edible. As a bonus, just like aloe vera, cactus leaf has also been known to alleviate mild cramps. Cactus pear is often touted for its hypoglycemic activity. It also contains flavonoids that prevent the release of the compounds that help in inflammation of the joints and muscles caused due to gout, arthritis, exercise, fibromyalgia, and allergies. It increases the production of white blood cells that undertake the process of killing and eliminating infectious microorganisms from the body. Both physical and mental stress can cause changes in the gastrointestinal mucosa and result in gastric ulcers. Nopal cactuss health benefits can be obtained in several different ways. If you cannot find them there, try the Mexican or Middle Eastern vegetable markets. You can use prickly pear oil to make your hair glossy. These make it a wonderful and healthy addition to your diet for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The seeds of this fruit are cold pressed to prepare a beauty oil. Though the seeds are safe to ingest, many people prefer not to as they are too hard. Copyright © 2011 - 2020 Incnut Digital. Due to its benefits for lowering blood sugar levels, supplements for type 2 diabetes patients have been designed. And not just that, the benefits of prickly pear spread far and wide. Even the pads of this plant are edible. Prickly pear is often used to relieve constipation because of its fiber content. Swirl them around gently while doing this to get rid of the spines. Do Purple Potatoes Grow Naturally? Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties have made this thorny fruit popular. Upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, and headache are the most common side effects noticed (. It can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain medications due to its diuretic properties. Reduces Hangovers. Prickly pear is known to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, thus alleviating PMS symptoms (27). The dosage of these extracts would depend on the concentration, and it is best if the manufacturer’s recommendation is followed. These tasty, oval fruits sprout from the tops of prickly cactus leaves and range in various colors from deep red-green to yellow or purple. Widely known as “cactus pear”, prickly pear by different names in different countries and regions like Tuna, Nopal, Nopales, Barberry figs, Indian figs. However, many cactus species can be eaten. The other edible parts of the prickly pear cactus are the flowers, stems, and the leaves. It was later found to be used in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent as well. This aids smooth digestion of various components of the food we eat and enhances the activity of the digestive enzymes. This supplement is available usually in a powder or a pill form. Prickly pear is used in various forms to serve various purposes. In these regions, it has been a diet staple for thousands of years. When we talk about the nutritional value of prickly pear, it contains magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and B, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, and many other nutrients. The antioxidant activity of these was tested against colon cancer cell lines, and the viability of these cells was greatly affected by them (17). All rights reserved. Let me now summarize some key facts about prickly pear for you. This oil is also often used for its skin brightening properties. It is green initially and turns reddish-pink as it matures in most plants (1). Keep reading! The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of compounds found in cactus pear are also responsible for aiding stomach health and soothing it (12). This means that the ingestion of this fruit or its extract can lower high blood glucose levels as well as maintain normal levels. Those were the best benefits of prickly pear for your skin, hair and health. The plant is especially good at this and lends these benefits to the skin … Click here for additional information . Nasal inflammation or asthma can be caused due to an allergy to it. Make sure to leave at least one fruit per cactus pad so that your harvesting does not interfere with the plants’ reproduction process. Bear in mind that the calcium found in this traditional desert plant may not be present in its biologically active form. What Are The Benefits Of Prickly Pear For The Skin? The inflammation and oxidative stress that the colon is being subjected to are also alleviated. These uses are given below. The following two tabs change content below. Quercetin, especially, plays a key role in the disruption of a certain pathway involved in the development of cancer cells (18). Accelerates cellular renewal and stimulates fibroblast and … It can reduce cholesterol levels in the … The prickly pear cactus (O. Ficus-indica) is the most commonly eaten species. Consume prickly pear as a juice or in the form of jams or jellies to prevent liver damage. Hence, herbal doctors often recommend consuming prickly pear for alleviating cardiovascular disease. Is Cod Liver Oil An Effective Cure For Acne? These compounds also have the ability to remove free radicals and improve the activities of pro-oxidant enzymes. Do not be intimidated by its look as the fruit pulp is delicious, more than you’d expect it to be. Hyperlipidemia, the condition of high cholesterol levels, can also be brought under control. A special mention is required for prickly pear’s vitamin E content that can deeply condition the hair. These prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, thus making prickly pear oil a good anti-aging agent (30). The many health benefits of this fruit are discussed below. In Mexico, prickly pear is commonly used as a dietary supplement. If you ask her, she would say,"My cup of sanity - an extra large mug of coffee!". These usually subside within an hour or so. Combat Acne. Prickly pear contains various types of antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetins, gallic acid, phenolic compounds, betacyanins, etc. The main mechanism of this reduction is a decrease in the intestinal absorption of glucose (9, 10). Add that tidbit of info to the fact that cactus has 17 amino acids and antioxidants that can prevent damage from the sun? According to sources at Biomanantial.com, cactus leaf can be the business for your hair and they included a pretty enticing cactus hair recipe in the same article. It is also useful to protect your hair from the scorching sun and rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. Consumption of one cup of this fruit on a regular basis can provide your body with these micronutrients that are required for various physiological and metabolic processes. Cacti help in removing our respiratory waste (carbon dioxide) by absorbing it. That’s what the prickly pear is. The pads or leaves of cactus are called as Nopales and fruits are called as pear or tuna. The benefits of cactus … The betalains and phenolic compounds exert this effect when the oil is applied topically on the skin. Eleuthero: Is This Medicinal Herb Really Safe? Check out what are they. Here’s a solution. It is said to have originated in Mexico and the northern countries of South America, which fall under the arid to semi-arid climate categories. In conjunction, these properties can help to lighten your dark circles. For A Healthier Gut: This juice aids in the growth of good bacteria in the gut. This fruit, which is also called as the cactus pear, cactus fig or tuna, is usually red. Migraine is a chronic inflammatory condition that is characterized by the presence of a severe headache (usually on one side of the head) with disturbances in digestion and vision. Those were the yummy recipes of this fruit. It also protects the skin from UV radiation (31). How To Treat Heat Stroke (Sunstroke) At Home, Olay Total Effects 7 in One Anti-Ageing Fairness Cream Review, 32 Best Benefits Of Cucumber (Kheera) For Skin, Hair, And Health, 11 Surprising Benefits Of Turmeric Tea + How To Make It. Our teeth and bones are composed of calcium, and our diet is the only source of this mineral. However, it is absolutely safe to consume. When ingested, this mineral can reduce the pressure on the blood vessels and lower the elevated blood pressure levels. Absorbs quickly into the skin. This calcium intake will strengthen our bones and teeth (28). Combine all the ingredients and pour into an ice cream maker. If you are unsure about pruning the plant yourself or the cactus has grown out too much, get professional help. They are commonly used in soups and salads. Prickly pear fruit contains fiber that will make you feel full for longer and reduce hunger pangs. This helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. And prickly pear is loaded with fiber. Also, certain phytosterols found in cactus seed oil can alter cholesterol metabolism in a positive way (5). Add the sugar and lemon juice to water and mix well. Read on to know how. Prickly pear cactus — or also known as nopal, opuntia and other names — is promoted for treating diabetes, high cholesterol, obesity and hangovers. All rights reserved. The prickly pear is high in fiber. Using gardening or leather. This fruit is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antihistamine in nature. It contains plenty of antioxidants that can reduce the oxidative stress caused by such compounds on the liver. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. One cup of fresh prickly pear fruit contains 83 milligrams of calcium, which constitutes about 8% of the daily intake recommended by the FDA. Inflammation occurs as there is an increase in the pro-inflammatory compounds that damage the gastric wall. Take a sharp knife and cut the top and bottom parts of the fruit and discard them. Keep swirling it around gently while doing this to get rid of the all the spines. Prickly pear water is also available in the market these days. Linoleic, oleic, and palmitic fatty acids, which are found in major proportions in prickly pear seed oil, supply the skin with the oils it lacks. New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner told Elle.com that the insides of a prickly cactus can prevent moisture loss and restore moisture in skin. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and oxidative stress are the major factors that can cause your under eye area to become dull and get a bluish-purplish tinge. These versatile fruits are not a hassle to cut or prepare. Mid-August is considered the best time to harvest prickly pear cactus fruit. Some of prickly pear health benefits include its ability to lower cholesterol levels, aid in weight loss, improve the digestive process, fight cancer cells, decrease the risk of diabetes, boost the immune system and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Are They Good For You? It is often regarded as an excellent cure for a hangover. Cactus extract is one of skincare’s most powerful natural ingredients with anti-aging, hydrating, skin-firming, and irritation-soothing benefits. Wash the cactus carefully and peel it to remove all the thorns and barbs. Be careful of the spines when you are handling the fruit initially and the seeds when you are eating it. Here is how you can cut and prepare prickly pear fruit. If the spines have pierced the skin, carefully pluck them using tweezers or cellophane tape. This keeps the colon in optimum health. 10 Health Benefits And Side Effects Of Burdock Tea, Essential Oils: The Best Way To Treat Hemorrhoids, 20 Amazing Health Benefits Of Lemon Myrtle, Coconut Oil Side Effects: High Cholesterol, Diarrhea, And More, Apple Cider Vinegar: 8 Possible Side Effects And Dosage. Continuing on the weight loss tangent, prickly pear can also help reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood. Squash the flesh thoroughly for a couple of minutes until you get a smooth puree. Different experiments on both diabetic and antidiabetic rats have shown a decrease in blood glucose levels. For this one, I used one tablespoon of raw honey, one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, about a tablespoon each of aloe vera, and cactus. The betalain found in this fruit also strengthens the inner walls of the blood vessels, further aiding in the promotion of cardiovascular health (22). With increasing popularity, prickly pear cacti are now cultivated in Europe and Australia too. It possesses many properties that give it the following benefits: It contains skin-softening vitamins E and K. It also contains a good amount of skin hydrating and nourishing fatty acids. Here are the side effects experienced. The pad of the cactus, which is often referred to as the nopal, is used as a vegetable in Mexican dishes. Prickly pear is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, and omega fatty acids. It provides nourishment and moisture to a range of skin types including dry, sensitive, and oily skin… Now, let’s see where you can buy these delectable fruits. Rinse the fruits with water thoroughly. Antioxidants can protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals. This oil can give you double the amount of fatty acids and protein than argan oil, which is a popular oil used for restoring the natural hair shine. Prickly pear is rich in the mineral potassium. I picked one up, sniffed it (like a crazy person) and decided to make my DIY beauty dreams come true. Preparing the cactus was slightly overwhelming. 2. The juice, by itself, can be very tart. If you have access to them, go ahead and purchase a few. However, there is no clinical proof for this. The spines (glochids) present on prickly pear can come in contact with the skin and at times, cause allergic reactions such as hives. Cactus leaves have been proven have anti-hyperglycemic effect and it is a good news for people who suffer from diabetes and other metabolic syndrome. Don't be fooled by the prickly nature of a cactus, these recipes won't hurt one bit! Cut lengthwise to peel off the skin, similar to how you would peel an orange with a knife. Freeze the ice cream overnight or for at least six hours. The vitamin C content of prickly pear is responsible for this particular health benefit. Like any other fruit, you can simply rinse it, peel it, and eat it fresh. They were shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the lab and mice models. Prickly pear juice reduces the production of inflammatory mediators that induce the uncomfortable feeling during alcohol hangovers. [ Read: Home Remedies for High Blood Pressue ]. The benefits of cactus type fruit, known as prickly pears, prickly figs or Indian figs, are listed as follows.
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