The health benefits of prickly pear fruits, also known as cactus fruit.
1. The prickly pear is also known as Opuntia or Indian Fig. These are delicious fruits which grow on prickly pear cactuses and have some wonderful health benefits.
2. These fruits are dense in electrolytes which boost your energy levels and allow your mind to focus more clearly.
3. They have a delicious flavour similar to raspberries and can be eaten raw or added to delicious smoothies.
4. Prickly pears contain flavonoids, polyphenols and betalains. These are antioxidants which decrease your risk of cancer later in life.
5. They also help to prevent diabetes and heart disease by improving digestion and the metabolic processes in the body.
6. The antioxidants work to scavenge and remove free radicals from the body. This can protect your eyesight and prevent macular degeneration and cataracts with age.
7. They are also an excellent source of vitamins B and C which stimulates your immune system to prevent viral and bacterial infections.
8. The calcium and magnesium help to relax your muscles at night, reducing stress and strengthening the teeth and bones.
9. The calcium also reduces the risk of developing high blood pressure, osteoporosis is and high cholesterol.
10. Native Americans used prickly pears as a natural treatment for burns. They simply squeezed out the juice and applied this directly to the skin.
11. Mexican folk medicine uses these to treat diabetes, inflammation, ulcers and lipid disorders.
12. Prickly pears fruits are available in different colours including red, purple, yellow, green and orange. The flesh inside is absolutely delicious.
13. In the United States, prickly pears are commonly used to make Jams and Jellies in order to preserve them for the winter.
14. The fruit has glochids on the outside. These are small spines which can be very painful, so it’s important to handle these with care when picking the fruit fresh. You can burn the spines off with a gentle flame.
15. We recommend slicing these fruits and adding to delicious tacos or kebabs, they add a wonderful sweet flavour to any meat dish. 16. You can create one of the world’s most powerful natural medicines using the leaves (pads) of the prickly pear cactus. They can be blended with aloe vera to make this powerful tonic.