Cactus fruit, also known as the ‘prickly pear’, is a fruit belonging to the cactus family. These fruits are native to the Southwestern regions of North America and Mexico and have been a staple in their diet for thousands of years. You shouldn’t be fooled by their appearance though, as this fruit provides a vast array of goodness and it doesn’t taste too bad either! Their mildly sweet taste is comparable to a melon or dragon fruit. Intrigued? Then let’s take a look at the Top Health Benefits of Cactus Fruit!
1. Weight loss
It’s no rumour that weight loss begins with regulating your diet so, instead of resorting to extreme measures such as surgery or going cold turkey on your favourite foods a better solution to this would be to include one of these pears into your diet. Taking a look at their nutritional value, they are mostly made up of water, vitamins and, being high in fibre, these pears will give you that energy boost you need as well as satiating your hunger for longer. By incorporating lots of fruit into your diet you’ll be feeling fuller for longer thus while time will be ticking away, you won’t be reaching for more food! This in itself can help excess weight fall away.
2. Cancer-preventing properties
Did you know that this pear has the ability to fight cancer? Due to having high antioxidants and compounds in its flavonoids, the cactus fruit is linked to reducing the likelihood of contracting ovarian, cervix and bladder cancer cells.
3. Hangover cure
If you’ve ever suffered from a bad hangover, (particularly if you’re a university student!) then you’ll be glad to know that this prickly pear is a great hangover cure! According to Medscape and other research, drinking a glass or two of cactus juice can help reduce the severity of your hangover. So, if you plan on having a heavy night make sure to have this on hand! Be warned that consuming large quantities of alcohol isn’t healthy, actually you don’t need alcohol to be cool, check out this new firey ginger drink called Gimber!
4. Promotes a healthy digestive system
This little pear is packed with fibre. Incorporating a large amount of fibre in our diets is important to maintain a healthy digestive tract. It’s common knowledge that having a high-fibre diet eases the removal of waste from the body (3). This fruit with all of its antioxidants also keeps the liver healthy and active!
5. General health
With all these benefits and more, the prickly pear or, opuntia, as it’s also called, is packed full of essential micronutrients to nourish your body. High in necessary vitamins, fibre and potassium, adding this fruit to your diet will fortify your overall health.