You are probably familiar with the prickly pear as a cactus, but you might not know that it is also a food that offers tons of great health benefits. Using the anti-social plant part of the cactus as a food is nothing new. Native cultures have been using the prickly pear for health benefits for a long time and today, you can find both fruits and cactus pads in many health food stores and fruit markets.
The fruit is a delight to eat – sweet, with a watermelon-like texture and taste. It has a high amount of flavonoids, which are great for the immune system. It can also help to reduce free radicals. Make sure you buy cactus fruit with all the prickles removed if you don’t want a mouthful of spines! People who want to recover faster from physical activity, such as going to the gym, often use the prickly pear as a snack because it can reduce sore muscles and aid in their recovery.
The fruit also has a high fiber content, which helps in colon cleansing, and they can aid in digestion. It also contains a number of amino acids that can help with high cholesterol. The vitamin A and C in the plant help to reduce the formation of plaque in the arteries.
You can use the prickly pear to help with weight control, as well. It helps to suppress the appetite and lower the blood sugar. The fibers can help to keep you feeling full longer, and it can help reduce water retention.
As you can see, this amazing little cactus fruit has plenty of health benefits to offer. Add it to your diet and see just how much a change it can make in your life. You have nothing to lose, except for a few pounds.