The moment anyone utters the word saguaro, it conjures up images of the Southwest and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona. The saguaro plant is the most conspicuous plant in the Southwest, towering from 30 to as much as 50 feet when mature.Aptly named Carnegiagigantea, the saguaro cactus is indigenous to the plains, canyons and rocky terrains of the Sonoran desert, California and northern parts of Mexico.
Saguaro cactus produces delicate white flowers that are about three inches in diameter. Once the flower is pollinated by a bird, it immediately begins to form the beautiful saguaro fruit. The fruit has a mild sweet taste. The small black seeds of the fruit give it a nutty flavor.
The saguaro fruit used to be a major food for certain Native American tribes, such as Pima and Papago, who dried, fermented and preserved it to consume throughout the year. The fruits were used in religious practices and trade as well. Even today, it is a highly sought-after fruit by the native American tribes and is quite popular among people who know about its immense health benefits.
Nutrition Value: Fresh Saguaro Cactus Fruit
|Total Fat||5 g||Potassium||0 mg|
|Saturated||0 g||Total Carbs||27 g|
|Polyunsaturated||0 g||Dietary Fiber||0 g|
|Monounsaturated||0 g||Sugars||0 g|
|Trans||0 g||Protein||4 g|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. The nutritional value of the fruit varies from season to season.
Health Benefits Of Saguaro Fruit:
Serving great taste and satiation, saguaro fruit possesses various health benefits that are not very widely known. Some of the health benefits of saguaro fruit are elaborated here below:
1. Vitamin C:
The vitamin C content in the fruit is extremely high. The vitamin has anti-aging properties which prevents premature wrinkling of the skin.Vitamin C also boosts the functioning of the immune system and protects against cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases and prenatal health problems.
[ Read: Vitamin C Rich Foods ]
2. Hydrating Properties:
The fruit has vital nutrients that help re-hydrate the body. This can be a blessing for people who get caught in the scorching desert without water.
3. Vitamin B12:
The fruit is rich in vitamin B12 which is needed to make blood cells and keep the nervous system healthy. Deficiency of vitamin B12 can result in anaemia and adversely affect the nervous system. Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common in strict vegans and saguaro fruit is a great source of this vitamin for them.
[ Read: Vitamin B12 Rich Foods ]
4. Cures Rheumatism:
Seri Indians believe that saguaro fruit has the ability to treat rheumatism.They still use it for this purpose.
5. Dietary Fiber:
Saguaro fruit is rich in fiberwhich ensures regular bowel movements. It also helps in keeping the digestive tract in perfect working order.
Quick And Easy Ways Of Including Saguaro Fruit In Your Diet:
- Eat the fruit fresh or turn it into juice.
- Let the fruit dry and enjoy it like dry fruits.
- Make a preserve, jam or syrup of the fruit.
- The Saguaro cactus seeds can be dried and powdered to use it as flour or make porridge.
Enriched with a distinct flavor, the fruit has uses that range from mush, to wine, to using the seeds for oil. The saguaro plant can be used for splint, furniture, fences or fodder.
If you ever get the opportunity to visit the Sonoran desert, do make it a point to taste the juicy saguaro fruit. And, please share your feedback and views by leaving a comment here.
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