Prickly pear cactus is also known as nopales, which has antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Prickly pear contains magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and B, beta carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, and many other nutrients .The edible parts of prickly pear cactus are the flowers, stems, leaves, and fruits. Prickly pear cactus can be eaten raw, boiled or grilled. It is also used to make juice and jams. Prickly pear is also referred as ‘Nagfani’ in Hindi, ‘Nagajemudu’ in Telugu, ‘Kallimullpazham’ in Malayalam, and ‘Dindla’ in Gujarati.
Let us see the top 14 benefits of this wonderful gift of nature:
Benefits of Prickly Pear
1. Control Overeating:
This is the greatest advantage wherein you can reduce glucose levels in the blood and avoid overeating habits. It is 100% natural and hence does not cause any side effects like other chemical based supplements that are consumed to control overeating.
2. Weight Gain:
Prickly pear fruit contains fiber that will make you feel full for longer hours and reduces hunger pangs. This helps in weight control effectively.
[ Read: Coconut Nutrition ]
In Mexico, prickly pear is a commonly used natural remedy as a dietary supplement. They consume prickly pear in their diet daily to regularize the bowel movements. This helps to maintain healthy digestive system and prevents constipation.
4. Hangover Effect:
This has the ability to reduce the hangover effect. Prickly pear juice reduces the production of inflammatory mediators that induce uncomfortable feeling during alcohol hangovers. This also reduces other symptoms like nausea and dry mouth.
5. Pancreatitis Problems:
Prickly pear is very useful to get rid of pancreatitis problems. This fibrous fruit is a colon cleanser that gives relief to the pancreatic sufferer.
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6. Age-Related Vision Disorders:
This fruit contains flavonoids that prevent macular degeneration and fight cataracts. This delivers blood and oxygen to the eye that helps to maintain healthy eye sight.
This fruit is anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antihistamine. It also contains flavonoid that prevents the release of the compounds which help in inflammation of the joints and muscles caused due to gout, arthritis, exercise, fibromyalgia, and allergies.
Flavonoid compounds in prickly pear lowers the risk of some types of cancer like breast, prostate, stomach, pancreatic, and lungs. This also has the ability to remove free radicals and improves activities of pro-oxidant enzymes.
[ Read: Plum Fruit Benefits ]
Biologically active flavonoid in prickly pears normalizes the blood platelet stickiness, which helps to maintain good cardiovascular health.
The antioxidants react with free radicals that cause many chronic diseases like arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and aging process. This also helps to maintain the glow of the skin and keep them healthy.
11. Glossy Hair:
You can use prickly pear oil to make your hair glossy. This oil can give you double fatty acids and protein than argan oil that helps for attaining shiny hair. Prickly pear also contains vitamin E, that conditions hair deeply.
12. Nail Health:
Prickly pear seed oil can be used to moisturise dry and damaged nail and restore the health of nails and cuticles.
13. Hair Conditioner:
- Peel the fruit
- Cut into small chunks and put in water.
- Cover and shake well.
- Strain and use the liquid.
- Massage the liquid onto the hair, and rinse.
This will make your hair healthy, silky and softer. This is also useful to protect hair from the scorching sun and rejuvenate heat-damaged hair.
14. Skin Health:
The seeds of this fruit are cold pressed to prepare a beauty oil that is anti-inflammatory. This is also known to heal cuts, wounds, and blemishes. It contains skin-softening vitamin E, and vitamin K to reduce dark circles. Prickly pear seed oil is an excellent choice for mature, aging or damaged skin.
Do include this amazing natural wonder in your everyday life and reap the numerous hair, skin and health benefits it has to offer. Don’t forget to share your experience with us. Stay Healthy!