Nature provides us with everything we need for nourishment through plants but most times we ignore it because we are just focused on the mainstream ones. This time why not try plants that are unconventional but are still proven effective when it comes to health benefits? You can start with cactus.
Do not be surprised as some scientists consider cactus the new “superfood”. When we hear cactus we usually imagine an arid or barren land or a prickly plant on top of our office table but the truth is, cactus is more than that. Cacti may look useless but it is packed with nutrients and vitamins that are best for the body.
So, what are the health benefits of the new superfood? Here are some of its benefits according to https://expertsknowbest.com/:
- Reduces hangovers: Cacti contain vitamins A, C, E, calcium, iron, and carotenoids. These vitamins can significantly reduce the body’s inflammation. In a study conducted by Tulane Health Sciences Center – New Orleans, cactus can reduce hangover. The cactus they used was Opuntia Ficis Indica. They extracted the cactus and let the adults drink it five hours before consuming 5 to 7 alcoholic drinks. The respondents experienced fewer symptoms of a hangover.
- Lowers cholesterol: If you know the variety of cactus called prickly pear, you should know that it is linked to lowering the cholesterol levels because of its pectin and fiber content. In a 2002 study conducted by the University of Vienna, respondents with high cholesterol were given an extract of nopal cactus leaf. After eight weeks, total cholesterol of the respondents decreased by 12%, LDL or “bad cholesterol” by 15% and triglycerides by 12%.
- Lowers blood sugar: According to a study of prickly pear cactus conducted by Icliniq’s Dr. Swapan Banerjee, it can help lower blood sugar levels especially for patients suffering from Type 2 diabetes. The research revealed that the cactus contains good glycemic control which is rarely seen in common drugs for blood sugar.
- Fights cancer cells: Cactus leaf has many antioxidants that can shield the healthy cells from damage by what they call free radicals. A study in 2009 revealed that the phytochemicals found in the leaf can inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells. More studies are conducted for the potential of cactus to fight cancer cells.
Now that you know this, there is nothing wrong with trying. You can juice the cactus for a start. You need to be careful with the spines because you need to remove it. After taking the spines, clean the pads with water before crushing it.