Cactus acts as antioxidant, anti-cancer agent, manages cholesterol, treats constipation, and strengthens the immune system. It helps in managing weight, regulating diabetes, hangover prevention, maintaining heart health, maintaining young and healthy skin and metabolism.
Cactus juice, also known as nopales or prickly pear juice, is gaining popularity in recent times. The origin of this beverage can be traced back in Mexico, India, South America, Middle East and several parts of Europe. The fleshy leaves of the cactus plant have a sticky liquid like substance called the nectar which is composed of water, sugar, and minerals. Prickly pear cactus juice with its anti-oxidant action has overall health benefits. Both parts of the nopal plant – the nopales and the fruit are increasingly used since traditional times for treatment and prevention purposes.
In this article:
Top 11 Health Benefits of Cactus Juice
Below listed are the 11 amazing benefits of the cactus juice:
The juice works well for vitamin C supplementation which enhances overall antioxidant defense in the body and helps in reducing oxidation of fats, a process that contributes to atherosclerosis. It also cuts the risk of degenerative and age-related diseases. Comparing three different juices of various colors which are red-purple, white-green, and yellow-orange, the red-purple variety had the most antioxidants.
Phenolics and flavonoids are the two compounds with antioxidant properties which are found in the cactus leaf. These antioxidants help to protect healthy cells from damage by free radicals that are related to cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Cactus juice can inhibit cancer cell growth and lowers tumor growth.
Cactus leaf has been found to lower cholesterol level in the body and reduction in the risk of heart diseases. The juice helps in reducing the thickness of blood which promotes the easy flow of blood without causing several blockage issues. It helps in lowering blood sugar, healing wounds, and thus lowering cholesterol.
Cactus juice has a laxative effect which helps in treating constipation. In addition to this, the juice also reduces inflammation in the urethra and bladder which controls the pain experienced by an individual during bladder infections and gallstones.
Strengthening the Immune System
Photo chemical action of Cactus juice is a massive source for strengthening body’s immune system and also helps to improve the digestion process. Nopales helps in reducing cellulite and enhancing the ability to retain water in the body to speed up bowel movement.
Cactus juice is rich in amino acid, vitamins, and minerals, which makes it beneficial for weight loss. It also contains 17 amino acids which provide a good amount of energy and serves enough amount of calories per day. The high fiber content of nopal helps to regulate the appetite and reduce the amount of fat in our body by helping it breaking down and excrete the fat.
Amino Acids of this juice also impart energy and help in reducing fatigue. It also helps in strengthening the liver and pancreas while also increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin which in turn may stimulate the movement of glucose to the body’s cells where it is used as energy. Further, nopal may slow down the digestion of carbohydrates which may decrease insulin production.
A small study provided incidents of low blood sugar levels after meals alongside low insulin levels in case of type-2 diabetes. People with diabetes are advised to include high-fiber foods, such as nopal and prickly pear in their diet. These can improve blood sugar, lower insulin levels, and improve blood lipids.
Cactus juice has been evident in decreasing the effects of alcohol, thereby eliminating the effects of alcohol. Research found that participants who took the extract before a night out drinking said that their nausea, dry mouth, and aversion to food were quite less severe the next morning. The juice thus has its own hangover-fighting mechanism.
Maintaining Heart Health
Cactus helps in maintaining heart’s health by assisting to decrease cholesterol within people having hypertension. It helps in lowering down the LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases HDL (good cholesterol). This significant improvement of cholesterol level indicates that the juice has benefits for the overall health.
Maintaining Young and Healthy Skin
One cannot prevent skin aging but effectively delay it. Cactus juice not only provides health benefits but also promotes healthy skin. Its antioxidant and photochemical properties make it appropriate to fight against early aging symptoms like age spots and wrinkles. The free radicals that are left after the process of cellular metabolism potentially impact the skin.
Nutritional value of Cactus Juice
Nutritional value of one cup of cactus juice
|Vitamin A||20 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8 mg|
Recipes from Cactus Juice
- Citrus-Cactus Drink: This is a day time refreshing drink made from the extracts of orange, lemon, and cactus along with coconut water.
- Nopal Cactus Smoothie: It is low in calorie drink made with apple, blueberries, grapes, and milk whose one cup contains only 14 calories so nopal cactus benefits weight loss.
- DeKuyper Cactus Cranberry Drink: The cranberry cactus is a red-wine drink. Ingredients include DeKuyper Cactus Juice, cranberry juice, and club soda. Drink is best when served with ice.
- Cactus Blue: It is a sky-blue drink made from DeKuyper Cactus Juice, Pucker Island Punch schnapps, Sprite, and lemon soda. Tastes refreshing when served with ice.
Cactus Juice is great for health but should always be consumed in reasonable quantities. It is advised to take this juice thrice a week by the maximum.
Side Effects of Cactus Juice in Your Diet
As the Nopalea juice is extracted mainly from the tuna fruits, there are no side effects of the juice. Nopal is generally considered safe when consumed in reasonable amounts but common side effects include nausea, diarrhea, bloating, headache, and increased stool volume.
Nopalea Cactus Juice contains many anti-oxidants and Bioflavonoids and is, therefore, helps the body get better by focusing on overall health. Nopalea is a wellness drink which is best if consumed on a regular basis. There are many natural resources which have end number of benefits but are unknown to us.