Categories: Healthy Life

Not Just Ornamental Plants, These 5 Benefits of Eating Cactus for Health

Have you ever thought about eating a meal from a cactus? Plants that are usually used as ornamental plants can actually be eaten. Eating certain types of cactus can actually bring some health benefits.

There are dozens of types of cactus that can be eaten, one of which is the nopales or cactus prickly pear which is very popular in Latin America and Mexico. Although the surface is filled with sharp spines, this plant is believed to have health benefits.

Various benefits of eating cactus

Cactus can be eaten raw or sauteed together with other supplementary ingredients. To make the dish taste more delicious, the cactus plants that are used should be young and tender.

This plant has a crispy texture. It tastes tasteless and dense, with a hint of fresh and sour taste. Not only delicious, eating cactus is also known to have various benefits as follows:

1. Rich in nutritional content

Like food in general, cactus contains a variety of beneficial nutrients. A 128 gram raw cactus contains 3 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 14 calories.

Other benefits of eating cactus are giving your body 20 micrograms of vitamin A, 8 milligrams of vitamin C, 4.6 micrograms of vitamin K, and 141 milligrams of calcium.

Vitamins and minerals are two nutrients that are important for maintaining the continuity of bodily functions.

2. Smooth digestion

It turns out cactus also has benefits for digestion.

Cactus contains a lot of food fiber which is important for the digestive process. The content of fiber in food makes solid stool so it is more easily removed from the digestive tract.

The fiber intake that you get from eating cactus also stimulates peristalsis (squeezing movements) in the smooth muscles along the intestine.

This condition can reduce the risk of digestive disorders such as diarrhea and constipation.

3. Help control blood sugar

Eating cactus is considered safe for diabetics because it can help control blood sugar. This is supported by a study published in the journal ISRN Pharmacology.

The study found that cactus seed extract can reduce blood sugar while increasing glycogen in muscles and liver.

The benefits of eating cactus on this one will be better if it is balanced with the consumption of drugs according to the doctor's prescription.

4. Reducing the risk of cancer

A study conducted on animals showed that a cactus can inhibits tumor growth in the body. This benefit comes from the antioxidant content that is so diverse.

By eating cactus, one of the benefits you receive is getting antioxidants in the form of pectin, carotene, ascorbic acid, betalain, polyphenols, and gallic acid.

All of these antioxidant compounds protect your body from free radicals that trigger cancer formation.

5. Helps to lose weight

Eating cactus also brings benefits for weight loss. Cactus can lose weight in various ways.

First, the content of B complex vitamins in it will accelerate the metabolic rate so that more calories will be burned.

Second, the fiber content in cactus can make you full longer and prevent overeating. Third, cactus can reduce bad cholesterol and help the process of burning fat.

Cactus is not as popular as other ingredients to be processed food. In fact, eating cactus can bring many benefits that are not yet known to many people.

Cactus is very rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The taste is also quite delicious if you can process it well. So, there's no harm in making cactus as an alternative to the daily menu. Good luck!

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