Cactus – sources, health benefits, nutrients, uses and constituents at NaturalPedia.com

Tuesday, August 15, 2017 by

Cactus is an evergreen plant that thrives well in semi-arid and desert climate. The plant is characterized by its succulent, segmented stems that are covered in spines. The paddle-shaped appendages, which are actually modified stems, are often mistaken for leaves. Cactus may grow to a height of up to 10 to 12 feet. The flowers bloom during spring, which subsequently develop into luscious fruits commonly known as prickly pears. According to the Healthy Eating website, cactus is prized both for its culinary and medicinal use.

List of known nutrients

Cactus is among the healthiest of superfoods, containing a vast amount of nutrients that bolster the body’s overall health. An entry posted on the Nutrition and You website lists the essential vitamins and minerals found in cactus, which include:

  • Alpha-Carotene
  • Beta-Carotene
  • Calcium
  • Choline
  • Copper
  • Folates
  • Iron
  • Lutein
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic Acid
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Pyridoxine
  • Riboflavin
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Thiamin
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Zeaxanthin
  • Zinc

Medicinal uses for cactus

Cactus is best known for its positive effects on the body’s overall digestion. The superfood is notably rich in dietary fiber that bulk up stool and facilitate bowel movement, which in turn addresses constipation and diarrhea. Likewise, the plant is found to relieve gastric ulcers, stomach upset, nausea, and vomiting. The superfood’s rich fiber content is also shown to effectively cleanse the colon and prevent the onset of more serious conditions like colon cancer. Aside from this, the high antioxidant and flavonoid content in cactus is found to protect the liver from toxins.

Cactus is also touted for its anti-hyperglycemic properties that keep the body’s blood sugar levels in check. This is especially beneficial in preventing the onset of diabetes, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels in those who already have the disease. The superfood is known to induce safe and healthy weight loss as well. The abundant fiber supply in cactus is found to promote satiety for longer periods, which in turn controls hunger and calorie intake.

In addition, cactus possesses strong anti-inflammatory properties that alleviate chronic pain associated with arthritis, joint pain, and muscle strain. Likewise, the superfood contains modest amounts of calcium that promotes bone density and integrity. On the other hand, the essential minerals in cactus help facilitate cellular metabolism and enzyme function in the body. This, in turn, ensures a healthy organ system, hormonal balance and muscle gain.

Moreover, cactus contains vital components that help lower blood cholesterol levels. The polysaccharide fibers and sterols in cactus are shown to reduce bad cholesterol rates and promote the body’s cardiovascular profile. The superfood is also found to slash the risk of developing atherosclerosis, heart diseases and abnormal cardiac rhythm.

Furthermore, cactus is touted to improve sleep, speed up wound healing and eye health. Likewise, the plant is found to lower the odds of anemia, sexually-transmitted diseases and infections.

Body systems supported by cactus

Cactus is notably effective in maintaining digestive health and preventing related diseases. Likewise, the superfood boosts heart health, metabolism and muscle growth. The plant is also helpful in increasing bone strength, improving eye health, and facilitating blood circulation.

Ways to use cactus

Cactus can be used in a variety of recipes including soups, salads and other appetizers. Likewise, the superfood can be incorporated in various meat dishes, baked desserts and preserves. Cactus is also commonly added to various beverages such as smoothies and juices. The Daily Meal website has curated many interesting recipes across the web.

Where to learn more

Summary

Cactus prevents diabetes, cancer, and heart diseases.

Cactus staves off muscle and joint pains, anemia, and eye disorders.

Cactus improves sleep, wound healing, and the body’s overall immunity.

Cactus is beneficial to the digestive, cardiovascular, and skeletal systems.

Cactus also supports the muscular, immune, and nervous systems.

Sources include:

HealthBenefitsOfEating.com

Nutrition-And-You.com

DrHealthBenefits.com

OrganicFacts.net

TheDailyMeal.com

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