Did you know that cactus gel is edible and very nutritious?
What is cactus for?
What do people eat or use cactus for, other than as a plant for their home or garden?
Cactus has anti-inflammatory properties that are helpful against many inflammatory diseases such as arthritis.
Nourishing the immune system
Cactus is extremely high in a great variety of antioxidants, phytochemicals, and polysaccharides. These nutrients all nourish the immune system to protect us in different ways.
For example, cactus pad powder protected against harmful oxidation and halted colon cancer progression, according to a study published in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry. (Source)
In 2015, scientists published in Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture that cactus extracts killed human cancer cells in vitro. (Source)
Alleviates chronic conditions
Nutrients like fiber make cactus helpful against
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Gastrointestinal diseases
Topically and when taken orally, cactus helps wounds to heal better and faster.
The Chinese list cactus in their Materia Medica and Mexicans use cactus for a variety of ailments.
How to eat cactus
People, especially Mexicans, have enjoyed cactus as a food for a long time.
I used to buy cactus pads from the supermarket. I skinned the pads, cut them into smaller pieces and cooked them lightly with some seasoning.
But it turns out that this is not the best way to get the full benefits of cactus. Scientists have researched the best way to process cactus such that maximum nutrition is retained:
- Cactus gel requires special processing to obtain the nutritious part and omit the inedible part.
- The time of harvest is crucial to get the optimal level of nutrients.
- Once harvested, cactus must be processed fast to retain freshness and nutrients. Its high water content and low acidity make cactus vulnerable to rapid spoilage. (Source) So, the cactus pads you see in the supermarket may not be as nutritious as those processed immediately to lock in maximum freshness and nutrition!
Reliable sources of cactus
One of the fruits of scientific research into cactus processing is a product called Millennium, which combines cactus with royal jelly and honey for an even greater immunity boost.
Besides liquids, cactus products are also available in capsule or tablet form. Here’s a look at a cactus tablet product: