Did you know prickly pear cactus can nourish your immune system?
What is prickly pear cactus for?
Scientists have researched prickly pear cactus and found many phytochemicals, antioxidants, and polysaccharides that boost the immune system.
The immune system is a complex network of organs, cells, and substances. Each individual part plays a different role. Some of them play multiple roles.
As your body’s first line of defense against disease, these components are like the different sections of a country’s army–air, land, sea, and IT.
Different parts of the immune system are best equipped with different “ammunition”. The great variety of phytochemicals in prickly pear cactus add to the phytochemicals in your daily diet to better nourish each part of the immune system.
Excessive free radicals in your body can accelerate aging of your organs and mutate DNA.
Accelerated aging leads to malfunction of the organs, which causes disease.
DNA mutations lead to mutant cells that reproduce uncontrollably. The end result is cancer.
An unhealthy lifestyle and polluted environments cause excessive free radicals in your body. Fortunately, you can counter them with antioxidants.
Antioxidants go to free radicals and stabilize them, making them harmless. Prickly pear cactus improved the antioxidant activity of blood in people in just a few hours after consumption.
The slimy mucilage in prickly pear cactus is valuable for its good variety of polysaccharides. In a typical diet, we would be getting more polysaccharides from mushrooms. Prickly pear cactus is another excellent source of these long chain sugars (as opposed to simple sugars like sucrose and glucose).
In a laboratory study published in Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2007, extracts of prickly pear cactus, found to contain polysaccharides, had anti-inflammatory effects. They seemed to protect cartilage better than hyaluronic acid.
Getting your daily prickly pear cactus
You can either do it yourself or take a supplement.
However, not all use prickly pear cactus. If you find a prickly pear cactus product that is excellent in quality, food safety, and nutrition, you have found a gem!