prickly-pear-cactus-fruits-big-bend-national-parkPrickly Pear which is also known as Cactus Pear or Opuntia has a number of health benefits. Prickly pear is found throughout the Americas. Prickly pear is noted for its antioxidant qualities and it is also rich in Vitamin C. It is a well known fact that Vitamin C is known for its ability to boost the body’s immune system. Many studies are underway to understand fully the health benefits of Opuntia or prickly pear. One of the important health benefits identified that in people that took prickly pear the Vitamin E levels have gone up indicating the antioxidant properties of the fruit.

Reports and studies also indicate that prickly pear also helps in diabetics. Using prickly pear regularly in diet results in the drop of glucose levels in blood. By reducing the glucose levels in the blood the hunger level is reduced. So it is useful in dealing with overeating problems as well.

Prickly pear has high fiber content and there are proofs that consuming food with high fibrous content will make people feel full for longer durations and the craving to eat reduces dramatically. All these factors point to possible benefits in the area of weight control as well.

One of the greatest advantages with prickly pear is that it is 100% natural way to reduce glucose levels in blood and to fight overeating habits. It is much safer than consuming a lot of chemical based supplements to control overeating that can possibly harm the digestive system.

In certain parts of the world including Mexico, prickly pear is used as a dietary supplement. Adding prickly pear to the regular diet it is possible to regularize the bowel movements resulting in healthy digestive system.

Another important benefit is to be seen in the ability of the prickly pear in reducing the hangover effect. A specific type of opuntia namely Indian Fig Opuntia seems to reduce the production of inflammatory mediators which cause the uncomfortable feeling in alcohol hangovers. Other related symptoms including nausea, dry mouth is also reduced with the help of Indian Fig prickly pear. The tests on the effectiveness of prickly pear in fighting hangovers show very promising results.

Prickly pear comes as good news to people that have pancreatitis problems. The fibrous fruit is used as colon cleansers giving relief to people that suffer pancreatic issues. As you can see there are many health benefits in prickly pear. Using prickly pear in your diet regularly you will be able to ward of many of the health complications discussed above. It is not necessary that one has to have any of the above health conditions to benefit from prickly pear. As there are no side effects in taking prickly pear people in all age groups can consume prickly pear without any fear.

There are many further researches conducted on prickly pear and their role in lowering cholesterol, nerve deterioration etc. Researches also indicate that prickly pear can be used as a health supplement to enhance one’s general health.

WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/news/20040819/cactus-pear-superb-source-of-antioxidants

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opuntia

 

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