The consumption of cactus leaves has been there for centuries. People consume a type of leaves to have the natural herbal treatment for certain diseases. In this article, we will talk about the benefits of cactus leaves that may be the best option for those who want a healthier life. Cactus leaves belong to the Opuntia genus and grow in warm, arid parts of the world. It grows in Mexico, Latin America, North Africa, the Mediterranean countries and the Middle East. Cactus leaves can be used for food consumption to make juices, jellies, jams, sweets and alcoholic beverages. Next, the use of cactus leaves is varied, as a remedy for minor cuts and burns due to the compounds contained in the sap of the pads. Cactus leaves provide a nutritional benefit, since it has a low calorie level and a high content of antioxidant vitamins A and C. In fact, a cup serving of cactus leaves will only give you 14 calories in this case. It also has the good source of minerals such as potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus.
In addition, it is known that cactus leaves possess antiviral, anti-inflammatory and anticoagulant properties. These are beneficial for curing infections and speeding up the wound healing process. Not only because of that, cactus extract can be valuable in reducing high cholesterol and treating obesity as well. In fact, cactus leaves offer the excellent benefits you have never expected before.
Benefits of Cactus Leaves:
If you are curious to know what cactus leaves you can give, then we list the health benefits of cactus leaves below.
1. Help to Lose Weight:
The first health benefit that cactus leaves provide is the ability to control their weight. It is known that cactus leaves have the source of fiber that can help you lose weight. Fiber can make you feel fuller longer and reduce appetite and prevent obesity as well. On the other hand, it is known that cactus leaves have low cholesterol and saturated fat that can reduce their weight safely. Not only because of that, the presence of thiamine and riboflavin will help maximize the fat burning process and transform fat into energy. For tips, you can add cactus leaves to your diet foods by adding meaty meat to the salad. Another option you can have is to cook it in jelly or add it to your soups or tortillas too.
2. Have Antioxidant Properties:
In fact, cactus leaves have a high level of antioxidants. In this case, it also has the good source of carotenoids. As a result, it will help you get the nutritious food you can eat. It helps protect the body against the effects of free radicals and boost the immune system. In addition, it can prevent the risks of certain diseases such as cancer. Therefore, as antioxidant foods are the best, you can add one of them, including cactus leaves, to your food safely.
3. It has Anti-Inflammatory Properties:
One of the excellent benefits of cactus leaves for health is to provide anti-inflammatory properties. As a consequence, this is also based on a study published in January 2006, “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.” He stated that cactus leaves have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. In addition, it is known that cacti leave the good source of bioflavonoid quercetin to prevent damage from the effects of free radicals. Therefore, you can add cactus leaves to your healthy diet to protect your body against inflammation of the body.
4. Source of Minerals:
It cannot be denied that every part of the cactus plant has great nutritional value. In fact, the flowers and fruits on the stems and leaves are very nutritious and can provide excellent health benefits. At this point, cactus leaves possess the good source of magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. This is based on the “The International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition” reports.
“As a result, these minerals are important to promote body function”.
For example, magnesium and potassium have a role in maintaining strong muscle. Therefore, if you want to meet the needs of minerals in the body, you can count on cactus leaves for the best option.
5. It has Essential Fatty Acids:
The next nutrient provided by cactus leaves is the presence of essential fatty acids. In this case, it contains linoleic acid as a kind of essential fatty acids. As a result, it is known that essential fatty acids participate in the maintenance of brain function and cognitive health. It can even help improve memory and increase learning ability as well. Such great benefits, right?
6. Promotes Digestive Health:
The presence of fiber in the plant is so valuable to promote the work of the digestion system. In this case, cactus leaves provide the source of fiber to promote the digestive process and also add volume to bowel movements that make them easier to pass through the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. In addition, it promotes peristaltic movement and protects the intestine from infection. With the good consumption of good fiber in cactus leaves, it will help prevent certain diseases such as diarrhea, gastric ulcers and constipation. For advice, to meet the needs of fiber in the body, you can also eat green fruits and vegetables.
7. Treat Diabetes:
One of the great benefits of cactus leaves for health is to treat diabetes. This is due to the presence of fiber and pectin inside the cactus. As a result, it will help reduce the level of blood sugar, as well as reduce the absorption of sugar in the stomach and intestines. This plant can also increase insulin sensitivity. Not only that, a study presented by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research stated that it can help reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. In fact, with the large nutrients contained in cactus leaves, then it shows the positive result in the treatment of health disorders.
8. Prevents Cancer:
Cancer is one of the most chronic diseases. People try to find a treatment and prevention for this disease. As a consequence, it is recommended to take cactus leaves, as it offers antioxidants to prevent the growth of cancer cells and reduce accumulated toxins and waste products in the body. This is related to the presence of phenolics and flavonoids to protect healthy body cells from damage. In addition, according to a study published in the February 2013 issue of the magazine “Food and Function,” he said that the benefits of cactus leaves have cancer favors for sure. It helps people treat breast and colon cancer cells due to the presence of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.
9. Lowers Cholesterol Level:
People need to manage their food consumption, such as choosing the right foods for a healthier life. At this point, it is the best way to choose foods that can reduce the level of cholesterol. Then, according to the statement of researchers at the University of Vienna, showing cactus leaves can help reduce the level of high cholesterol or triglycerides. It also helps raise good cholesterol levels too. As a result, as it can control the level of cholesterol in the body, it can promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart disease such as heart attack and stroke.
10. Promotes a Healthy Vision:
You can achieve healthy vision by eating healthy foods that contain good nutrients such as vitamin A. Consequently, you can count on cactus leaves that provide the good source of vitamin A. As a result, cactus leaves can help prevent risk. of macular degeneration and promote vision too. Then, you can consume cactus leaves for food along with other good foods, including carrots, without a doubt.
11. Promotes Heart Health:
As described above, cactus leaves have the ability to control and reduce the level of HDL cholesterol in the body. It can even increase the level of good cholesterol. This has also been proven by a French study published in 2007 to learn about the effects of cactus leaves on metabolic syndrome. As a result, the level of decline will also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes. Not only because of that, the presence of potassium will help control blood pressure and also protect the cardiovascular system.
12. Promotes Brain Health:
Due to the presence of antioxidants, folic acid and other vitamins in cactus leaves, it brings benefits to promote brain health. As a consequence, it protects the brain from cell damage. This statement is also related to the study published in 2003 which states that due to the presence of quercetin and dihydroquercetin it can help protect the brain cells of rats. Therefore, if you want to promote brain health and promote cognitive function, cactus leaves are something that must be taken into account.
13. Boosts Metabolism:
What we need from food consumption is to promote the work of the body’s function. In this point. The benefits of cactus leaves can help boost the body’s metabolism. This is related to the presence of vitamins and minerals contained in it. In fact, it has thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin B6 to also regulate the body’s function. In addition, the presence of minerals will protect the muscle and bones. So what are you waiting for? Add cactus leaves to your healthy diet for the best health results for sure.
14. Promotes the Quality of Sleep:
Surprisingly, the benefits of cactus leaves can help you promote good sleep quality. It turns out that this benefit is associated with the presence of magnesium as the essential mineral to induce a good sleep. On the other hand, it also helps to release serotonin in the body to make you calm. As a result, the present sedative effect can cause nerve function and also prevent insomnia and chronic anxiety. For advice, to have a good quality of sleep, it is also recommended to take cactus leaves with milk for the option.
15. Promotes Skin Health:
Who likes to have healthy skin? Cactus leaves can be your option to have such great beauty treatments. In this case, the presence of phytochemicals and antioxidants can help soften the skin and prevent the signs of earlier aging. As a result, it will help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots on the skin. Antioxidant properties also participate in the prevention of acne and redness in the face. Then, with the use of cactus leaves, you will surely get healthy and youthful skin. After knowing the benefits of cactus leaves for health, here is the information on the tips for consuming cactus leaves below.
Tips to Consume:
If you want to buy cactus leaves, you can choose thick and equal leaves. Take notes to collect solid leaves without bruised and soft spots. It is also better to choose those that are medium to dark green.
- After that, you can also store the cactus in the refrigerator.
- You can use knives to trim the edges of the cactus leaves and cut the palettes into small strips.
- For cooking tips, you can boil it and turn it into salads, stews, scrambled eggs, soups and other excellent foods. In fact, adding cactus leaves will add the chewable texture to your food, then
- You can then find cactus leaves in other forms, such as supplements, oils or capsule extracts.
In conclusion, cactus leaves can be a desert plant or in our living room. But, this has a great thing inside it. You can cook it and achieve good vitamins and minerals for sure. With its valuable ability, it can help you control body weight and prevent cancer as well. Therefore, with the correct consumption of cactus leaves, you will take another step towards a healthier life.