Health benefits of cactus

The cactus plant is a staple food in many Latin American cultures. This desert-dwelling plant grows in the arid regions of Latin America, southern California and Arizona. Two parts of the cactus are usually eaten: the cactus fruit (tuna) and the flat cactus pad (nopales) and the use of San Pedro cactus powder is also very famous. 


When preparing cactus, you can eat the fruits and pads raw, cook them in dishes or squeeze them into juice. You can harvest them yourself or buy them at a local market as San Pedro cactus for sale.


Health Benefits


Cacti are known for their nutrients and medicinal value. Both cactus pads and cactus fruit can help fight infections and relieve symptoms of anything from hangovers to high cholesterol. 


Here are some of the health benefits of cactus: 


Manage cholesterol.


Both cactus pads and cactus fruit are high in fiber, which can lower blood cholesterol levels. One study found that eating cactus can reduce body fat, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Incorporating cactus fruits into your diet may help reduce the risk of diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular disease. 


Relieves hangovers


Cacti contain vitamins C, E, A, iron, calcium and more. This wide range of nutrients and more can help reduce inflammation in the body. Research found that taking cactus extract after drinking five to seven alcoholic drinks resulted in fewer hangover symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting or dry mouth). Cactus extract also reduced inflammation in the body, which is often related to alcohol intake. 


Controls blood sugar


High blood sugar in the body can be a symptom of several diseases, such as diabetes , stroke or heart disease . A study conducted in Mexico measured the difference between those who included cactus in their diet and those who did not, and found that those who consumed regular doses of cactus showed a significant decrease in their blood sugar levels. The study suggests that eating cactus may be an inexpensive way to lower blood sugar for people with diabetes. 


Boosts the immune system


Cactus fruits in particular are an excellent source of vitamin C, which is one of the best immune boosters . Regular doses of vitamin C increase the production of white blood cells, which can make you less likely to contract an illness and help your body fight off viruses if you are infected. 




Cactus fruits and pads offer a dose of vitamins and nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce the risk of serious diseases such as diabetes and heart disease. 


It is also an excellent source of: 


Vitamin C

 Vitamin A






Omega 3


Nutrients per serving


A 1 cup serving of raw unsalted cactus contains: 


Calories: 13.8

Protein: 1.14 grams

Fat: 0.08 grams

Carbohydrate: 2.86 grams

Fiber: 1.89 grams

Sugar: 1 gram

Serving Sizes


Raw cactus is very low in saturated fat, calories, and cholesterol. Note that the nutritional value may change if you roast the cactus pads with oil, butter, or salt. In many forms of jams, jellies and juices, cactus juice can be mixed with other juices, such as pineapple, orange or grapefruit. This can increase the amount of sugar you ingest.


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