If you ever want to try exotic vegetable juice, cactus juice is a great option, as it has a long list of potential health benefits, incredible nutrient density, and several powerful antioxidants.
What is Cactus Juice?
Cactus juice is actually known by many different names, including prickly pear juice or nopal juice, but they all refer to the natural juice of the nopal. There are over a hundred different species in the Opuntia genus. But many of them share similar physical and nutritional profiles. Native to the Americas, the prickly pear cactus was first naturalized in Australia and has since spread to many other parts of the world. Cactus juice is believed to have been part of the culinary practices of indigenous peoples for thousands of years.
Cactus Juice Nutrition
This juice is an excellent source of vitamin C, B-family vitamins, iron, calcium, beta-carotene, magnesium, numerous amino acids, and other phytonutrients. It is also extremely low in calories, although it is quite high in omega-6 fatty acids.
Extracting cactus juice takes a bit more effort than most other vegetable juices, but it is worth the effort, as long as you can find the right nopal pads to make the juice. While you can buy your own cactus juice at certain exotic food stores, it can be expensive and may also contain other additives or sugars. Making your own allows you to get creative with other ingredients and enjoy the many health benefits of this juice at a fraction of the price
The main benefits of cactus juice include its ability to aid weight loss, facilitate digestion, neutralize inflammation, lower blood pressure, relieve menstrual cramps, control diabetes, reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, reduce risk of cancer and eliminate hangovers quickly.
Lowers cholesterol levels
Studies have found that regular consumption of cactus juice can not only significantly lower LD cholesterol levels, it can also reduce fat deposition, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease.
Cactus juice is extremely low in calories, around 15 calories per cup, which means you can drink quite a bit of this juice without affecting your daily calorie intake. However, it does have the ability to fill you up and deliver a number of key nutrients, so you can avoid snacking and overeating without compromising your diet.
This juice has been recommended for intestinal problems for centuries, as it can form a protective layer in the intestine that reduces levels of inflammation and relieves the discomfort of irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulitis, and colitis. It can also help resolve constipation, bloating, and cramping problems as it flushes out the colon and digestive tract.
One of the soluble fibers that are bioavailable in this juice is pectin, which has a strong effect on blood sugar levels in the body. This compound can help regulate insulin and glucose levels in the body, making it a great ally for those who suffer from diabetes or people at risk of developing this disease.
In addition to the vitamin C content in the nopal, there is also a compound called betaine, a powerful antioxidant that has been directly linked to the prevention of carcinogenic activity in cells. This can prevent cell mutation and protect you from various types of cancer.
Lowers blood pressure
There are impressive levels of potassium in cactus juice, making it great for reducing blood pressure and symptoms of hypertension. This can decrease the stress on your heart and lower your chances of heart attack and stroke.
Acts as an anti-inflammatory agent
If you suffer from conditions such as arthritis, gout, inflamed intestines, headaches, chronic muscle pain. Or high levels of oxidative stress, the anti-inflammatory properties of this juice are precisely what you need. The phytochemicals and other antioxidants in the juice provide most of these calming benefits.
Over the years, countless people have sworn by cactus juice as the best hangover cure. Too much alcohol can cause inflammation, and cactus juice can counteract it directly, while also addressing some of the more common symptoms of a hangover, such as nausea and headaches.
Relieves menstrual cramps
The antispasmodic nature of the active ingredients in cactus juice makes it a popular juice for women experiencing painful menstrual cramps. This juice can act quickly to eliminate all abdominal discomfort and tension. And also to relieve the stress and anxiety that often accompany a woman’s period.
Reduce Stress Levels
If you suffer from chronic anxiety or stress, some of the active ingredients found in this juice can simulate the effects of cortisone, which can lower stress hormone levels and calm the mind, help you focus or relax, and even get a better night. sleep.
How to make cactus juice?
Making your own cactus juice at home may sound daunting. But it’s only a little more complicated than mixing or juicing a regular vegetable. As mentioned, there are more than a hundred species of nopales. But the most important thing is to remove the spines from the pads and the rounded fruits. Ripe fruit and pads will contain the most varied and stable range of nutrients. To enhance the flavor of the juice, many people add other citrus fruits to increase sweetness and palatability.
- 2 large cactus pads (or 2-3 prickly pear fruits)
- 1 cup of coconut water
- 2 oranges
- 1 lemon
– Remove any spines that are still stuck in the pad with tweezers or a knife.
-Bring a pot of water to a boil and then place the two cactus pads.
– Let them sit for 3-4 minutes as they will start to release their juices.
– Remove the pads carefully and let them cool down.
– Peel the pads and cut them into small cubes.
– Add the chopped cactus to your blender, along with the oranges, lemon, and coconut water.
– Mix thoroughly until the consistency is even.
– Place the cheesecloth over a bowl or bowl and strain the mixed mixture through it.
– Press on the cactus pulp into the cheesecloth, removing as much of the juice as possible.
– Discard the cactus pulp, refrigerate the juice, and serve cold!
Cactus Juice can be a wonderful addition to your health regimen. But there are some potential health risks and side effects to be aware of. Before using this nutrient-dense drink, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your specific risk factors.
Hangover: Although cactus juice is considered by many people to be a hangover cure, people with sensitive stomachs or severe reactions to alcohol may find that cactus juice worsens symptoms, including more painful headaches and additional gastrointestinal upset.
Diabetes – Cactus juice is known for its ability to lower blood sugar, but people with low blood sugar can experience dangerously low blood sugar, causing weakness, cognitive confusion, and even fainting.
Stomach problems: Common side effects for people who are not used to drinking cactus juice include nausea, diarrhea, cramps, bloating, and other types of gastrointestinal problems.
Drug Interactions: Experts do not recommend drinking cactus juice before taking daily medications, as the juice can inhibit a number of medications, especially those that affect the kidneys, liver, and pancreatic conditions.