The consumption of leaves has been there for centuries. People consume kind of leaves to have the natural herbal treatment for certain diseases. In this article, there are cactus leaves which can be the best option for those who wish the healthier life. Cactus leaves belong to the genus Opuntia and grow in warm and 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, candies, and alcoholic beverages. Next, the use of cactus leaves is varied such as being a remedy for minor cuts and burns due to the compounds contained in the sap from the pads. Cactus leaves provide nutritional benefit as it has low calories level and high in antioxidant vitamins A and C. In fact, one 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.
Moreover, it is known that cactus leaves possess the antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-clotting properties. These are beneficial to cure infections and speed up the healing process of wounds. Not only for that, the cactus extract can be valuable to reduce the level of high cholesterol and treat obesity as well. Indeed, cactus leaves offer the excellent benefits you may have never expected before.
As the consequence, if you are curious what cactus leaves can give you, then we have listed the health benefits of cactus leaves below.
1. Helps to Lose Weight
The first health benefit provided by cactus leaves is the ability to control your weight. It is known that cactus leaves have the source of fiber which can help you to lose weight. Fiber can make you feel full longer and reduce the hunger and prevent obesity as well. Moreover, it is known that cactus leaves have the low cholesterol and saturated fat which can reduce your weight for sure. Not only for that, the presence of thiamin and riboflavin will help to maximize the process of fat burning and transform the fat into the energy. For the tips, you can add cactus leaves to your diet foods by adding the fleshy meat of it to your salad. Another option you can have is by cooking it into a jelly or adding it to your soups or omelets as well.
2. Have Antioxidant Properties
In fact, cactus leaves have the high level of antioxidants. In this case, it also has the good source of carotenoids. As a result, it will help you to get the nutritious food you can ever eat. It aids in protecting the body against free radicals effects and boost the immune system. Moreover, it can prevent the risks of certain diseases such as cancer. Thus, as antioxidant foods are the best, then you can add one of them including cactus leaves to your foods for sure.
3. Have Anti-Inflammatory Properties
One of the excellent health benefits of cactus leaves is to provide the anti-inflammatory properties. As the consequence, this is also based on a study published in the January 2006 “Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology.” stated that cactus leaves have the strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Moreover, it is known that cactus leaves the good source of bioflavonoid quercetin to prevent the damage of free radical effects. Therefore, you can add cactus leaves to your healthy diet to protect your body against the body inflammation.
4. Source of Minerals
It cannot be denied that every part of the cactus plant has the great nutritional value. Indeed, the flowers and fruits to the stems and leaves are very nutritious and can give you the excellent health benefits. At this point, cactus leaves possess the good source of magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus. This is based on the reports of “The International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition”. As a result, these minerals are important to promote the body function. For instance, the magnesium and potassium have a role in maintaining the strong muscle. Hence, if you want to fulfill the minerals needs in the body, then you can count on cactus leaves for the best option.
5. Have Essential Fatty Acids
The next nutrient provided by cactus leaves is the presence of essential fatty acids. In this case, it contains the linoleic acid as kind of essential fatty acids. As a result, it is known that essential fatty acids take part in maintaining the brain function and cognitive health. Even, it can help to improve the memory and boost the learning skill as well. Such the great benefits, right?
6.Promotes Digestive Health
The presence of fiber in the plant is so valuable to promote the work of digestion system. In this case, cactus leaves provide the source of fiber to promote the digestive process as well as adding bulk to bowel movements that make them easier to pass through the smooth muscles of the digestive tract. Moreover, it promotes the peristaltic motion and protects the gut from infection. With the good consumption of good fiber in cactus leaves, then it will help to prevent certain diseases such as diarrhea, gastric ulcers, and constipation. For the tips, to fulfill the fiber needs in the body, you can eat kind of fruits and green vegetables as well.
7. Treats Diabetes
One of the great health benefits of cactus leaves is to treat diabetes. This is due to the presence of fiber and pectin within the cactus. As a result, it will help to reduce the level of blood sugar as well as reducing the sugar absorption in the stomach and intestines. This plant can also boost the insulin sensitivity. Not only for that, a study brought by the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research stated that it can help to reduce the blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Indeed, with the great nutrients contained in cactus leaves, then it proves the positive result in treating 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 the consequence, it is recommended to take cactus leaves as it offers antioxidants to prevent the growth of cancer cells and reduce the accumulated toxins and waste products in the body. This related to the presence of phenolics and flavonoids to protect the healthy body cells from damage. Moreover, based on a study published in the February 2013 issue of the journal “Food and Function.” stated that cactus leaves have the anticancer benefits for sure. It aids people in treating the 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 the healthier life. At this point, it is the best way to choose the foods that can lower the cholesterol level. Then, according to the statement of the researchers at the University of Vienna that shown cactus leaves can help to lower the level of high cholesterol or triglycerides. Even, it also helps to raise the good cholesterol levels as well. As a result, as you can control the cholesterol level in the body, then you can promote the cardiovascular health and prevent the heart diseases such as heart attack and stroke.
10. Promotes Healthy Vision
You can achieve the healthy vision by consuming the healthy foods that contain the good nutrients such as vitamin A. Consequently, you can count on cactus leaves which provide the good source of vitamin A. As a result, cactus leaves can help to prevent the risk of macular degeneration and promote the vision as well. Then, you can consume cactus leaves for the foods together with other good foods including carrots for sure.
11. Promotes Heart Health
As described before, cactus leaves have the ability to control and reduce the level of HDL cholesterol level in the body. Even, it can increase the level of good cholesterol. This is 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 lowering level will also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and stroke. Not only for that, the presence of potassium will help to control the blood pressure and protect the cardiovascular system as well.
12. Promotes Brain Health
Due to the presence of antioxidants, folate, and other vitamins in cactus leaves, then it brings benefits to promote the brain health. As the consequence, it protects the brain from cellular damage. This statement is also linked with the study published in 2003 stated that due to the presence of quercetin and dihydroquercetin can help to protect the brain cells of rats. Hence, if you want to promote the brain health and promote the cognitive function, then cactus leaves are something that should be taken into account.
13. Boosts Metabolism
What we need from the food consumption is to promote the work of body function. At this point. Cactus leaves can aid in boosting the body metabolism. This is related to the presence of vitamins and minerals contained in it. Indeed, it possesses the thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 to regulate the body function as well. Moreover, the presence of mineral will protect the muscle and bones. Thus, what are you waiting for? Add cactus leaves to your healthy diet to achieve best health results for sure.
14. Promotes Sleep Quality
Surprisingly, cactus leaves can help you to promote the 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. Moreover, it also helps to release the serotonin in the body to make you calm. As a result, the present of sedative effect can call the nerve function and prevent you from insomnia and chronic anxiety as well. For the tips, to have a good sleep quality, it is also recommended to take cactus leaves with milk for the option.
15. Promotes Skin Health
Who loves to have the healthy skin? Cactus leaves can be your option for having such a great beauty treatments. In this case, the presence of phytochemical and antioxidant can help to soften the skin and prevent the signs of earlier aging as. As a result, it will help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and age spots on the skin. The antioxidant properties also take part in preventing the acne and redness on face. Then, with the use of cactus leaves, you will achieve the healthy and youthful skin for sure.
After knowing the health benefits of cactus leaves, here we give you the information for the tips of consuming cactus leaves below.
Tips for Consuming
If you want to buy cactus leaves, then you can choose the thick even leaves. Take notes to pick the solid leaves with no bruised and soft spots. It is also better to pick the ones that are medium to dark green.
- After that, you can store the cactus in the refrigerator as well.
- You can use knifes to trim the edges of cactus leaves and cut the paddles into small strips.
- For cooking tips, you can boil it and make it into salads, stews, egg scrambles, soups, and other great foods for sure. Indeed, by adding cactus leaves will add the chewy texture to your foods then
- Next, you can find cactus leaves in other forms such as supplement, oils, or extract in capsules.
As the conclusion, cactus leaves may be a plant from the desert or in our living room. But, this one has a great thing inside it. You can cook it and achieve the good vitamins and minerals for sure. With its valuable ability, it can help you to manage body weight and prevent cancer as well. Thus, with the right consumption of cactus leaves, you will take another step to reach the healthier life.