Does Cactus Help Lower Blood Pressure

In addition to their medical use, cacti are known for their nutritional worth. Both cactus pads and cactus fruit have anti-infective properties that can assist with everything from hangovers to high cholesterol problems.

The following are a few of the cactus’ health advantages:

The cactus fruit and pad are both rich in fiber, which can reduce blood cholesterol levels. According to a study, eating cactus can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and body fat. Your chance of developing conditions including stroke, coronary heart disease, and peripheral vascular illnesses can be lowered by include cactus fruits in your diet.

Iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin E, and more are all found in cacti. This extensive spectrum of nutrients and others can aid in lowering inflammatory levels in the body. According to research, taking cactus extract after consuming five to seven alcoholic beverages helped reduce the severity of hangover symptoms (such as nausea, vomiting, or dry mouth). The body’s inflammation, which is frequently related to alcohol consumption, was also decreased by the cactus extract.

A number of diseases, including diabetes, a stroke, and heart disease, can all be indicated by high blood sugar levels in the body. A Mexican study compared the diets of those who regularly ate cactus pads to those who didn’t, and it found that those who did had significantly lower blood sugar levels than those who didn’t. According to the study, eating cactus may be a cheap approach for those with diabetes to lower their blood sugar levels.

Particularly cactus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, one of the finest immune enhancers. White blood cell production is boosted by regular vitamin C intake, which can lower your risk of infection and help your body fight off viruses if you become infected.

Does cactus food lower blood sugar levels?

Prickly pear cactus may help type 2 diabetics lower their blood sugar levels, according to some preliminary research. According to certain studies, the anti-inflammatory properties of prickly pear cactus extract may help to minimize the unpleasant side effects of a hangover.

Packed with antioxidants

While we don’t want to bore you with a science lesson, antioxidants do merit a little explanation. Antioxidants help to maintain good health by assisting in the battle against free radicals, which are to blame for the development of many chronic illnesses. In the simplest terms possible, antioxidants maintain our cellular health. The most well-known ones include vitamins (vitamins A, C, and E), selenium, and flavonoids, all of which naturally present in fruit and vegetables. If that seems a little too abstract, let’s just state that they are all vitamins. The water from prickly pears has been scientifically related to the elimination of toxins and contains some of the most potent plant-based antioxidants.

Prevents dehydration

We all know that water makes up the majority of our bodies. We need water to maintain a healthy metabolism, maintain healthy skin (that glow you’re chasing), enhance cognition, and avoid headaches.

Although we are all too aware with the daily water intake guidelines, in reality we fall short of them. To quench our thirst or to receive an energy boost, we frequently turn to coffee or a carbonated beverage.

Another issue is that we frequently confuse hunger and thirst. According to a recent study reported in The Seattle Times, respondents mistook hunger for thirst 62 percent of the time and properly identified thirst only 2 percent of the time. This is due to:

  • Some signs of mild dehydration, such as headaches or trouble concentrating, are similar to hungry signs.
  • Even our own brains can occasionally become confused because hunger and thirst are processed by the same area of the brain (the hypothalamus!).

Does the prickly pear fruit help with high blood pressure?

Prickly pears include essential elements for healthy blood pressure, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium, as well as vitamin C, which is crucial for a strong immune system ( 6 , 7 ). Additionally, prickly pears include a variety of advantageous plant substances, such as antioxidants including phenolic acids, flavonoids, and pigments.

What three purposes do cacti serve?

NARI recently gave 200 kg of fresh cladodes—the flattened organ that grows from a plant’s stem—to farmers in the Andhra Pradesh district of Medak. Numerous other institutions in India have also conducted studies on this plant.

It would be fantastic if farmers began experimenting with it as Nandini Nimbkar continues to raise awareness about this great crop.

What occurs when you eat a cactus?

You may have heard that if you ever become stranded and dehydrated in the desert, a cactus may provide you with water. Although it seems like a good survival tip to keep on hand, is it really that simple? It transpires that a cactus is not essentially a freshwater basin covered in spines. In a dry environment full of thirsty creatures, such a plant would not survive for very long. In addition to their frightening spines, most cactus species further guard their spongy flesh with acids and powerful alkaloids since water is a very valuable resource in a desert. Most people find these substances to be too bitter to tolerate, and ingesting them puts a strain on the kidneys. Some cactus species’ meat can also result in temporary paralysis, vomiting, and diarrhea—none of which are helpful for your survival in a crisis. The prickly pear and one species of barrel cactus, the fishhook barrel, stand out as prominent outliers to this norm (Ferocactus wislizeni). While both of these plants are fairly unpleasant to consume raw, they contain fewer harmful compounds and could provide some hydration in an emergency. Better options include cactus fruits, however many are unpleasant to eat raw.

*Of course, all of this assumes that you are stranded in a desert in the New World with real cacti. Members of the Euphorbiaceae family, which resemble cactus plants, are poisonous and can be found in the deserts of Madagascar and southern Africa. If this plant’s milky sap gets in your eyes, it can permanently blind you and burn your skin and mucous membranes. Do not attempt to consume those.

Christopher Columbus claimed to have seen mermaids off the coast of what is now the Dominican Republic; however, they were manatees, and he described them as “not half as beautiful as how they were drawn.”

What transpires after consuming cactus water?

The Fishhook Barrel Cactus is the only cactus from which you can drink water directly.

This should only be consumed in extreme circumstances and in limited doses. When used as a water supply, the fishhook barrel cactus is reputed to be the least problematic among the cacti family. You would be putting your health at risk either way. If you’re extremely dehydrated, you might think of drinking this to quench your thirst, but you might also experience additional issues. Some forms of cactus water contain poisonous alkaloids and are particularly acidic. Like any eaten chemical, it will need to be processed by your body, which will burn up more energy than you would normally acquire from it and probably result in bodily aches, vomiting, and diarrhea. It’s up to you to weigh the pros and cons of either risking dehydration or being sick in a critical circumstance.

Does cactus benefit the kidneys?

Nopal is a big prickly pear cactus that is indigenous to dry regions of South and North America. It is traditionally consumed by Mexicans as food and used medicinally as a laxative, anti-inflammatory, and to treat high blood sugar and alcohol hangovers.

Nopal has a blood sugar-lowering function, but the precise mechanism is unknown, despite the fact that it contains significant levels of soluble fiber and pectin, which may impact how well glucose is absorbed. Although earlier research disputes fiber’s significance in lowering blood glucose levels in animal trials, it does not propose a substitute mechanism. 34 Opuntia extract (1 mg/kg body weight) used for 7 weeks in conjunction with insulin and then Opuntia extract alone allowed blood sugar levels to quickly revert to those of non-diabetic rats. In a recent animal experiment, diabetic rats treated with streptozotocin (STZ) were given liquid and filtered extracts of Opuntia streptacantha to see how they would react. 35 The extracts weren’t able to lower blood sugar levels. But when administered before an OGTT, it had an antihyperglycemic effect, indicating a potential mechanism involving inhibiting hepatic glucose outflow.

A mild to moderately positive effect on people with T2DM has been confirmed by a number of small (N = 732) published clinical trials (all carried out by the same research group) utilizing various forms and doses of Opuntia species.


The broiled stem of Opuntia streptacantha, which was administered as a dose of 100–500 g per day, was the most popular type of nopal utilized in the experiments.

Nopal should not be consumed by those who are nursing, pregnant, or have kidney problems. Bloating in the stomach area, diarrhea, and nausea are possible side effects. In people using antidiabetic drugs, it should be used cautiously (one case report). 40

Cactus lowers cholesterol, right?

According to studies conducted at the University of Vienna, cactus leaves can reduce one’s body’s cholesterol levels. The same impact was confirmed by French researchers on 68 women, who reported lower levels of triglycerides and cholesterol in their bodies after four weeks. This food’s potential health benefits include lowering the chance of developing heart disease.

Does the nopal cactus reduce blood sugar levels?

Antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are abundant in prickly pear fruit and nopales.

They are a nourishing complement to a balanced diet and may help lower cholesterol, blood sugar, and inflammation.

Although the usage of nopal cactus leaves and extracts as a herbal cure can aid in the management of a number of medical issues, patients shouldn’t cease receiving their regular medical care.

However, consuming these foods in addition to conventional therapy may have favorable impacts.

May Improve Digestion

Nopales are a type of cactus, making them highly fibrous and potentially high in dietary fiber. Dietary fiber is important for digestion because it may provide bowel movements more weight, which may make it simpler for them to pass through the digestive tract’s smooth muscle contractions. In addition to adding weight, fiber may also induce peristaltic activity, which helps move food through the intestines and lessens the symptoms of diarrhea and constipation. Additionally, soluble fiber actively lowers cholesterol levels in the body, safeguarding heart health as well. [4]

Might Induce Weight Loss

Nopales include a variety of substances that can help with weight loss. First, fiber can make the body feel full and prevent the hormone ghrelin, which causes hunger, from being released, so reducing overeating. Second, despite having very little saturated fat and cholesterol, nopales are a nutrient-dense food that is low in calories and a wonderful option for people who are controlling their weight because they are rich with vitamins and minerals. It also contains vitamin B6, thiamin, and riboflavin, all of which are necessary for healthy metabolic activity. B vitamins are crucial to increase fat burning and turn meals into useful energy since vitamin shortages might impair mitochondrial energy metabolism. [5] [6][7]

May Aid in Skin Care

“Oxidative damage is the principal cause and single most important contributor to skin aging,” claims researcher Borut Poljsak. Nopales are an effective defense against signs of premature aging, such as wrinkles and age spots, due to their phytochemical and antioxidant properties. Eating nopales, which are high in antioxidants, can help you maintain the health and youth of your skin by reducing the effects of free radicals left over from cellular metabolism on the skin. [8] [9] [10][11][12]

Might have Anticancer Potential

Cactus pear may be able to slow tumor growth in mice, according to an animal research. Nopales supplementation has also been demonstrated to suppress bladder, ovarian, and cervical cancer cells. Further study is required to pinpoint the underlying mechanisms and probable active ingredients because the method of action, or how nopales produces this anti-cancer activity, remains unclear. [13]

A 2014 study found that cacti seed oil contains significant amounts of polyphenols, which have anticancer effects. Additionally, this cactus is a source of gallic acid, which “exercises a cytotoxic effect against tumoral cells from leukemia, lung, and prostate cancer sources,” according to the same study. [14]

May Boost Metabolism

The mineral and vitamin content of nopales is among its most crucial health-related characteristics. Nopales are rich in thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6, which are all essential for metabolism and function as co-enzymes in metabolic processes. A healthy hormonal balance and organ system aid in weight loss and healthy muscle building, both of which are crucial for toning the complete body. [15] [16]

Might Improve Bone Mineral Density

According to a 2013 study on 35–55-year-old Mexican women, nopal may improve bone mineral density (BMD) in women with low bone mass (LBM), which is the majority of premenopausal women. [17]

Might Improve Sleep

Additionally, this plant includes magnesium, which helps folks who have trouble sleeping or getting a good night’s sleep. Reduced levels of serotonin, which is a precursor to melatonin and aids with sleep improvement, are associated with magnesium shortage. Melatonin might have a mildly sedative impact that soothes the body and promotes sleep. [18]

May be an Anti-inflammatory Agent

Nopales’ juice from the leaves provides anti-inflammatory benefits on different bodily areas, including arthritic, joint, and muscle pain problems. A 2006 study that appeared in Frontiers in Bioscience shown that consuming nopal cactus fruit juice dramatically decreased the body’s production of the inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (or CRP). When inflammation is prevalent in the body, this protein is generated. [19] [20]

Nopales may help reduce inflammation and serum CRP levels and aid in improving health for those suffering from illnesses related to inflammation. Elevated CRP is associated with many different conditions, from heart issues to cancer.

May Help Manage Diabetes

Despite conflicting study findings, there is some proof that nopales exhibits hypoglycemic action. According to research in the journal Complementary Health Practice, it may help people with type 2 diabetes manage their diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels. [21]

To validate this impact and comprehend the putative mechanism of action better, more study is required.

Might Help Treat Ulcers

Research indicates that nopales’ anti-inflammatory qualities have a “protective impact against stomach lesions,” supporting its historical use as a therapy for gastric ulcers. [23]

People who experience this unpleasant illness on a daily basis may benefit from include some of these potent plants in their diet in order to boost their health.

Word of Caution: Nopales should not be ingested excessively, especially by those on diabetic drugs and before any surgical procedure operation, as they occasionally cause hypoglycemia due to their ability to regulate and impact blood sugar levels. Always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before using supplements or making significant dietary changes.

Nopales are a tasty and incredibly nutritious addition to your diet, aside from these health issues.