Categories: Leaves

15 benefits of cactus and side effects

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Discover the Top 15 Health Benefits Of Cactus and side effects.

The consumption of leaves has been there for centuries.

People consume a type of leaves to have natural herbal treatment for certain diseases.

In this article, we will talk about the health benefits of cactus leaves that can be the best option for those who want a healthier life.

Cactus leaves belong to the genus Opuntia and grow in hot, 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 as they are low in calories and high in antioxidant vitamins A and C.

A cup serving of cactus leaves will only give you 14 calories in this case.

It also has a good source of minerals like potassium, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus.

Additionally, cactus leaves are known to possess antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and blood-thinning properties.


These are beneficial in curing infections and speeding up the wound healing process.

Not only that, cactus extract can be valuable in lowering high cholesterol levels and treating obesity as well.

Cactus leaves offer the great benefits you’ve never expected before.

Top 15 Health Benefits Of Cactus Leaves


Health Benefits of nopal cactus

If you are curious about what cactus leaves can give you, then we have listed the health benefits of cactus leaves below.

1.- Benefits of cactus for weight loss

The first health benefit that cactus leaves provide is the ability to control your weight. Cactus leaves are known to have a source of fiber that can help you lose weight.


Fiber can make you feel full longer and reduce your appetite and prevent obesity as well.

Moreover, cactus leaves are known to have low cholesterol and saturated fat that can reduce your weight safely.

Not only for 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 the meaty meat to the salad.

Another option you may have is to cook it in jelly or add it to your soups or tortillas as well.

2.- Have antioxidant properties

Cactus leaves are high in antioxidants. In this case, it also has a good source of carotenoids.


As a result, it will help you get the nutritious food that you can eat.

Helps protect the body against the effects of free radicals and boosts the immune system.

Also, it can prevent the risks of certain diseases such as cancer.

Therefore, since antioxidant foods are the best, you can add one of them, including cactus leaves, to your food for sure.

3.- It has anti-inflammatory properties

One of the excellent health benefits of cactus leaves is providing 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.

Also, cacti are known to leave a good source of bioflavonoid quercetin to avoid damage from the effects of free radicals.

Therefore, you can add cactus leaves to your healthy diet to protect your body against body inflammation.

4.- Source of Minerals

There is no denying that each part of the cactus plant has great nutritional value.

The flowers and fruits on the stems and leaves are very nutritious and can provide you with excellent health benefits.

At this point, the cactus leaves possess a good source of magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus.


This is based on reports in “The International Journal of Food Science and Nutrition.” As a result, these minerals are important in promoting body function.

For example, magnesium and potassium play a role in maintaining strong muscle.

Therefore, if you want to meet the mineral needs 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 acid.

As a result, essential fatty acids are known to play a role in maintaining brain function and cognitive health.


It can even help improve memory and increase learning ability as well. Such great benefits, right?

6.- Benefits of cactus for digestion

The presence of fiber in the plant is so valuable to promote the work of the digestion system.

In this case, the nopal leaves provide the source of fiber to promote the digestive process and also add bulk to the bowel movements that make them easier to pass through the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.

Besides, it promotes peristaltic movement and protects the intestine from infection.

With the good consumption of good fiber in cactus leaves, you will help prevent certain diseases such as diarrhea, gastric ulcers, and constipation.

For tips, to meet the fiber needs in the body, you can also eat green fruits and vegetables.


7.-Benefits of cactus for  diabetes

One of the great health benefits of cactus leaves in treating diabetes.

This is due to the presence of fiber and pectin within the cactus.

As a result, it will help lower the blood sugar level, 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 lower blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

In fact, with the great nutrients contained in cactus leaves, then it shows a positive result in the treatment of health disorders.

8.- Benefits of cactus for cancer

Cancer is one of the most chronic diseases. People try to find a treatment and prevention for this disease.


As a consequence, taking cactus leaves is recommended as it offers antioxidants to prevent cancer cell growth and reduce accumulated toxins and waste products in the body.


This is related to the presence of phenolics and flavonoids to protect healthy cells in the body from damage.

Also, according to a study published in the February 2013 issue of the journal “Food and Function,” stated that the benefits of cactus leaves have favor against cancer for sure.

It helps people to treat breast and colon cancer cells due to the presence of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity.

9.- Lowers the cholesterol level

People need to manage their food intake, such as choosing the right foods for a healthier life.

At this point, it is the best way to choose the foods that can lower your cholesterol level.


Then, according to the statement of the researchers from the University of Vienna, showing cactus leaves can help reduce the level of high cholesterol or triglycerides.

It even helps raise good cholesterol levels as well.

As a result, as it can control the level of cholesterol in the body, it can promote cardiovascular health and prevent heart diseases such as heart attack and stroke.

10.- Benefits of cactus for eyes

You can achieve a healthy vision by consuming healthy foods that contain good nutrients such as vitamin A.

Consequently, you can count on cactus leaves that provide a good source of vitamin A.

As a result, cactus leaves can help prevent the risk of macular degeneration and promote vision as well.


So, you can consume cactus leaves for food along with other good foods, including carrots, for sure.

11.- Promotes heart health

As described above, cactus leaves can control and lower 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 decrease will also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

Not only for 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 provides 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 that states that the presence of quercetin and dihydroquercetin can help protect the brain cells of rats.

So, if you want to promote brain health and promote cognitive function, cactus leaves are something to consider.

13.- Boost metabolism

What we need from the consumption of food is to promote the work of the body’s function at this point.

The health benefits of cactus leaves can help boost the body’s metabolism.

This is related to the presence of vitamins and minerals contained in it.


It has thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B6 to regulate the body’s function as well.

Also, 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 health benefits of cactus leaves can help you promote good quality sleep.

It turns out that this benefit is associated with the presence of magnesium as the essential mineral for inducing good sleep.

Moreover, it also helps to release serotonin in the body to make you calm.


As a result, the sedative effect present can call upon nerve function and also prevent insomnia and chronic anxiety.

For tips, to have a good quality of sleep, it is also recommended to take cactus leaves with milk for option.

15.- Benefits of cactus for skin

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.

The antioxidant properties are also involved in the prevention of acne and redness on the face.


So with the use of cactus leaves, you will surely get healthy and youthful skin.

After learning about the health benefits of cactus leaves, here is the information on tips for consuming cactus leaves below.

How to make cactus juice


•2 large cactus pads, cleaned
•4 to 5 oranges
•1 lemon
•1 cup coconut water


•Process cactus leaves through juicer, if you do not have a juicer you can blend and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
•Blend oranges and lemons using a citrus juicer.
•Mix the cactus, orange and lemon juice with the coconut water until well stirred.
•Serve and enjoy!


Side effects of Cactus juice

Side effects for some people include mild diarrhea, nausea, increased stool volume, increased stool frequency and abdominal fullness.

Tips for consuming

If you want to buy cactus leaves, you can choose the thick and equal leaves.

Take notes to pick up the solid leaves without bruised and soft spots.

It is also better to choose the ones that are medium to dark green.

  1. After that, you can also store the cactus in the refrigerator.
  2. You can use knives to trim the edges of the cactus leaves and cut the popsicles into small strips.

  3. For cooking tips, you can boil it and turn it into salads, stews, scrambled eggs, soups, and other great foods.


Adding cactus leaves will add the chewy texture to your food, then

  1. You can then find cactus leaves in other forms, such as supplements, oils, or extracts in capsules.

In a conclusion, cactus leaves can be a desert plant or in our living room. But, this one has a great thing inside of it.

You can cook it and get the good vitamins and minerals safely.

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.

Related searches….


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