What is cactus juice drink ? Cactus water is made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. It’s low in calories and sugar while providing nutrients and antioxidants.
Nutrition Facts of Cactus Juice Drink
Because it’s made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus, cactus water contains a small amount of sugar and some nutrients.
One cup (240 ml) of cactus water contains the following
- Calories: 19
- Protein: 0 grams
- Fat: 0 grams
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Fiber: 0 grams
- Magnesium: 4% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Potassium: 3% of the DV
All of the carbs in unsweetened cactus water are in the form of natural sugars found in prickly pear.
However, certain brands contain added sugar, and therefore, more calories. Cactus water also contains magnesium and potassium, two minerals that help manage fluid balance, muscle control, and heart function. In addition, magnesium has countless other roles in the body, including supporting immune and bone health and decreasing your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Yet, many people do not get enough of this mineral.
Along with these nutrients, cactus water contains several health-boosting antioxidants found in prickly pear.
Cactus water is low in sugar and calories, but certain brands may contain added sugar. The drink also contains magnesium, potassium, and antioxidants.
Benefits of Cactus Juice Drink
Animal and test-tube studies have shown that cactus water has numerous health benefits, although more research is needed to fully understand how it affects humans.
Rich in Anti-Inflammatory Antioxidants
Prickly pear cactus contains several antioxidants, such as betanin, betacyanin, and isorhamnetin, which are associated with many health benefits.
These powerful compounds can help prevent cellular damage caused by harmful free radical molecules. Free radicals are unstable compounds that people are exposed to via natural biochemical processes, food, water, and air. At high levels, they stress the body and cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Fortunately, the antioxidants in prickly pear can neutralize these harmful compounds, and they are also highly anti-inflammatory. As such, drinking cactus water made with antioxidant-rich prickly pear may improve many health parameters.
For example, in a 2-week study of 22 men, supplementing with about two-thirds cup (150 ml) of antioxidant-rich prickly pear juice daily improved post-exercise muscle recovery while decreasing triglycerides, blood pressure, total cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
May Help Heal Stomach Ulcers
One of the most promising benefits of prickly pear is its potential to help heal stomach ulcers and treat a condition called ulcerative colitis (UC), which is characterized by inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine. Some studies have noted that supplementing with prickly pear juice slowed the growth of stomach ulcers in rats. These powerful anti-ulcer effects are thought to be due to the antioxidant betanin.
A similar study in rats found a decrease in intestinal damage from UC after supplementing with prickly pear juice. However, these benefits have not been observed in humans, and more research is needed.
Cactus juice drink also has some benefits for the skin.
According to some animal and test-tube research, applying prickly pear extract directly to the skin helps reduce damage caused by excessive sun exposure. In addition, several rat studies have noted that prickly pear extract speeds wound healing and kill harmful bacteria. Furthermore, prickly pear extract may help diminish the appearance of scars.
Prickly pear cactus has long been used as a natural treatment for conditions like type 2 diabetes, constipation, pain, and even hangovers. In fact, some animal research supports these claims. Cactus water is sometimes touted as a hangover cure, and some animal studies have shown that prickly pear reduces liver damage caused by alcohol and other liver toxins.
In addition, prickly pear has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels in rats with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, in animal and test-tube studies, prickly pear cactus reduced constipation, improved blood iron stores, relieved pain, and killed cancer cells. Most of these benefits are credited to the antioxidants in prickly pear.
However, more human research is needed to substantiate these claims. In addition, much of this research was conducted using highly concentrated prickly pear extract, so any health effects from cactus water would be much less powerful.
Prickly pear is rich in antioxidants and may help heal stomach ulcers and boost skin health, along with several other potential benefits. However, more human research is needed.
How to Make Prickly Pear Cactus Juice Drink
Ingredients For Making Cactus Juice Drink
Making cactus water at home is a fairly simple process. You need the following ingredients and items:
- A saucepan
- A cheesecloth
- A knife
- 1–2 prickly pear cactus fruits
- Sugar or sweetener (optional)
If you are harvesting fresh prickly pear fruits, you need to wear leather gloves to protect your hands from the long, pointed spines that grow on the leaves of the cactus. However, you may be able to find prickly pear fruits at a local grocery store or farmer’s market.
Method to Make Cactus Juice Drink
Follow the steps below to make cactus water at home:
- Thoroughly wash the prickly pear fruits and cut their ends off, then slice them halfway through their diameter without cutting them completely in half
- Bring water to a boil in the saucepan, then add the fruits to the boiling water. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Allow the fruits to simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until soft. Remove them from the water and allow them to cool
- Place the cheesecloth over a bowl or cup. Scoop the flesh of the prickly pear fruits out of their peels and into the cheesecloth
- Allow the liquid from the fruit to strain through the cheesecloth and collect in the bowl or cup. You can squeeze the cheesecloth to speed up this process
- Optionally, you can add sugar or sweetener to your cactus juice. If the concentrated cactus water is too strong for your taste, simply water it down
Cactus juice should be stored in the refrigerator and can be kept for up to 3 days.
How much water you are able to extract from the prickly pears depends on their size and how soft they became during cooking.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Cactuses contain vitamins C, E, and A, iron, calcium, and more. This wide range of nutrients and more can help reduce inflammation in the body. The 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).
Since it is extracted from the pear cactus, it has a sweet flavor. The taste of cactus water can also be compared with the juice of a watermelon. The prickly pear cactus has three different parts that you can eat.
People with kidney disease should avoid consuming cactus juice as it may also cause a few side effects like bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort. Does cactus juice make you lose weight? Cactus juice may not have a direct impact on body weight. However, it has fewer calories and is filling.
Additionally, it’s important to be mindful of the quantity as drinking too much cactus water could lead to hypoglycemia, warns DeFazio. Hypoglycemia occurs when your blood sugar levels drop below the healthy range, making it difficult for bodily functions to continue.
It’s thought that the antioxidant compounds in prickly pear help protect against inflammation and oxidative stress that can damage the liver. One study in rats with obesity found that eating prickly pear cactus may protect against nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, in part by decreasing oxidative stress.
Cactus water is made from the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. It’s low in calories and sugar while providing nutrients and antioxidants. Cactuses contain vitamins C, E, and A, iron, calcium, and more. This wide range of nutrients and more can help reduce inflammation in the body. The 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).
Since it is extracted from the pear cactus, it has a sweet flavor. The taste of cactus water can also be compared with the juice of a watermelon. The prickly pear cactus has three different parts that you can eat. People with kidney disease should avoid consuming cactus juice as it may also cause a few side effects like bloating and gastrointestinal discomfort.
Does cactus juice make you lose weight? Cactus juice may not have a direct impact on body weight. However, it has fewer calories and is filling.
If you enjoyed this post you would also love to see more
- How to Make an Affordable & Durable Dragon Fruit Trellis
- Amazing 100 Real Fruit Juice for You
- Amazing Healthiest 100 Juice For You
- Health Benefits of Eating Octopus and Its Nutrition Facts