Prickly pear and health
1) Anti-diabetic action for type 2 diabetes. Reduces blood sugar levels in diabetics, while creating a feeling of satiety, reducing the feeling of hunger due to fiber.
2) The prickly pear is a plant from which natural medicines are produced. The beneficial properties of prickly pear in human health have been known since the pre-Columbian period in America, both to the people of Mexico and Central America. It is consumed as it is, as a fresh fruit, as a juice, or as a jam. Even young twigs are used in cooking while the flowers can be used as a decoction after drying. Finally, the oil extracted from the seeds of the fruit has a significant anti-aging effect on the skin. For all these reasons, prickly pear is classified as a superfood.
- Anticholesterol action by reducing total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL (low density lipoprotein), cholesterol of particular importance for those suffering from cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome (syndrome X) that causes millions of cardiovascular and cardiovascular problems.
4) Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory action that protects the immune system against oxidative stress, neutralizing free radicals that can damage cells and organs causing oxidative damage to proteins, membranes and genes.
Other medicinal effects of prickly pear. Prickly pear is rich in flavonoids, magnesium and the amino acid taurine, substances important for the prevention of heart disease and beneficial for the proper functioning of the brain. Prickly pears also contain folic acid, β-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin B6 which reduce serum homocysteine. In the last decade, there have been many studies on the damage caused by homocysteine to blood vessels, increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke. It has also been linked to thrombophilia which can lead to placental infarction and miscarriage.
Selenium (Se), is a new trace element that has been recently discovered in the ingredients of prickly pear, a trace element that enriches the diet and maintains human health by protecting the immune and nervous systems as an antioxidant and antidiabetic.
The oil extracted from the seeds of the prickly pear fruit has a high content of polyunsaturated fatty acids, linoleic acid, carotenoids, and vitamin E, which is characterized by strong anti-aging, rejuvenating and anti-wrinkle action, helping to tighten and tighten the skin.
In general, prickly pear strengthens the body’s defense system, but even in the event of a disease, it again acts actively as an immune food. It also protects against prostate hypertrophy. Finally, the chemotherapeutic properties that characterize it, protect the body from various types of cancer.
In the last decade, there is intense interest from university research centers worldwide but also from Greece as well as from private companies for the medicinal action of prickly pear in the human body and its use as a natural medicinal product.