There has been a health industry-wide trend of using cactus in diets now. The health and fitness industry raffles through its next big superfood now and then. It started with avocadoes, followed by kale.
Now, cactus plants are having their moment. Keeping cactus plants in your room is one of those exotic trends that so many of us are used to now.
As the cactus plants start showing up everywhere and on every website, you may find yourself wanting to eat or drink cactus products.
One of the most common cactus products is Cactus water or cactus juice. Cactus water or cactus juice is the latest beverage people are drinking to feel better about themselves.
The coconut water trend preceded the cactus water trend. It’s the hottest beverage right now, right alongside coconut water and aloe vera juice.
Most cactus water or cactus juice is made by squeezing out the juice from a prickly pear or a cactus pad. Cactus water may also be pink for this very reason.
In the article below, we’ll talk about how you can make cactus juice at home and if it has any health benefits.
Table of Contents
What is Cactus Juice?
Cactus juice is the water or liquid you can extract from the fruit or pads of a cactus plant. It’s significant for you to note that cactus water differs from coconut water.
You cannot substitute cactus water for normal water as it can have harmful effects.
Cactus juice is available in many stores and supermarkets now. In countries like Mexico, where the Nopal Cactus is abundant, you will find many street vendors who will serve cactus juice or cactus water to you.
However, these street vendors are not the most hygienic, which is why you may want to be careful.
Cactus juice is low in calories and sugar, which is why so many health gurus are stringent upon what makes it so great.
Cactus water also has many nutrients and electrolytes, making it great for drinking. Many companies also use Cactus juice or cactus water in their skincare line as it has many replenishing attributes.
How to Make Cactus Juice?
Many companies offer cactus juice like they do other juices. However, as is the case with juice from other fruits and plants, they will add sugars and preservatives to this juice.
If you’re someone who doesn’t want a sweetened variety of cactus juice, then it’s better that you learn how to make cactus juice by yourself.
The following are the steps to extract juice from a cactus pad:
Firstly, you need to get the right ingredients and items from the pantry. You will need a saucepan, a cheesecloth, a knife, water, 1-2 prickly pear cactus fruits or cactus pads, and sugar or sweetener.
If you’re someone who has fresh cactus pads and fruit around, you will remove all their spines and hairs before you can extract the juice. You must learn to be careful of these spines when you’re harvesting the fruit and cactus pads.
- Next, to make cactus water at home, you have to wash prickly pear fruits or cactus pads thoroughly. Then you’ll start preparing them by making an incision on their ends and cutting them off. You should then cut the pads or the fruit in half.
- In the saucepan, you will take some water and place your pads or fruit into it. Bring this water to a boil. You must then cover the saucepan and bring it to a simmer. Remove the cover after the fruit has been simmering for 45 minutes to an hour or until soft. Once soft, turn off the saucepan and let the fruit and cactus pads cool.
- Take a cheesecloth and spread it out on top of a bowl. Once you have done that, you can place the softened cactus pads and the prickly pear into the cheesecloth
- You should let the liquid from the fruit strain through the cheesecloth and collect it in another container. You can even cut the fruit up and use the cheesecloth to speed up the process or remove all of the juice from the cactus pads and the fruit.
- Once you have done this, you can add sugar or sweetener to the cactus juice. If the concentrated cactus juice or water is too much for you, you can mix it with water.
You can then use and store this cactus juice in the refrigerator.
What are the Health Benefits of Cactus Juice?
Now that we know how to make cactus juice, you may be wondering yourself, why is it important to make cactus juice on your own? There are many benefits of cactus juice that we will tell you about.
1. It is very good for your health
It has several antioxidants such as betanin, betacyanin, and isorhamnetin. These antioxidants grant several health benefits to cactus juice.
Antioxidants help battle harmful free radical molecules, i.e., unstable compounds that can harm your health. You may come into contact with these radicals if you’re not aware of biochemical processes, food, or water.
If someone encounters these free radicals in great amounts, it might affect their body in a stressful manner and lead to chronic inflammation.
Chronic inflammation increases the risk of conditions like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The antioxidants that cactus juice or cactus water has can help overcome these free radicals.
Drinking cactus juice could thus help these people in improving their health parameters.
2. It May Help With Stomach Ulcers
Stomach ulcers can be a very painful condition to have. Most people find it difficult to eat food or keep it down when an ulcer develops.
Prickly pear juice can help heal stomach ulcers, and it helps to treat a condition called ulcerative colitis or UC.
The major characteristics of this condition are inflammation and ulcers in the large intestine, which can be extremely painful.
When conducted, certain studies concluded that cactus juice or water helped stop the growth of ulcers. It slowed down the rate at which ulcers showed up and slowed down their growth.
Another study conducted on rats showed that extract helped reduce the intestinal damage to rats after supplementing them with cactus juice.
It’s necessary to note that these studies were only conducted on rats, and the effect on humans is not yet known.
3. It May Help With Fat Loss
There have been studies regarding the effect of cactus and cactus products on the human gut. Scientists believe that cactus products are high in dietary fiber, due to which there is a greater excretion of fats in the fecal matter.
Since more fat will be lost by way of the gut, it may help you lose some fats.
Knowing how to make cactus juice helps you spend less money on pre-packaged cactus juice. You have more control over what’s going into your body.
Cactus juice or water also helps avert hangovers if you have had too many alcoholic drinks the previous night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Cactus Juice make you lose weight?
Cactus juice has become very famous lately because of its amazing health benefits. Many celebrities swear by it and claim that it helps them lose weight. Is it true or false?
Cacti are succulents that belong to the Agavaceae family. They are native to North America and Mexico. Cacti are known for their spines, which are usually long and sharp. The fruit of these plants is called nopal. Nopal juice is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other nutrients.
Nopal juice contains high levels of potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, phosphorus, sodium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folate, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, and niacin. These nutrients play an important role in maintaining good health. Some studies also suggest that drinking nopal juice can help reduce blood sugar levels.
Cactus Juice or Water is exceptionally easy to make and extract at home. Once you know the steps, it should be easy. There are many health benefits to cactus juice and water.
However, you should ensure that you ask a doctor about the recommended dosage as it does lead to allergies or reactions in some people.