Can You Eat Cactus Raw?

Do bean sprouts need to be cooked o...
Do bean sprouts need to be cooked or can they be eaten raw?

Cactus is slowly taking up space on everyone’s social media and the fitness world as the magic cure to all kinds of obesity and ill-health. We’ve seen how this trend occurred with Kale recently and celery before that.

How much of the obsession with cactus is valid, and what’s more necessary for you to know is, can you eat it raw?

Cactus plants have become one of the most common things that you would witness in any home or dorm right now.

These are easy to take care of, which is why so many people tend to house them in their homes. Since it’s easy for people to grow and take care of them, the demand for cactus plants has also increased vehemently.

Many people have written article upon article on how beneficial eating cactus can be. However, the most important question is, can you eat cactus raw, and is it worth it?

What is Cactus?

A Cactus is a succulent plant with a thick fleshy stem with spines and needles coming out of it.  It lacks leaves and has brilliant colored flowers.

Their adaptations have much to do with the climatic regions they grow in. In America, Cactus grows in the arid regions of Nevada and even in sunny California.

Is Cactus Edible?

The simple answer is yes, cactus is edible. You can eat cactus because it’s a plant, and all plants except those poisonous are edible. You must prepare the cactus properly before you try to consume it.

You will have to remove the needles and the spines before eating this cactus.

There are also some species of cactus that are more appealing to eat than others.

For example, the Nopal cactus, which is native to Mexico, is one variety you can prepare and eat in various ways.

Can You Eat Cactus Raw?

Yes, you can eat cactus raw. The Cactus is fundamentally a plant. It’s succulent, but it belongs to a plant species which means that you can eat it raw.

Many people also believe that certain species are much easier to prepare raw. For example, if you’re looking at the Nopal cactus, you’ll understand that it tastes better than the rest of the cacti.

People in Mexico will often eat Nopal cacti by adding them to salads and even guacamole. You can see if the raw version of this cactus makes you want to eat it.

Many people believe that most Cactus plants can be eaten raw. You may consider eating a cactus raw if you don’t have time to prepare it or even if you want to eat it raw.

Also, if by eating cactus raw, you mean eating a prickly pear raw, then you can do that too. Prickly pear is a type of cactus that bears the fruit prickly pear.

Many people like to eat a prickly pear. You can put it in salads or even eat it raw. Many people also eat cactus raw by extracting its juice.

The juice will benefit those who drink it as it contains many antioxidants and vitamins.

Why Should You Eat Cactus?

Now that you know that you can eat cactus plants raw. You may also want to understand why cactus is so prevalent in this part of the world.

1. Cactus Plants are Healthy

They are good for your health. Cactus plants come with all sorts of health benefits. We have listed some of these health benefits below.

a.  It helps with Cholesterol

If you want to keep an eye on your cholesterol levels, you may want to opt for Cactus plants. The cactus pad and cactus fruit are all high in fiber which increases the fat which exits from the body in fecal matter.

A study found that cactus can help lower the fat, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels in people who ingest it. Using cactus in your regular diet can help reduce the chance of a stroke for you.

b. It Helps with Hangovers

Studies have found that cactus plants have vitamins C, E, A, Iron, and Calcium.  It’s has a wide range of nutrients that replenishes your body’s percentage.

It can keep the inflammation low in the body. Studies have also found that if you take cactus extract before going out for a night of heavy drinking, you’re less likely to wake up the following day with a hangover.

This fact makes sense as a hangover results due to a lack of liquids, and cactus extract may do something to your kidneys so they retain much of the water that would otherwise pass out through the urinary tract.

It also reduces the inflammation in your body, which is often related to the amount of alcohol you ingest.

c. It Helps with Blood Sugar

With Insulin prices skyrocketing, people who have diabetes are always looking for cures to keep their sugar levels low. In most South Asian households, there are one the other remedies for decreasing sugar levels.

Due to this reason, many people eat succulents like Aloe Vera in India. A study conducted in Mexico set out to find how cactus pads would help with blood sugar.

There were two groups: one which was given cactus and the other which was given a placebo.

It was found that the blood sugar levels in candidates who ate cactus were much less than the placebo group even after both of these groups had been presented with meals that were rich in glucose and starch.

Using the results from this study, we can ascertain that Cactus pads could be a low-cost method to reduce the blood sugar level.

2. It Can Be Adventurous

Most people don’t eat cactus plants because they’re used to eating the same old, boring food. However, if you’re someone who likes having adventures, you may want to eat a cactus pad.

You will find that your palate opens up in many ways, and you can appreciate the flavors of a new kind of food in your life.

You can take it as a challenge and create many meals using this ingredient. You can use cactus plants in a shake or a salad to make it more appealing to you.

In any case, you’ll turn it into an ingredient that you can explore with your cooking. You can also introduce other people to the ingredient once you’ve mastered it.

3. It Helps With Fitness

In general, cactus plants have very few calories. In one pad of cactus, you’ll find a maximum of 70 calories. However, it does fill you up.

This fact means that it makes you feel pretty full, so you’re less likely to eat a whole lot of it. If you prepare and eat it raw, you can manage your weight.

You can also add a cactus plant to protein shakes and smoothies, so you’re hydrated even as you work on your fitness.

Final Thoughts

You can eat cactus raw if you like it that way. You can also just as easily cook it and experiment with it.

Regardless of the way you want to eat a cactus plant, you will have to prepare it by removing its needles and spines.

Some cactus species are better to eat, as many people have experimented with them. The Nopal cactus species is one of these, so you may want to opt for that.

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