Nutritional Immunology

Health Benefits of Cactus

When it comes to nutritious plant foods, cactus is top of my favourites. In traditional Chinese medicine, cactus is considered to be “cold” in nature, and can promote the flow of qi and blood circulation. It is used to help reduce swelling and relieve pain with its cooling and detoxifying properties. It is believed to be able to strengthen the spleen and stop diarrhoea. Due to its many benefits, it is used both internally and externally for many diseases.

The Health Benefits of Cactus

Modern research lends support to the many beneficial uses o cactus. A cactus may try to keep us away with its spines, but we will want to get close and benefit from the phytochemicals and polysaccharides contained within a cactus.

Cactus contains a wide variety of phytochemicals, and these give great benefits to health. Phytochemicals are a type of phytonutrient that help plants defend against damage from ultraviolet light, pests, and the environment. More than 5,000 phytochemicals have been identified, but only about 150 have been studied in depth. For humans, phytochemicals can help prevent steps leading to the development of cancer. In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research states that phytochemicals have the potential to:

  • Block some of the actions of carcinogens
  • Stimulate the immune system
  • Prevent DNA damage and enhance DNA repair
  • Slow growth rate of cancer cells
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Reduce oxidative damage
  • Help regulate hormones

Phytochemicals are plentiful inside cactus. Multiple studies and research have shown that phytochemicals inside cactus can do much good for our bodies, such as inhibiting cancer cell growth, suppressing tumour growth, and increasing the number of cells undergoing self-destruction as a protection against abnormalities. The phytochemicals in cactus have some anti diabetic activity through hypoglycaemic activity, as well as the potential to lower blood glucose levels.

Studies have shown that cactus also contains many antioxidants, as well as possessing many other healthful properties. Cactus demonstrates some antiviral properties through the inhibition and replication of several viruses; it can even inhabit the action of viruses that have yet to invade a cell. Substances in cactus can help lower cholesterol levels and potentially modify the composition of LDL (low-density lipoprotein, commonly called “bad” cholesterol).

Some flavonoids in cactus may be potent neuroprotectors while other components of cactus have potent anti-inflammatory actions.

I’m a fan of cactus-based products, using them as nutrition supplements and skin care. I’ve been taking cactus nutrition drink from E.Excel International for the last 19 years and I strongly encourage others to use cactus for their well being too. You may want to explore the product I’m using here….

Cheers to good health!


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