Many believe that cacti, although they possessa kind of beauty, while they have no practical benefit. Well, except that they make tequila from them, and the camels eat them. In fact, some representatives of cacti not only have edible fruits, but even in certain periods become for man a real salvation from hunger.
Cacti with edible fruits
The most famous edible cactus in the world is prickly pear. This is a large plant with flat juicyleaves, which, incidentally, can also be used for food - young shoots are added to salads, they are made from jelly and sauces. The fruit of the prickly pear is sweet and sour, and looks like a pear or lemon, covered with the smallest needles. Despite the temptation, the fruits of the prickly pear should in no case be taken with bare hands, only with special tongs or a spoon, otherwise the evening will have to pass for removing the needles from the skin.
The fruits of another representative of cactus - Gilocereus got to our shops. On domestic stalls, this fruit can be found under the name of Pitaya or Pitahaya. Homeland of the "dragon fruit" is Vietnam, where it has been successfully cultivated for many years, due to its unpretentiousness and ability to bear fruit five to six times a year. The taste of the acidic flesh of Pitaya slightly resembles strawberries, but without a specific smell. Dragon fruit can be eaten raw, as well as boil jam, make candied fruits and use as additives to various desserts.
Benefits of edible cactus fruits
The fruits of edible cacti have an impressive baggage of various "utilities":
- The composition of the fruits of cacti is largely similarwith the usual watermelons and cucumbers: they have a lot of water and vitamins with a minimum of calories. That's why they benefit people suffering from various metabolic disorders, kidney disease and hypertension.
- Behind the fruits of the prickly pear and giloceræus, it is noted that the property of reducing blood sugar levels, facilitating sputum evacuation and knocking down the temperature.
- Due to the high content of alkaloids, fruits can be used to prepare medicinal broths for the treatment of colds, viral and bacterial diseases.
- They are also useful in the treatment of various wounds andSkin irritations - compresses and rubbing fruit juice prickly pears, for example, can not only heal small damage, but also stop serious inflammation.