Cactus Fig or Prickly Pear

Opuntia ficus-indica

Inside its prickly exterior, the cactus fig hides a sweet, soft, juicy, jelly-like flesh. Its seeds are edible, however, they can be quite hard. Besides being eaten fresh, the cactus fig is also used to make juices, jams, salads, and desserts.

Nutrition Facts
1 servings per container
Serving size 100g

Amount per serving
Calories 50
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 0mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 13g
Includes g Added Sugars 0%
Protein 1g

Calcium 5mg 1%
Iron 3mg 17%
Vitamin K 6%
Magnesium 5%
Potassium 7%
Not a significant source of vitamin D, or potassium.

The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Retrieved from January 2015

Research areas

Research into the health benefits of this fruit is currently being carried out in the following areas:

  • Liver health

  • Bladder health

  • Cholesterol research

For more information please click here

Cactus Fig or Prickly Pear is...


Half a cup of cactus fig provides 24% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Besides helping you see in the dark, vitamin A stimulates the production of white blood cells, helps bone turnover, and regulates cell growth.


A serving (100 grams) of cactus fig provides 7% of the recommended daily intake of potassium. Potassium is essential for nerve and muscle activity, it also helps waste move out of the cells and lets nutrients in. A diet rich in potassium helps lower blood pressure and may offset some of sodium’s negative effects.


Half a cup of cactus fig provides 5% of the recommended daily intake of calcium. The body needs calcium to develop healthy bones and teeth. Calcium also helps muscles relax and transports impulses through the nerves.


A serving (100 grams) of cactus fig provides 5% of the recommended daily intake of magnesium. This powerful mineral regulates mineral balance in our body, and helps with energy production and enzyme activity.

Interesting info

In Spanish, the cactus fig or higo is also known as chumbera, tuna, alquitira, choya, higo chumbo, higo de barbaria, higo mexicano and tasajillo. In Israel it is called sabras, which means “thorny on the outside, sweet on the inside”. In Colombia, the fig has been grown commercially in the municipality of Sonsón for more than 50 years; however, there are cactus fig trees in the region that are more than 80 years old. Did you know that the skin of the cactus fig is not edible? It is said that when the skin is thin, the fruit will be of very good quality. The cactus fig is a fruit tree that requires little water and is very resistant to droughts. In fact, it is often used as fodder in arid areas. There are approximately 200 species of figs that originated across the Americas. The red, purple, and yellow varieties have the most antioxidants.

The information provided in this website does not substitute the expert opinion of either a doctor or a nutritionist. If you have further questions, please ask a health professional or a doctor. The webmaster is not responsible for the use (either good or bad) that third parties might use of the information on this website. Feel free to contact the webmaster at . This warning constitutes a legal notice.