Cactus Fig or Prickly Pear
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.
Retrieved from http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ January 2015
How to store
- 6 - 8ºc
Research into the health benefits of this fruit is currently being carried out in the following areas:
Cactus Fig or Prickly Pear is...
A HIGH SOURCE OF VITAMIN A
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 GOOD SOURCE OF POTASSIUM
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.
A NATURAL SOURCE OF CALCIUM
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 NATURAL SOURCE OF MAGNESIUM
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.
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.
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