Prickly pears, raw

Fun Facts

  1. ‘Prickly pear’ is the common name of the fruit that grows at the tops of the leaves of Nopales cacti. Spread throughout North and South America, about 200 different species of Nopales (scientific name Opuntia) cacti are found, all of which have some form of this prickly pear fruit, although not all varieties are edible.
  2. Before eating a prickly pear, it is very important to remove the skin and peel it off so all of the spines are removed. If they aren’t, the glochids can lodge themselves in your lips, gums, and throat, which can be very painful.
  3. A single serving of prickly pears contains more than 1/3 of your entire daily requirement of vitamin C. Also known as ascorbic acid, vitamin C plays a major role in the immune system, stimulating the production of white blood cells and acting as an antioxidant throughout the body.
  4. Prickly pears have a significant level of dietary fiber, like most fruits and vegetables, so these spiny fruits can help you regulate your digestive process. Fiber bulks up stool to help food pass through the digestive tract easier, thereby eliminating constipation, bloating, and more serious gastrointestinal issues, such as colon cancer or gastric ulcers.

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