Prickly pears – Tips for my garden

prickly pear fruit tree

The nopal fruit tree is a plant of the cactus family, instead of leaves there are cladodes or leaves, which are grouped together and form branches. The cladodes, after four years, lignify, forming a true trunk. To withstand high temperatures, they are coated with a wax that prevents perspiration. The leaves are covered with thorns, as are the fruits, fleshy and sweet, whose color changes according to the quality. The prickly pear, because of its characteristics, is also called: desert plant, in fact it adapts to conditions of extreme heat during the day and cold at night, typical climate of desert areas. The flowers are very showy, hermaphroditic, yellow or orange, which vary according to the species to which they belong.

Use and consumption of prickly pears.

The use and consumption of prickly pears are very varied. The fruit is eaten raw or used for culinary preparations. Thanks to its vitamin content, it was used to fight diseases such as scurvy. Today we know that due to the presence of antioxidants, it is a very popular fruit. In cooking, especially in regional cuisines, the use and consumption of prickly pears are widespread. For example, an excellent liqueur is obtained by macerating its pulp in alcohol at 90° with sugar. Even prickly pear shells can be cooked, in fact they are beaten in beaten egg and fried, then sprinkled with sugar, a real delicacy in Salentine cuisine. With quality red fruits, we obtain a truly exquisite jam, with a beautiful ruby ​​color.

The properties of prickly pears.

The properties of prickly pears are numerous. The juice extracted from the pulp is rich in minerals, vitamins and antioxidants. The pulp has diuretic and laxative properties, moreover its fiber is valuable to give a feeling of satiety to those who follow a hypocaloric diet. It seems that among the properties of prickly pears is that of limiting the absorption of fats and sugars, a very important quality for people who have to control their blood sugar and are overweight. Another virtue, again for those who care about their figure: this fruit also contains vitamin B3, which helps slow down the transformation of sugars into glycogen. It would seem that prickly pears are also able to detoxify the body and therefore limit cellulite. In addition, thanks to its components of mineral salts,

Prickly pears: the cosmetic use of prickly pears.

The cosmetic use of prickly pears dates back to the dawn of time. Its remarkable virtues are contained in the pulp which is extracted from the cladodes. A real concentrate rich in mucilage, vitamins and trace elements, which are a panacea for the skin and beyond. Its recognized properties are: regenerating, healing, toning, antioxidant and disinfectant. The cosmetic use of prickly pears also refers to their “milk”, a liquid that comes out of the blades. Valuable, thanks to its composition, for the manufacture of products for hair and skin hygiene. But this is not enough, from the many seeds present in the pulp of the prickly pears, a truly rare and precious oil is extracted. Its action is extraordinary to fight against the formation of wrinkles.

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