As your previous tip says doctor, that stomach takes time to feel full, when water is taken it fives some full feeling thereby as your point says, the patient isn't so avarice to eat hastily to compensate his hunger pangs. Keep teaching us with your experience. Thank you doctor.
अति सुन्दर प्रस्तुति है धन्यवाद देता हूं।
Well dipictation sir!
Valuable post sir
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B M I n O B E S I T Y BMI is commonly used to diagnose overweight and obesity, often in conjunction with measurement of waist circumference. Leading guidelines, such as those produced by the American Association for Clinical Endocrinology (AACE),the UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), and the European Association for the Study of Obesity (EASO),consider a BMI of 30 kg/m2 to be the threshold for obesity, and describe 3 classes of obesity, rising in severity from low-risk/class 1 (between 30.0 and 34.9 kg/m2), through moderate-risk/class 2 (between 35.0 and 39.9 kg/m2), to high-risk/class 3 (≥40.0 kg/m2). Lower BMI thresholds may be recommended for black African, African-Caribbean, and Asian (particularly South Asian) populations in order to trigger action to reduce the risk for comorbid conditions. For example, in the NICE guidelines, a BMI of 23.0 kg/m2 in these groups indicates increased risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and 27.5 kg/m2 indicates a high risk. Obesity is a global epidemic and its prevalence more than doubled between 1980 and 2014. In 2014, more than 1.9 billion adults (≥18 years), which is 39% of all adults, had overweight. More than 600 million had obesity, representing 13% of all adults. The fundamental cause of obesity and overweight is an imbalance between calories consumed and expended. Changes in dietary and physical-activity patterns worldwide have led to the increase in obesity and overweight.Obesity is a serious chronic condition that is associated with multiple comorbidities and decreased life expectancy.An increase in BMI increases a person's risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and obesity is an independent risk factor for CVD.It also increases the risk for T2DM; fatty liver disease; musculoskeletal disorders, in particular osteoarthritis; and some cancers, including breast, colon, kidney, and pancreatic cancer.Higher BMIs are also associated with cognitive/mood disorders, obstructive sleep apnea, gallstones, and gastroesophageal reflux. Classes 2 and 3 obesity are associated with significantly higher all-cause mortality than class 1 obesity and normal weight.Other factors, such as waist circumference, also contribute to the increased risk for obesity-related disease. As well as fat accumulation, fat distribution is related to obesity-related mortality and morbidity. Central obesity, also known as the apple shape, confers a higher risk than general obesity for several chronic diseases.In recent years, there has been a broadening of focus from BMI alone, so that the management of obesity-related comorbidities is also a priority Physical-activity counseling is an integral part of obesity management, but would not be effective on its own. EASO guidelines recommend that pharmacological therapy is considered in patients who are overweight or who have class 1 obesity if they also have comorbidities. Treatment guidelines recommend that the first stage in managing patients with obesity is to assess their views of their weight and the diagnosis, as well as the possible reasons for weight gain. Failure to engage patients and to convince them of the benefits of lifestyle interventions aimed at weight loss is likely to result in the lifestyle interventions being less effective. Therefore, this is an important first step. Eating patterns and physical-activity levels should be explored, as well any beliefs about diet, exercise, and weight gain that may be unhelpful to the patient. The physician should find out if the patient has already tried to lose weight and how successful these efforts were. They should assess the patient's confidence and willingness to engage in a weight-loss program. The health and other risks of obesity should be explained, as well as the benefits of weight loss and increasing physical-activity levels. The physician should be aware that a patient's feelings about obesity and other health problems, such as surprise or denial, may reduce their willingness or ability to change. For this reason, it may help to stress that obesity is a clinical condition with specific implications for health, rather than something that focuses on how a patient looks. It has reported a divergence in the perception of obesity between people with obesity and the clinicians treating them. For example, 65% of people with obesity consider obesity to be primarily a lifestyle disease and 44% think it is possible to have obesity and be healthy, compared with 88% and 4%, respectively, for clinicians. Barriers can be motivational, such as lack of willpower, emotional/personal, such as eating habits, or practical/systemic, such as medication costs or lack of support services. A comprehensive lifestyle intervention is a fundamental part of the management of obesity. This consists of lifestyle/behavioral training, a dietary calorie-reduction plan, and increased physical activity.When developing a weight-loss plan for a patient, the main requirement is that total energy intake is less than total energy expenditure.This will help address the imbalance of energy regulation that characterizes obesity. Obesity develops when the body's weight and energy regulatory mechanisms do not work properly, leading to an elevated body fat "set point," ie, the amount of fat the body wants to retain. The energy intake behavior of an individual is determined by whether he or she is at, above, or below the set point. Diets with a daily deficit of 600 kcal, leading to a 5% to 10% reduction in current body weight over 6 months, are considered to be realistic and have proven health benefits.Lower-calorie diets with an intake of 800 to 1600 kcal/day can be considered, but they are less nutritionally complete. Very low-calorie diets (<800 kcal/day) should not be routinely used to manage obesity. Evidence from systematic reviews suggests that, although initial weight loss is more rapid with very low-calorie diets, weight change after 1 year is not very different from comprehensive approaches. Physical activity is part of a comprehensive lifestyle intervention. Although it may have only modest effects on weight loss, it will bring other benefits, such as a reduction in the risk for T2DM and CVD.Physical activity also helps to preserve fat-free mass during weight loss and promote weight maintenance. People who have had obesity but have lost weight may need to do 60 to 90 minutes of activity per day to avoid regaining weight. Weight loss is difficult to achieve for most patients with obesity because a desire to restrict caloric intake is counteracted by biological responses to weight loss. The reduction in energy expenditure and increase in appetite that occur after weight loss are associated with changes in several hormones. Some of the hormonal changes result in altered physiology that leads to weight gain, whereas other changes lead to improvements in hormonal systems as the patient gets closer to a healthy weight. Weight-loss medications aim to reinforce the patient's efforts to change eating behaviors and produce an energy deficit.Most promote weight loss through their effects on appetite -- increasing satiety and decreasing hunger. It is possible that satiety signaling and inhibitory control are weaker in people who are prone to obesity. Many treatment guidelines recommend that weight-loss medication is considered for patients with a BMI ≥30 kg/m2 or a BMI ≥27 kg/m2 if they also have 1 or more comorbidities and a history of failure to lose weight.The inclusion of comorbidities in the criteria reinforces the benefits of weight loss for people with obesity-related disease. ORLISTAT Unlike most weight-loss medications, orlistat is a reversible gastric and pancreatic lipase inhibitor that blocks absorption of 30% of ingested fat from a 30% fat diet when taken at the recommended dosage (120 mg 3 times per day). It is approved for use in adults and adolescents, is considered one of the safest drugs in its category, and is available in most countries around the world. However, it has well-documented GI adverse events, such as fecal leakage, which limit its popularity. NALTREXONE/BUPROPION This is a sustained-release combination of an opioid receptor antagonist (naltrexone) and a noradrenaline reuptake inhibitor (bupropion). Naltrexone has a minimal weight-loss effect on its own,but it acts synergistically with bupropion to stimulate central melanocortin pathways and antagonize inhibitory feedback loops that limit weight reduction. This leads to improved energy expenditure and a reduction in appetite.The maximum total daily dose is 32 mg naltrexone/360 mg bupropion.Naltrexone/bupropion is associated with increased BP, so it should be avoided in patients whose hypertension is not controlled, and BP should be monitored in the initial phase of therapy. The most common adverse events are nausea, headache, vomiting, anxiety, and insomnia. The risk for GI events can be minimized by gradual titration. Other anti obesity drug is Liraglutide but this and Naltrexone are not available n approved in India by FDA .Only Bupropion is available but at present is used in smoking cessation n in depression.Dr. Girish Dahake12 Likes21 Answers
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22 days female child,wt 1.345kg, Now c/o irritability only night ,no any significant complaints, What should investigate & t/t plzDr. Swapnil Chaudhari1 Like14 Answers
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Health benefits of Pili Nuts Pili nut is a wonderful source of important nutrients, minerals and vitamins and they have proven to have many health benefits in us. Health benefits of pili nuts include Improve Cognition, Treat anemia, Promotes Heart Health, Diabetic Aid, Bone Health, Lower high blood pressure, Digestive Issues, Weight Loss, Overcome Insomnia, Promotes Skin And Hair Health, Inflammation, Sleep Aid, Energy Booster, Prevents Tongue Inflammation, Chronic Disease, Immune System Strength, Cholesterol Balance and Proper Development and Growth 1. Improve Cognition Omega-3 fatty acids are linked to reducing inflammation in neural pathways that may improve concentration and focus. Additionally, the antioxidants found in pili nuts can also eliminate the oxidative stress that can speed up neural degeneration and also lead to disorders like Alzheimer’s and dementia. Including these nuts can keep your brain firing on all cylinders well into your older years.(1) 2. Treat anemia Anemia is actually a low level of hemoglobin in the blood. It makes us look very pale, and we get tired very easily. We also might suffer from difficulty in breathing because of insufficient hemoglobin. Severe anemia can also lead to heart failure. Sufficient intake of iron rich foods is a necessity to prevent and treat iron deficiency anemia. Pili nuts are a good source of iron. They help in treating anemia by helping in the formation of hemoglobin. 3. Promotes Heart Health Pili Nuts are wonderful source of heart-healthy omega fatty acids. Pili nuts contain all the important omega fatty acids, which not only improve blood circulation, but also decrease the risk of you contracting cardiovascular disease. The American Heart Association urges people with heart problems to have food rich in omega fatty acids, which makes pili nuts a highly desirable foodstuff.(2) 4. Diabetic Aid Pili Nuts consists of all eight amino acids which makes them particularly beneficial for those suffering from diabetes, or those at high risk for developing the condition. Apart from that these nuts help balance blood glucose levels, and ensure that the body is releasing insulin at appropriate times and in appropriate amounts. This will avoid the dangerous peaks and drops of diabetic patients. 5. Bone Health Pili nuts consist of diverse mix of minerals which are quite beneficial for our bones. Bone mineral density naturally begins to decline as we grow old, so it is important to increase our mineral intake, or at least ensure that it is in line with daily requirements. Pili nuts offer zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese and phosphorous, many of which are important to keeping our bones strong, particularly as we age. 6. Lower high blood pressure or hypertension Sodium is a mineral that leads to preservation of water in the body that uplifts the blood pressure. Pili nuts have low levels of sodium which helps in avoiding the sudden rise of blood pressure. They also comprise numerous other essential minerals which help to maintain normal blood pressure. Magnesium is a mineral that plays an important role in the relaxation of blood vessels. Pili nuts are rich in magnesium. They relax the blood vessels and lower the high blood pressure levels. They help in avoiding all the complications of hypertension like damage to kidneys, nerves, eyes, heart and brain. 7. Digestive Issues Pili nuts are outstanding for optimizing your digestion and improving gastrointestinal health. The natural fibers present in pili nuts help stimulates peristaltic motion and avoid constipation and hemorrhoids. This can help you improve the efficiency of your nutrient uptake, which means maximizing the value of the food you consume!(3) 8. Weight Loss Pili nuts can help you lose weight due to the healthy cholesterol balance and the fiber found in these nuts. Nuts of almost all kinds are outstanding ways to suppress hunger, as fiber makes the body feel that it is full, therefore reducing your chances of going to the pantry for yet another midnight snack. The cholesterol-balancing effects can improve metabolic effectiveness, which means body will begin to burn fat more quickly and efficiently.(4) 9. Overcome Insomnia Pili nuts can help to overcome insomnia as well as other sleep deprived disorders. Well, pili nuts are rich in several essential minerals, and one of them is magnesium. They actually contain the highest magnesium content of any nut. This property makes pili nuts an excellent cure for insomnia as magnesium treats the symptoms of insomnia and helps you sleep better at night.(5) 10. Promotes Skin and Hair Health Vitamin E found in pili nuts helps improve skin and hair quality. Vitamin E helps protect your body against many conditions like cholesterol sediments, and even stimulates antioxidants. Pili Nuts are the richest source of vitamin E among all nuts, which is why they help promote your skin and hair health.(6) 11. Inflammation Pili nuts are natural anti-inflammatory substances because they consist of rich amounts of antioxidants. Antioxidants mostly eliminate free radicals, which can cause oxidative stress and increase inflammation throughout the body. By including pili nuts to your diet, you can cut down on inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout, among many others.(7) 12. Sleep Aid Magnesium is an important component of serotonin and other relaxing hormones that can prevent symptoms of insomnia and sleeplessness. If you find that you infrequently get a full, restful night of sleep, then high levels of magnesium found in pili nuts may be exactly what your body needs to find relief.(8) 13. Energy Booster Pili nuts is one of the best nuts that ensure the body can energize itself, produce new tissues, and run all of its organ systems at optimal levels. The mixture of minerals, proteins and carbohydrates also drives energy levels up. Even a handful of these nuts can give you an energetic surge.(9) 14. Prevents Tongue Inflammation Folic acid or Vitamin B9 is one of the most essential B-vitamins essential for our body. Tongue inflammation, or glossitis, isn’t a painful condition and is frequently caused due to the lack of folate in the diet. As Pili Nut is one of the richest sources of Vitamin B9, it helps prevent and even help cure glossitis. Therefore, having Pili Nut is one of the best ways to maintain healthy folate levels. 15. Chronic Disease As mentioned before, antioxidants are exceptional for reducing free radical damage and oxidative stress, which frequently leads to chronic diseases, even cancer. The diverse mix of antioxidants found in pili nuts keep body’s systems operating efficiently and neutralize those dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism before they can cause healthy cells to mutate or malfunction.(10) 16. Immune System Strength Antioxidants give our immune system a break by decreasing the strain to continually fight off body-weakening disease and stress. However, these tropical nuts help our immune system in another way as well. The high levels of vitamin E are also directly associated with giving the immune system a boost, and making sure that you stay healthy!(11) 17. Cholesterol Balance Remarkable amount of fats found in pili nuts may make some people think that they would be bad for your cholesterol levels, but it is important to remember that not all fats are bad. In fact, omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in good supply within pili nuts, help to balance cholesterol levels and eliminate additional omega-6 fatty acids. This can lower your risk for heart conditions like atherosclerosis, and prevent heart attacks and strokes.(12) 18. Proper Development and Growth Proteins are the building blocks of life for human beings, and pili nuts contain an adequate amount to earn it some praise. We need proteins for everything from organ development and muscle growth to healing and metabolic activity. Including a protein-rich nut to your diet is therefore never a bad idea.(13)Dr. Sanjay Kumar Mallick7 Likes12 Answers
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Now this is important- Are you actually an emotional eater and feel like eating whatever comes in your hands? How frequently have you gone through it ?If the answer is yes and this habit is frequent then its time to take a look at the following tips. 1)When there is a strong urge of eating something,its time to ask yourself if you are actually hungry In short look for physical signs of hunger. If not ,then try and understand why your body is craving for food. Is it boredom,stress,anger,tension so on and so forth which is forcing you to eat?Have you faced this before too? My advice-Grab handful of nuts or a mug of green tea.These shall provide you with a feeling of satiety and your body would not ask for anything else.At the same time deviate your mind and indulge in your favorite activity(it can be sports,or talking to your family,reading etc). 2)Make a list of your comfort foods(foods you reach out for when you are emotionally down).Write down which emotion compels you to eat out of the blue The reason you might reach out to these is because they remind of something/someone or because a particular emotion triggers its consumption. 3)Try and recognise which are your comfort foods and eat them consciously in lesser proportions. 4)Maintain a dietary log which should contain all the foods you have eaten with the timings and your mood at that time. If you have been facing all this then its time to reassess your eating habits and bring a positive change in your lifestyle :)Huda Shaikh7 Likes12 Answers
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31 Top Benefits Of Prickly Pear (Nagfani) For Skin, Hair & Health stylecraze.com Oct 18, 2017 12:00 PM ￼ A fruit belonging to the cactus family that possesses a wide range of benefits. That’s what the prickly pear is. Do not be intimidated by its look as the fruit pulp is delicious, more than you’d expect it to be. It is often regarded as an excellent cure for a hangover. Let us look at this fruit in detail to know more about benefits of prickly pear, its nutrition profile and also simple ways to include it in your diet. Let’s get started! Table Of Contents What Is Prickly Pear? Prickly pear is a fruit that grows on the leaves of the Nopales cacti, belong to the genus Opuntia, it’s scientific name is Opuntia ficus-indica. It is also referred to as Nagfani in Hindi, Nagajemudu in Telugu, Kallimullpazham in Malayalam, and Dindla in Gujarati. The younger plants are edible and often part of the Mexican diet. The other edible parts of the prickly pear cactus are the flowers, stems, and the leaves. Widely known as “cactus pear”, prickly pear by different names in different countries and regions like Tuna, Nopal, Nopales, Barberry figs, Indian figs. Prickly pear is a cylindrical fruit that has a firm outer skin with barbs and softer inner flesh, which is edible. It is green initially and turns reddish-pink as it matures in most plants (1). It can be eaten raw, boiled, or grilled. It is also used to make juice and jams. These tasty, oval fruits sprout from the tops of prickly cactus leaves and range in various colors from deep red-green to yellow or purple. It’s taste is similar to watermelon/raspberries and it has cucumber-like fragrance. What Is The History Of Prickly Pear? Being a cactus, the prickly pear plant can survive in dry weather conditions. It is said to have originated in Mexico and the northern countries of South America, which fall under the arid to semi-arid climate categories. In these regions, it has been a diet staple for thousands of years. It was later found to be used in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent as well. With increasing popularity, prickly pear cacti are now cultivated in Europe and Australia too. The fruit is relished not just for its flavor but also for its health benefits. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties have made this thorny fruit popular. So, why are these fruits food for you? Why Are Prickly Pears Good For You? Prickly pear is rich in many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These make it a wonderful and healthy addition to your diet for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Their low cholesterol and saturated fat content make them a suitable option for many people across the globe who are suffering from obesity and heart disease. These versatile fruits are not a hassle to cut or prepare. If you have access to them, go ahead and purchase a few. Let us look at this fruit’s nutrition facts now. Prickly Pears Nutrition Facts When we talk about the nutritional value of prickly pear, it contains magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and B, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, and many other nutrients. Having one cup of this fruit can be a good source of a considerable part of the daily intake value of many vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind that the calcium found in this traditional desert plant may not be present in its biologically active form. It is present in the form of a non-absorbable complex (calcium oxalate). Nutrition Facts Serving Size 149g Amount Per ServingCalories 61Calories from Fat 6% Daily Value*Total Fat1g1%Saturated Fat 0g0%Trans FatCholesterol 0mg0%Sodium 7mg0mgTotal Carbohydrate 14g5%Dietary Fiber 5g21%SugarsProtien 1gVitamin A1%Vitamin C35%Calcium8%Iron2% Vitamins Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV Vitamin A64.1IU1%Vitamin C20.9mg35%Vitamin D––Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)––Vitamin K––Thiamin0.0mg1%Riboflavin0.1mg5%Niacin0.7mg3%Vitamin B60.1mg4%Folate8.9mcg2%Vitamin B120.0mcg0%Pantothenic Acid––Choline–Betaine–Vitamin C35%MineralsAmounts Per Selected Serving%DVCalcium83.4mg8%Iron0.4mg2%Magnesium127mg32%Phosphorus35.8mg4%Potassium328mg9%Sodium7.5mg0%Zinc0.2mg1%Copper0.1mg6%Manganese––Selenium0.9mcg1%Fluoride––Fats & Fatty AcidsAmounts Per Selected Serving%DVTotal Fat0.8g1%Saturated Fat0.1g0%Monounsaturated Fat0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat0.3gTotal trans fatty acids–Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids–Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids–Total Omega-3 fatty acids34.3mgTotal Omega-6 fatty acids277mg The amount of vitamin C present in one cup of prickly pear constitutes 35% of our daily value intake, whereas magnesium constitutes 32% of the DV. It is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are the healthy forms of fats that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Now that we have a brief understanding of the nutrients found in prickly pear cactus fruit, let us look what the presence of these nutrients implies. The many health benefits of this fruit are discussed below. What Are The Health Benefits Of Prickly Pear Cactus? Some of prickly pear health benefits include its ability to lower cholesterol levels, aid in weight loss, improve the digestive process, fight cancer cells, decrease the risk of diabetes, boost the immune system and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Read on to know more. 1. Potential Role In Weight Control ￼ Image: Shutterstock Obesity is a global epidemic and needs to be managed at the earliest. Instead of resorting to extreme measures like harmful medications or surgery, a simple solution to this problem could be consuming plenty of dietary fiber. Prickly pear fruit contains fiber that will make you feel full for longer and reduce hunger pangs. It also helps in the elimination of dietary fat by binding it and excreting it from the system. As the intestines do not get a chance to absorb the dietary fat, this fruit effectively helps in weight control and even weight loss (2). 2. Helps Lower Cholesterol Continuing on the weight loss tangent, prickly pear can also help reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood. Its fiber (pectin) content can be held responsible for this as it helps eliminate LDL cholesterol from the body. Experiments have shown that prickly pear can reduce both plasma levels and hepatic levels of cholesterol (3, 4). Also, certain phytosterols found in cactus seed oil can alter cholesterol metabolism in a positive way (5). Hyperlipidemia, the condition of high cholesterol levels, can also be brought under control. 3. Source Of Essential Micronutrients The essential micronutrients found in prickly pear are vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Of these, the highest % DV is held by vitamin C and magnesium (6). Consumption of one cup of this fruit on a regular basis can provide your body with these micronutrients that are required for various physiological and metabolic processes. 4. Fights Cancer Cells The flavonoid compounds in prickly pear lower the risk of breast, prostate, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, cervical, and lung cancers. They were shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the lab and mice models. They also caused the death of these cancerous cells at higher concentrations (7). These compounds also have the ability to remove free radicals and improve the activities of pro-oxidant enzymes. 5. Prevents Ulcers Both physical and mental stress can cause changes in the gastrointestinal mucosa and result in gastric ulcers. Inflammation occurs as there is an increase in the pro-inflammatory compounds that damage the gastric wall. Prickly pear exerts a positive effect on the gastric mucosa, and this activity is mainly facilitated by a compound called betanin found in this fruit. The gastric mucus production is regulated, and there is also a reduction in the pro-inflammatory chemicals. As a result of this, the chances of developing ulcers are highly reduced by the consumption of prickly pear (8). 6. Blood Sugar Regulation ￼ Image: Shutterstock Cactus pear is often touted for its hypoglycemic activity. This means that the ingestion of this fruit or its extract can lower high blood glucose levels as well as maintain normal levels. Different experiments on both diabetic and antidiabetic rats have shown a decrease in blood glucose levels. The main mechanism of this reduction is a decrease in the intestinal absorption of glucose (9, 10). Prickly pear cactus fruit’s fiber and pectin content are considered responsible for this activity. Once the blood sugar levels are brought under control, type II diabetes can be managed easily. 7. Nopal Cactus Cleans The Colon The high fiber content of prickly pear not only helps in lowering blood sugar/glucose and cholesterol levels but also helps in regulating the general functioning of the colon. Enough glucose is absorbed, and unhealthy fats and excess bile are eliminated from the body. This keeps the colon in optimum health. The inflammation and oxidative stress that the colon is being subjected to are also alleviated. The antioxidants present in prickly pear eliminate the free radicals and inflammation-inducing compounds, thus cleansing and protecting the colon (11). 8. Soothes The Stomach In Mexico, prickly pear is commonly used as a dietary supplement. People consume prickly pear daily to regularize their bowel movements. This helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of compounds found in cactus pear are also responsible for aiding stomach health and soothing it (12). 9. Protects The Liver We often consume carcinogens and other compounds that can damage the liver without realizing the damage they can cause. Here’s a solution. Consume prickly pear as a juice or in the form of jams or jellies to prevent liver damage. It contains plenty of antioxidants that can reduce the oxidative stress caused by such compounds on the liver. It exerts hepatoprotective activity that mainly involves eliminating free radicals and increasing the body’s antioxidant activity against these compounds (13). 10. Reduces Hangovers ￼ Image: Shutterstock This fruit has the ability to reduce the effects of a hangover. Prickly pear juice reduces the production of inflammatory mediators that induce the uncomfortable feeling during alcohol hangovers. It also reduces other symptoms like nausea and dry mouth (14). 11. Immune System Booster The vitamin C content of prickly pear is responsible for this particular health benefit. Vitamin C boosts the body’s immune response against various infections. It increases the production of white blood cells that undertake the process of killing and eliminating infectious microorganisms from the body. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and reduces the free radical damage throughout the body. This also gives the immune system a boost (15, 16). 12. Reduces Risk Of Colon Cancer Prickly pear contains various types of antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetins, gallic acid, phenolic compounds, betacyanins, etc. The antioxidant activity of these was tested against colon cancer cell lines, and the viability of these cells was greatly affected by them (17). Quercetin, especially, plays a key role in the disruption of a certain pathway involved in the development of cancer cells (18). 13. Protects Against Heart Disease The fiber content of prickly pear helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and maintain blood pressure. Hence, hypertension and bad cholesterol are brought under control. These factors are associated with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and other heart diseases. Cactus fruit’s antioxidants also help to enhance cardiovascular health (19, 20). The biologically active flavonoids in prickly pears normalize the blood platelet stickiness, which helps to maintain good cardiovascular health (21). Hence, herbal doctors often recommend consuming prickly pear for alleviating cardiovascular disease. 14. Alleviates Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Prickly pear is rich in the mineral potassium. When ingested, this mineral can reduce the pressure on the blood vessels and lower the elevated blood pressure levels. Regular intake of prickly pear can maintain normal blood pressure levels and give relief from hypertension. The betalain found in this fruit also strengthens the inner walls of the blood vessels, further aiding in the promotion of cardiovascular health (22). 15. Osteoporosis Protection ￼ Image: Shutterstock This fruit is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antihistamine in nature. It also contains flavonoids that prevent the release of the compounds that help in inflammation of the joints and muscles caused due to gout, arthritis, exercise, fibromyalgia, and allergies. Osteoporosis, which is essentially an inflammatory disease, can be prevented and treated with prickly pear supplementation (23). 16. Stroke Prevention A decrease in total body fat and elevated cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels can all impact cardiovascular health in a very positive way. As these levels are reduced in the body, the risk of stroke or heart attack goes down (24, 25). 17. Reduces Frequency Of Migraine Headaches Migraine is a chronic inflammatory condition that is characterized by the presence of a severe headache (usually on one side of the head) with disturbances in digestion and vision. And to alleviate this inflammation, anti-inflammatory compounds are needed. These are found in abundance in the prickly pear fruit, especially the compound indicaxanthin. This is technically a dietary pigment that can reduce various pro-inflammatory factors in the body (26). If consumed frequently, this fruit can help people deal with migraines. It also reduces their intensity and frequency. 18. Alleviates Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Cramps, back pain, headaches, and breast tenderness are common symptoms that woman experience during PMS. Most of these symptoms are associated with an increase in the levels of prostaglandins (hormone-like chemicals) in the body. Prickly pear is known to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, thus alleviating PMS symptoms (27). 19. Strengthens Bones And Teeth Our teeth and bones are composed of calcium, and our diet is the only source of this mineral. The body obviously cannot synthesize calcium by itself. One cup of fresh prickly pear fruit contains 83 milligrams of calcium, which constitutes about 8% of the daily intake recommended by the FDA. This calcium intake will strengthen our bones and teeth (28). 20. Promotes Digestive Health ￼ Image: Shutterstock Fiber is an important part of our diet when it comes to digestive health. And prickly pear is loaded with fiber. This aids smooth digestion of various components of the food we eat and enhances the activity of the digestive enzymes. Additionally, the fiber from the fruit can help in the smooth elimination of wastes from the body (29). 21. Makes Your Nails Healthy Prickly pear seed oil can be used to moisturize dry and damaged nails and restore the health of the nails and cuticles. It contains moisturizing fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Small concentrations of other fatty acids are also found (30). What Are The Benefits Of Prickly Pear For The Skin? The seeds of this fruit are cold pressed to prepare a beauty oil. It possesses many properties that give it the following benefits: 22. Anti-Aging Properties It contains skin-softening vitamins E and K. It also contains a good amount of skin hydrating and nourishing fatty acids. These prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, thus making prickly pear oil a good anti-aging agent (30). 23. Anti-Inflammatory Agent This xerophytic plant’s oil has great inflammation-fighting capabilities because of the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds. The betalains and phenolic compounds exert this effect when the oil is applied topically on the skin. Swelling and irritation due to insect bites, scrapes, or inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis can be reduced by the application of this oil. 24. Brightens The Skin Tone This oil is also often used for its skin brightening properties. Linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid, not only nourishes the skin but also eliminates dullness. It also protects the skin from UV radiation (31). 25. Helps Achieve Smoother Skin It is super hydrating for dull and dry skin. Linoleic, oleic, and palmitic fatty acids, which are found in major proportions in prickly pear seed oil, supply the skin with the oils it lacks. 26. Heals Cuts, Wounds, And Blemishes Phenolic compounds are also found in good concentrations in prickly pear oil, which exert antioxidant effects on the skin and help repair damaged skin (32). Cut wounds, scars, and other blemishes that may have formed due to various reasons will start healing and fading over time. Apply this oil regularly to reap its healing benefits. 27. Reduces Dark Circles Dark circles under the eyes are formed due to many reasons. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and oxidative stress are the major factors that can cause your under eye area to become dull and get a bluish-purplish tinge. Prickly pear seed oil contains skin nourishing fatty acids that also possess skin brightening properties. In conjunction, these properties can help to lighten your dark circles. All of these properties make prickly pear seed oil an excellent choice for mature, aging, and/or damaged skin. Let us now look at the benefits of prickly pear for your hair. How Does Prickly Pear Benefit Your Hair? Both the fruit and the oil from its seeds can be used to smoothen hair texture, reduce hair fall, increase hair growth, and improve hair health overall. 28. Nourishes Hair We already know that the oil from the seeds of this cactus fruit contains plenty of fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit the skin. Similarly, these can also nourish the scalp and hair by providing the healthy oils they may be lacking. A special mention is required for prickly pear’s vitamin E content that can deeply condition the hair. 29. Makes Your Hair Shiny ￼ Image: Shutterstock You can use prickly pear oil to make your hair glossy. This oil can give you double the amount of fatty acids and protein than argan oil, which is a popular oil used for restoring the natural hair shine. 30. Reduces Hair Loss The pulp of this fruit is often added to hair care products as its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can give relief from many scalp conditions and, in turn, reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth (33, 34). 31. Natural Hair Conditioner Here’s a simple recipe to concoct your own hair conditioner at home using prickly pear cactus: You Will Need 1-2 large nopal cactus pads1/2 cucumber2-3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil1-2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional) What You Have To Do 1. Wash the cactus carefully and peel it to remove all the thorns and barbs. 2. Dice this into small squares and add chopped cucumber to it. 3. Add the olive oil and coconut milk and blend everything. 4. Apply this on the scalp and hair. 5. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly. Make sure no residue remains in your hair. This cactus pear hair mask will make your hair healthy, silky, and soft. It is also useful to protect your hair from the scorching sun and rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. Those were the benefits of the fruit. Now, let’s see where you can buy these delectable fruits. Where To Buy Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit? Prickly pears can be easily found in regular grocery stores. If you cannot find them there, try the Mexican or Middle Eastern vegetable markets. See the next section to know how to make prickly pear a wonderful addition to your diet. How To Incorporate Prickly Pear Into Your Diet? ￼ Image: Shutterstock The prickly pear cactus plant has different parts that are edible. The pad of the cactus, which is often referred to as the nopal, is used as a vegetable in Mexican dishes. Its texture is similar to that of okra when cooked. It is boiled or grilled and is added to soups and salads mostly. Apart from the cactus pad, the fruit or the pear itself can be eaten. Like any other fruit, you can simply rinse it, peel it, and eat it fresh. The flowers of this plant are often used as garnishing or added to salads for extra flavor. Eating the prickly pear fruit is not a difficult process. All you need to do is peel the skin and eat the fleshy pulp present inside. Be careful of the spines when you are handling the fruit initially and the seeds when you are eating it. Many people also prepare jams and jellies from prickly pear fruit. If you do not have access to a store where you can purchase this fruit from, there are extracts available in the market. The dosage of these extracts would depend on the concentration, and it is best if the manufacturer’s recommendation is followed. Prickly pear water is also available in the market these days. This is prepared from the juice of the fruit and filtered water, along with some additional ingredients like lemon juice. Prickly pear is used in various forms to serve various purposes. These uses are given below. Uses Of Prickly Pear Cactus As A Supplement Due to its benefits for lowering blood sugar levels, supplements for type 2 diabetes patients have been designed. The extract is also used to lower cholesterol, target obesity, and lower the risk of heart disease. This supplement is available usually in a powder or a pill form. People also use the supplement before drinking alcohol to reduce the symptoms of an alcoholic hangover. Juice And Pulp The juice or the pulp (without seeds) of the prickly pear fruit is extracted to make jams and jellies. The juice, by itself, can be very tart. It is often added to lemonade or margaritas for that extra zing. To reduce the tartness and still benefit from this amazing xerophyte, jams and jellies are prepared. Medicinal Uses When it comes to usage in medicine, prickly pear is used in medications for: Type 2 diabetesHigh cholesterolObesityAlcohol hangoverHeart diseaseColitisDiarrheaViral infectionsBenign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) (35) Now that we covered the many uses of this fruit, it is also important to know how to select the best fruit and store it so that you can derive the maximum benefits. Read on to know how. How To Select And Store Cactus Pear Mid-August is considered the best time to harvest prickly pear cactus fruit. Once you have located a plant, follow these steps: Using a pair of tongs, gently pluck the fruit from the cactus pad. It should come off easily. Beware of the spines on the nopales and also the glochids (microscopic spines) on the fruit. Using gardening or leathergloves can help prevent any spines from piercing your skin.Transfer the fruits to a large, clean bowl or bucket. Make sure to leave at least one fruit per cactus pad so that your harvesting does not interfere with the plants’ reproduction process.Pick fruits that are ruby colored (or other colors seen in prickly pear). Do not pick the ones that are still green at the ends.Rinse the fruits with water thoroughly. Swirl them around gently while doing this to get rid of the spines. Cactus pear fruits remain ripe for about a week. They can also be refrigerated for 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Here is how you can cut and prepare prickly pear fruit. How To Eat Prickly Pear Cactus Rinse the fruit thoroughly in a colander using cold water. Keep swirling it around gently while doing this to get rid of the all the spines.Once all the spines have been removed, gently pat the fruit dry using a soft napkin.Take a sharp knife and cut the top and bottom parts of the fruit and discard them.Cut lengthwise to peel off the skin, similar to how you would peel an orange with a knife.Chop or slice the fruit, as per your preference, and eat it. Though the seeds are safe to ingest, many people prefer not to as they are too hard. If you are still confused about how to consume this exotic fruit, we have some simple but delicious recipes for you below. Any Prickly Pear Recipes? 1. Prickly Pear Lemonade ￼ Image: Shutterstock You Will Need 1 prickly pear2 tablespoons lemon juice1 cup water1/2 tablespoon sugar5-6 ice cubesMint leaves for garnishing Recipe Add the sugar and lemon juice to water and mix well.Cut the prickly pear in half and remove the pulp present inside. Add this to the lemonade.Blend all of these for 15-30 seconds.Strain the mixture to remove the seeds.Add ice cubes and drink this refreshing lemonade with a twist. 2. Prickly Pear Puree You Will Need Prickly pear Recipe Rinse and peel the fruit. De-seed it.Squash the flesh thoroughly for a couple of minutes until you get a smooth puree.Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 3. Prickly Pear Ice Cream You Will Need 1 cup prickly pear juice1/8 cup lemon juice1 quart half and half1 teaspoon sea salt2 cups sugar1 teaspoon tangerine zestA pinch of lemon zest Recipe Combine all the ingredients and pour into an ice cream maker.Let it run for about 20 minutes.Freeze the ice cream overnight or for at least six hours. 4. Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly You Will Need 2 1/2 lbs prickly pear fruit3-4 tablespoons lemon juice2 cups sugarPeel of half a lemonWater Recipe Singe off the spines on the fruit and carefully peel them.Cut into inch-long chunks and transfer to a pot. Add enough water to cover the entire fruit.Bring this to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.Strain this using a cheesecloth to remove all the seeds. Use a wooden spoon to mash the pulp and get all the juice from it.To this prickly pear juice, add the lemon juice, sugar, and lemon peel.Cook this at high heat and keep stirring regularly until you get a jelly consistency.Store in airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to six months. Let me now summarize some key facts about prickly pear for you. What Are The Facts About Prickly Pear I Need To Know? Prickly pear is also known as the nopal cactus and has flat, oval green leaves called pads, which are covered in spines.The fruits arise from the top of the cactus pads and are edible.This fruit, which is also called as the cactus pear, cactus fig or tuna, is usually red.Prickly pear is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, and omega fatty acids. It contains zero cholesterol.Even the pads of this plant are edible. They are commonly used in soups and salads.The fruits can be ingested by themselves or in the form of juice, jams, jellies, and even candy.Cactus fig is beneficial for the treatment of many ailments like high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and stomach issues. Even though this fruit has plenty of benefits, it can, at times, cause reactions in a few people. Here are the side effects experienced. Side Effects Of Prickly Pear Cactus Upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, and headache are the most common side effects noticed (36).Nasal inflammation or asthma can be caused due to an allergy to it.Eating broiled nopal stem can have an extreme hypoglycemic effect. This is not seen when raw stems or ripe fruit are eaten.It can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain medications due to its diuretic properties.Pregnant or women who are breastfeeding should not intake prickly pear in any form as it can interfere with the fetus’ or child’s development. Let us now look at some of the commonly asked questions by our readers about prickly pear. Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions What can reduce the skin irritation caused by prickly pear contact? The spines (glochids) present on prickly pear can come in contact with the skin and at times, cause allergic reactions such as hives. These usually subside within an hour or so. If the spines have pierced the skin, carefully pluck them using tweezers or cellophane tape. To reduce the itching and irritation, you can use over-the-counter steroids or antihistamines. Does prickly pear/tuna increase hemoglobin? Is it safe to consume? Prickly pear has been known to increase hemoglobin. However, there is no clinical proof for this. However, it is absolutely safe to consume. So, go ahead and try it. Does prickly pear cause constipation? Prickly pear is often used to relieve constipation because of its fiber content. Irrespective of this, excessive intake can actually cause constipation because of the high amount of fiber blocking the intestines. Hence, it is best to consume it in moderate amounts. How to prune prickly pear cactus? Pruning is best done in spring or late summer to remove damaged, poorly formed, or excessive cactus pads. Using protective hand gear and clothing, carefully trim the pads at their bases. It might be best to cut off some of the top parts of the pads first to get better access to the base. If you are unsure about pruning the plant yourself or the cactus has grown out too much, get professional help. Are all prickly pear cactus edible? What kind of cactus is edible? The genus Opuntia consists of different species of cacti that are edible. You can identify these plants by their oval, flattened, green, and spine covered pads. The prickly pear cactus (O. Ficus-indica) is the most commonly eaten species. How many calories are in cactus pears? One cup of cactus pear contains around 61 calories. Is a cactus a fruit or a vegetable? The prickly pear cactus is one of those plants that is a vegetable and a fruit. The green pads are the vegetable whereas the red pear is the fruit. Have you ever tried prickly pear fruit? Or have you had a chance to have one of those delicious Mexican dishes with the cactus pads in it? Share your experience with us in the comments section. Stay healthy! Recommended Articles:Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau3 Likes11 Answers