ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The many benefits of the Prickly Pear

Updated on March 14, 2011


At a first glance, the prickly pear may not seem like having a lot to offer. The plant itself is a member of the Cacti family and it presents with typical large paddle shaped plattyclades featuring two sets of thorns: long needle like thorns and hair like short spines that easily penetrate the skin. Its edible fruits exhibit  their own set of thorns as well, and must be therefore, peeled with care. Once the thick layer or skin and thorns are removed, the remaining fruit is full of seeds that must be swallowed  whole in order to be consumed.

The fruits typically come in three different colors: light green,  bright orange and crimson red. They are very eye appealing fruits that can be found in abundance in the Western and Southwestern  United States and throughout Mexico. The fruits are very refreshing and have several uses. Mexicans in particular, enjoy making candies, jellies, pickles and a drink which they call "Horchata".

As worthless and thorny as this plant may appear, nutritionally the prickey pear can be a goldmine of vitamins and minerals. With seventeen amino acids, high fiber contents, great levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and Bioflavoids, adding prickly pears to a healthy diet may seem far from being odd.

-The plant has been known as a great source of fiber, thus being very helpful to the digestive system. It has been proved to work as well as a great colon cleanser.

-Its aminoacides have been associated with the benefit of lowering high cholesterol, cleaning up the arteries  reducing the formation of plaque while over all improving circulation.

-The plant has also benefited in stabilizing the levels of blood glucose in the blood. Type II Diabetics may particularly benefit from lower glucose levels within one hour of consuming the plant's juice.

-Supplements have been made to help athletes over come muscle soreness and get a nice jolt of energy.

-Cases of hangover developed from an excessive alcohol consumption have shown improvement by consuming special products derived from the Prickly pear's fruits and pads.

-The high fiber content along with the ability to reduce lipids have proved that the prickly pear may  be an effective aid when losing weight.

 The prickly peat plant is simply an amazing specimen of survival. It has thrived in areas where other plants would perish. Its ideal climate consists of dry, desert like, arid locations. Yet, this plant which some people may have never heard of, has so much to offer, we humans cannot deny that life wouldn't be the same without this precious specimen.

How to eat prickly pears


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • lrdl3535 profile image

      Richard Lindsay 

      6 years ago from California

      Thanks for the article, good information

    • alexadry profile imageAUTHOR

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 

      6 years ago from USA

      I think you are referring to the guy on the video and not my article. I posted indeed that it does have benefits for diabetics as it stabilizes glucose levels. I have Sicilian blood running in my family so I have eaten prickly pears your way. I think the guy does it "the American way" I will look at the video again and disable it if he makes so many wrong statements.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Firstly!! that's not the way to clean the fruit, not at all. You "fork" the fruit in the middle to stabilize it and with a knife you remove the two extreme ends of the fruit then you slice the skin only from end to end and the entire inside of the fruit seeds and all is exposed and ready to eat. No cutting of thorns, no water waste, just lovely fruit with seeds which by the way are extremely good for you for multiple reasons. Then you mentioned that the fruit has diabetis in fact the fruit contains many anti-diabetics. You wish to instruct? do it properly dood, no offence meant!!!

    • profile image

      arslan usmani 

      6 years ago

      God gift prickly pear

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      How much water does that dude waste "washing" the pears?!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)