Friday,24 November, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1358, (24 August - 6 September 2017)
Friday,24 November, 2017
Issue 1358, (24 August - 6 September 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Summer cactus fruits

Let’s talk about better living! Our interactive family corner aims to expand our lifestyle horizons with practical little pearls of wisdom from the editor and input from our readers

Summer cactus fruits
Summer cactus fruits

Summer is the season for cactus fruits, which is why vendors selling these spiny yellow, red or orange fruits can often be seen in streets, near bridges or in parks in many cities, especially in the afternoons or early evenings.

Keeping cactus plants, known as prickly pears or teen shouky in Arabic, is not expensive, and they do not require a lot of maintenance or attention. Some people grow cactus plants as fences for their gardens and also benefit from the tasty fruits. They can also be a source of income for small farmers.

Besides their delicious taste, cactus fruits are loaded with nutrients and vitamins that have a positive impact on health, including vitamin K, high levels of B-family vitamins, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus. They are also a rich source of vitamin C, which makes them a booster for the immune system. A medium-sized teen shouky can provide one third of the daily requirement of this vitamin.

Cactus fruits also contain significant amounts of fibre, which is beneficial to the digestive system among other health benefits. These high-fibre fruits have an important role to play in fighting disease, and they are an excellent source of antioxidants and carotenoids in addition to having antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties.

Among other health benefits, including reducing the risk of age-related bone disorders like osteoporosis, they can help in preventing dental issues and help manage weight. These magic fruits also aid in preventing cancer, give relief from arthritis, gout and muscle strain, and also help to prevent atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.

In addition to being eaten raw, cactus fruits can also be used to make juice, hair conditioner, or even a face mask to help fight wrinkles. Here are some of their benefits:

Cactus fruits desert:
This is a quick and easy way to enjoy the juice of cactus fruits in a cool and refreshing way. All you need is six medium-sized peeled cactus fruits, one cup of water, two tablespoons of natural sweetener of your choice, and the juice of one lime.

Slice the cactus fruits and puree in a blender. In a saucepan, mix the water and the sweetener together. Bring to the boil, and then add the cactus puree and lime juice. Reduce to simmer for five minutes and add lime juice or sweetener to taste. Then cool and pour into a glass dish. Freeze for an hour until large ice crystals form. Rake a fork across the ice and then return to the freezer and repeat a few times. Scoop into a bowl and serve.

Hair conditioner:
Cactus fruits conditioner can protect the hair from the sun and rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. Cut two peeled fruits into small chunks and put in water. Cover, and shake well. Strain and massage the liquid onto the hair. Leave the liquid for half an hour and then rinse. Your hair will be healthier, silkier and softer as a result.

Face mask:
This cactus face mask will give you a natural glow, purify the skin and remove any blackheads. All you need is one peeled cactus fruit, one tablespoon of starch, one tablespoon of white flour and a tablespoon of honey.

Mashed the peeled fruit and then add the flour, starch and honey. Mix well to make a puree mixture. With a brush, spread the mixture onto your face. Leave the mask for 15 minutes and then rinse with water. Repeat twice a week for a healthy looking face. You can also substitute flour with yoghurt.

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