Benefits of Fig of India for Health

The Indian Fig is an exotic fruit very common in the Middle East region, with a sweet flavor and a very juicy pulp. In addition to attracting attention for its unique flavor and different appearance, the fruit has been attracting more and more people’s interest due to its properties and health benefits.

One of the most interesting facts about this fruit is that the plant that gives rise to it is nothing less than a cactus. In addition, the appearance of the prickly pear is quite similar to that of the plant, and its bark has some thorns.

When ripe, the skin that covers it can have various shades of color, depending on the variety, such as green, yellow, red, white or even purple. Its pulp, on the other hand, has a texture that resembles a gum, having some seeds inside.

You’ve never heard of the prickly pear, but are you curious to know how it can improve your quality of life? Then this article will be valuable to you!


Although given a name that suggests its origin is oriental, the prickly pear was first cultivated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago. Over the years, and the arrival of European peoples to the American continent, the fruit was taken to the other side of the world, where it began to spread to other countries.

As a fruit whose plant from which it originates can adapt very easily to the vast majority of climates and soils, the prickly pear started to be cultivated practically all over the world. Here in Brazil, the fruit also started to be cultivated, becoming popular mainly in the northeast region, where it can be known through the following names:

  • ababaeira
  • devil’s fig
  • cigarette holder
  • indian fig tree
  • fig tree tuna or tuna
  • Palm


Although the prickly pear is a little-known fruit, those who have been consuming it for some time say that this food can really be a real ally to maintain their health and well-being.

In addition, several studies about the fruit show that, in addition to being rich in nutrients, the prickly pear has a property that very few fruits have, being very efficient in the treatment of respiratory tract diseases. Check out the components that make this fruit so special:

  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamins B1 and B2
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Phosphor
  • Copper
  • Iron

What makes this food so special is precisely the fact that it has all these components in large percentage, making it also have a high anti-inflammatory power.


After checking the amount of vitamins and minerals that the prickly pear has, it is not very difficult to see that it is a great way to differentiate your diet, making it healthier and bringing many benefits to your body and health.

Therefore, see how your regular consumption can contribute to your quality of life:

  1. Improves your immune system

Due to the large amount of vitamins with antioxidant power, consumption of the fruit can favor the production of cells in the immune system, making it stronger and more resistant to diseases and infections.

  • Contributes to the health of teeth and bones

The prickly pear has a huge amount of calcium in its composition. Therefore, consuming the fruit on a regular basis can not only contribute to the prevention of diseases such as osteoporosis, but also keep your bones and teeth healthy.

  • Helps to control diabetes

Although it is a fruit rich in sugar, some studies have shown that the prickly pear can indeed help control blood sugar levels, especially right after meals, including in diabetic patients.

  • prevent cancer

As we mentioned before, the prickly pear has a high content of antioxidant substances. This fact contributes to it being a strong fighter against the so-called free radicals, thus efficiently acting against several types of cancer.

  • Helps control cholesterol

Studies conducted in 2014 showed that individuals who started to include prickly pear in their meals were able to significantly reduce the levels of LDL in the blood (cholesterol).

In addition, the patients who participated in this study also reported less weight gain after consuming the fruit, which can easily be explained by the power that the fruit has to cause positive changes in the functioning of our metabolism.


As a plant that adapts well to the heat and dry climate, the prickly pear is an exotic fruit that can be found in Brazil with some ease. If you are interested and want to buy it, we recommend that you search for municipal markets or stores specializing in the sale of fruit.

If you want to cultivate the prickly pear, know that it is also possible. Although it likes more humid soils, the cactus that gives rise to the fruit does not require extremely irrigated and nutrient-rich soils to thrive. If you are interested, you can easily find seedlings in greenhouses.


The ways to consume the prickly pear are varied, and different recipes can be made using the fruit as a base for jams, juices and some sweets. Some people also consume this fruit in capsule form to try to benefit from its properties.

If your option is to make your consumption fresh, the only recommendation is that there be complete removal from the house to avoid accidents with a thorn.

So, did you already know about the existence of the fruit and how it could help keep your health up to date? Tell us in the comments!

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Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

Robert Asprin

Robert Asprin, APD is a non-dieting Accredited Practicing Dietitian passionate about inspiring positive changes in eating and lifestyle behaviors to help improve health while nurturing relationships with food and body.

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