Nutritional Value of Red Cactus Pear

Prickly pear cactus close up with fruit in red color
Red cactus pears grow from this cactus. (Image: fischerscoop/iStock/Getty Images)

Cactus pears are actually large berries growing on the prickly pear cactus. They are filled with edible seeds – which is one reason for their high-fiber content – and brightly-colored, antioxidant-rich juice. You can eat the fruit raw or cook it for jams, preserves, pies and other desserts.

Macronutrients

One cactus pear with the stem end and skin removed contains 42 calories, 9.86 g of carbohydrates, 0.75 g of protein, 0.53 g of fat and 3.7 g of fiber.

Vitamins

Each cactus pear has 14.4 mg of vitamin C, 0.014 mg of thiamine, 0.062 mg of riboflavin, 0.474 mg of niacin, 0.062 mg of vitamin B-6, 6 mcg of folate, 44 international units, or IU, of vitamin A and 26 mcg of beta-carotene.

Minerals

A single red cactus pear fruit contributes more than 5 percent of the daily requirement for calcium – with 58 mg. It also contains 0.31 mg of iron, 88 mg of magnesium, 25 mg of phosphorus, 227 mg of potassium, 5 mg of sodium, 0.12 mg of zinc, 0.082 mg of copper and 0.6 mcg of selenium.

Special Handling

Although the cactus pears available for sale in your local grocery store have been mechanically stripped of their needles, some invisible stinging hairs are likely to remain. Before you handle the prickly pear, put on protective gloves or use tongs to hold the fruit while you cut away the peel.

REFERENCES & RESOURCES
Comments
PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION

Copyright © 2018 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.