The brightly colored fruit that grows from a cactus is loaded with good-for-you benefits, and according to Peggy Kotsopoulos, RHN, it's actually pretty tough to find a reason not to add it to your diet.
"Prickly Pear is rich in immune-boosting vitamin C, B vitamins, bone-building calcium, nerve and muscle-relaxing magnesium, [plus] potassium and iron," Kotsopoulos says. Not to mention, prickly pear water is packed with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. How's that for a list of credentials?
Though it can sometimes be tough to find in traditional grocery stores, there's one sure way of getting your hands on the fruit: Steaz Prickly Pear Water, a rejuvenating combo of prickly pear and green tea (and the buzzy functional beverage you'll want to get your hands on ASAP).
Intrigued? Keep reading for 3 reasons to add prickly pear water to your beverage lineup.
1. Ultimate hydration
Blending prickly pear into a smoothie or sipping on Steaz Prickly Pear Water after spin class (rather than chugging a sugary sports drink) is nature's recovery alternative, without any of the additives.
"Prickly pear provides effective and efficient hydration, as it is rich in electrolytes such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium," Kotsopoulos says. "Electrolytes are the best way to hydrate at the cellular level and help to boost cellular energy and athletic output."
Bonus: Kotsopoulos says prickly pear contains even more electrolytes than many leading sports drinks, plus the hit of green tea in Steaz will help you avoid that post-workout crash. Double score.
2. Glowy skin vibes
Beyond the fact that hydration is never not amazing for dewy skin, prickly pear has many of the complexion-boosting powers of all your favorite serums, according to Kotsopoulos.
The spiny fruit is a stellar source of vitamin C and other antioxidants, ingredients reputed to combat oxidative stress and free radical damage, promote collagen production, and minimize fine lines, the RD says. Considering all you have to do is sip, that's worth a shot.
3. Inflammation fighter (which can ease hangovers!)
Inflammation causes all kinds of unwanted problems (hey, acne and dark under-eye circles), but prickly pear's got the goods to help fight off the bad stuff.
"Prickly pear has strong anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflammation post-workout and speed up muscle recovery," Kotsopoulos says. "One study indicates that these anti-inflammatory properties can moderately reduce the incidence of hangovers by inhibiting the production of inflammatory mediators, which is the primary cause of a hangover." Translation: Keep it around for post-rosé mornings.
Top photo: Stocksy/Daniel Kim Photography
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