Tuna is the fruit of the most famous cactus of Mexico (Opuntia ficus-indica). Both the cactus (Nopal) and the fruit (Tuna) are edible. I will write a separate article about the Nopales.
The cactus is very well known for several reasons. The main reason is that the cactus is edible and you can get the nopales as a side dish in almost every restaurant. The other reason is that the cactus is also shown on the mexican national flag.
The fruit is oval in shape, with an average length of 10 – 14 cm and a skin about 0.5 cm thick. The color of the fruit ranges from yellow-green and orange to a deep red, depending on the ripeness of the fruit. Similar to a maracuja, the tuna has a lot of seeds, but the flesh is firmer than that of a maracuja and is more like the flesh of a watermelon. The number of seeds can vary from breed to breed, so some breeds have fewer seeds than others.
The green tuna tastes very sweet and has the consistency of a watermelon in the mouth. Especially on hot days the sweet juicy taste is a nice refreshment. When eating it, only the many hard seeds in the mouth are disturbing, which cannot be chewed, but can be swallowed safely.
This fruit is said to have many great qualities. Here are a few of its benefits:
- The Tuna helps to lose weight, because it has very few calories,
- The fruit helps e.g. against influenza and strengthens the immune system due to its high vitamin C content,
- It helps to lower cholesterol thanks to antioxidants,
- Tuna strengthens the bones thanks to its high calcium and magnesium content,
- Thanks to dietary fiber, tuna helps with digestive problems.