When most people think of cactus, a prickly plant probably comes to mind. But pretty soon, “cactus water,” a beverage with trace minerals and a natural fruity flavor, may also be on everyone’s radar, available at your local health food store next to the coconut water and sea moss gel.

“Cactus water is hot in the functional beverage space, just like coconut water, because it’s a plant-based beverage that contains electrolytes and antioxidants,” says Vicki Shanta Retelny, RDN, the Chicago-based creator of the podcast Nourishing Notes.

Still, not all commercial cactus waters are created equal. “They could be healthy — or [they] could be adulterated and not beneficial,” says Ann Marie Chiasson MD, MPH, the director of the fellowship in integrative medicine at the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tuscson, Arizona.

Here’s what you need to know about cactus water before you head to the store to stock up.

Topics #Alternative #Beauty #Health Care #Medicine #Popular Diets