The Health Benefits of the Prickly Pear Nopal Cactus


Many individuals keep a prickly pear cactus within their homes or gardens for decoration. What you may not realize, however, is that the prickly pear cactus is filled with antioxidants that are good for your health. It also has a high concentration of vitamin C. This can be a vitamin known to give a boost to the human disease fighting capability. Also called the nopal cactus, the prickly pear is native to Mexico and fares best in warm climates.

Weight Control and Diabetes

This type of cactus is specially beneficial for diabetics. A 2005 study performed by researchers in Mexico City demonstrated a diabetic who incorporates the nopal cactus into his daily diet can get to see his sugar levels drop dramatically. This may be partially due to the fact that certain nutrients within the pads of the cactus avoid the body from absorbing excess sugar from other foods.

This information isn’t just pertinent to diabetics, however. Individuals who are actively dieting can also benefit from lower blood glucose levels. High glucose levels can lead to more acute hunger that may, in turn, result in overeating. Besides controlling glucose, the cactus is a high fiber food. Individuals who consume foods saturated in fiber have a tendency to feel full for a lot longer than those that snack on foods high in sugar. Thus, the cactus can be a good dietary addition for all those attempting to control their weight.

The Digestive System

Nopal cactus has been used for thousands of years by Mexican Indians as a dietary supplement to regulate the digestive tract. Individuals who incorporate nopal cactus supplements into their diets can expect to experience a greater amount of regularity in their bowel movements. The cactus also includes high degrees of insoluble fibers. Due to this, it serves as a natural colon cleanser and rids the body of impurities found within the colon that may interfere with your body’s digestive health.

For Cactus price who have struggled with pancreatitis in past times, nopal cactus may present a delicious treatment for a painful problem. Exactly the same insoluble fibers that serve as colon cleansers also absorb excess bile excreted by the pancreas. Excess bile that’s not absorbed is stored by the gallbladder and can result in gall stones. Gall stones can cause further episodes of pancreatitis for chronic sufferers.

How to Take Prickly Pear

Nopal cactus can be eaten raw or cooked. When you are feeling particularly brave, you might cultivate a cactus at home and carefully strip its pads of their needles before roasting the pads or chopping them up into a salad. For some, however, the work involved to prepare a dish with the cactus proves to be too much effort. In order to enjoy the health benefits without the risk of biting into among its sharp needles, you can purchase herbs in pill form. These supplements contain cactus powder that provides you with similar health benefits as eating the cactus in its natural form. Additionally, you can even now purchase supplements by means of liquid or juice. There are several companies offering a juice or concentration that contains high levels of antioxidants found in the nopal prickly pear cactus. And, if you happen to live in the southwestern United States, you may also have the ability to purchase the cactus already prepared at your neighborhood grocery store.

Modern research shows that the nopal cactus can lower cholesterol, reduce inflammation, boost energy, preventing nerve deterioration. Few vegetables can boast this wide of a repertoire of health benefits for the human body. In case you are concerned about your wellbeing or weight, consider picking right up some supplements or growing one of these versatile cacti in your own garden. You may find that, health benefits aside, you just love the taste.


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