The nopal cactus is commonly known as the prickly pear cactus. It’s indigenous to Mexico and renowned because of its health benefits because of the high antioxidan vitamin, mineral, and fiber material.

Within the following guide, find out more about the applications and advantages of this nopal cactus and its own fruit.

What’s nopal?

Nopal cactus on copping board, cut into pieces for cooking.
Nopales are the pads of their nopal cactus, also may be boiled or eaten raw.

Nopales or nopalitos are the pads of their nopal or prickly pear cactus. They’re consumed as a vegetable and also generally found in pubs, grocery stores, and farmers’ markets around the American Southwest and Mexico.

They are sometimes sautéed and utilized in several dishes, such as tacos, scrambled eggs, or even as a side dish with berries and onions.

Nopales may also be consumed raw. They resemble a green pepper when peppermint and therefore so are turned to juice, jams, or even tea.

Prickly pear shaped fruit or even the small, curved, and frequently vibrant portion of the plant may also be swallowed.

Juice extracted from the fruit is a favorite beverage of choice to health-conscious customers in Mexico.

Nutritional info

1 cup of uncooked nopales comprises approximately:

  • 14 carbs
  • 1 gram (g) of protein
  • significantly less than 1 gram of fat
  • 3 gram of g
  • Two gram of fiber
  • 1 gram of sugars
  • 20 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A
  • 8 milligrams (mg) of Vitamin C
  • 141 milligrams of calcium
  • 4.6 mcg of Vitamin K

The prickly pear fruit, that comes in many different colours, comprises the flavonoids kaempferol and quercetin, that can be antioxidants which have anti inflammatory properties.

At a research comparing three distinct juices from assorted colours of sweet pear — red-purple, white-green, and yellow-orange — that the red-purple number had the many antioxidants.

Health advantages

Prickly pear nopal cactus juice green drink, with nopales by glass.
Nopal juice may help to Decrease cholesterol and Glucose Levels. In addition, it can be used for healing wounds.

The two pieces of the nopal plant — that the nopales along with also the berry — are used in conventional medicine for disease prevention and treatment.

The cactus Was utilized to deal with:

The supposed advantages of new nopal juice contain lowering blood glucose, curing wounds, and also reducing cholesterol.

Individual research on the nopal cactus and also the fact that it can cure or protect against disease are restricted. But many research have shown that the antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties of this plant.


Cactus plants are traditionally utilised in Mexico for treating diabetes.

At a little study of individuals with type two diabetes, two types of participants had been awarded a higher carbohydrate breakfast. 1 group consumed nopal using their breakfast, whereas another didn’t.

The team who consumed the nopal had substantially lower blood glucose levels following the meal, in addition to reduced insulin amounts, in contrast to the band who didn’t have nopal.

Individuals with diabetes gain from such as polyunsaturated foods, for example nopal and polyunsaturatedshaped, in their own diet. High-fiber diets may improve blood sugar, reduce insulin levels, and enhance blood lipids.

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend consuming at least 25 grams of fiber each day for girls and 38 gram for guys.

Hazards and concerns

The juice produced from nopal can be blended with other sugars, including lemon, orange, or strawberry, that may have a high quantity of sugar.

Individuals with diabetes must monitor the quantity of sugar they’re consuming. It’s ideal to choose the fresh fruit rather than juic or squeeze new juice in your home.

In many areas of Mexico, sellers sell new nopal juice following the plant has been rinsed with just tap water, even without pasteurization or some other anti bacterial processing.

As cattle manure is commonly used for compost, researchers examined for food-borne pathogens within unpasteurized nopal juice.

Their analysis detected the 91 percent of the samples were favorable for E. coli and one percent were favorable to Salmonella. These germs can lead to serious illnesses, therefore individuals need to make certain to purchase nopal and nopal juice just from respectable sources.


Nopales from nopale cactus or prickly pear cactus, frying in a pan with onions and chilli.
Nopal cactus is a flexible component, whether with the pads or sweet pear shaped fruit.

Prickly pear could be consumed uncooked, however, the skin has to be eliminated. Prickly pears which aren’t as ripe are far sweet, although the orange that’s reddish and purple will be sweeter.

All prickly pears include little, hard seeds which may be removed using a spoon or strainer, or just spat out.

If a individual develops or chooses their very own nopal, they might need to remove the thorns and the skin that is thick.

Someone ought to wash the nopales completely to eliminate the slimy feel prior to cooking.

Diced nopal could be sautéed with olive oil, onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, and berries to produce this particular salad.

Nopales create a yummy satisfying for vegan tacos. Sliced nopales could be broiled such as peppers to get fajitas. They are also able to be utilised in a egg yolks.


Nopales and polyunsaturated fruit are full of antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

They’re a healthful addition to a balanced diet and can help reduce blood glucose when consumed with a meal that is balanced.

Courtesy: Medical News Today

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