Health Benefits of Nopal Cactus

Nopal Cactus is basically a famous Opuntia ficus-indica or more typically, a pear with pricks.

It is actually quite common in the USA and even you can get it at the roadsides in the desert Southwest and it is also native to Mexico desert area.

Nopal benefits

Moreover, Mexican people even use it in their daily cooking.

It is part of plaster in that area to harden the plaster.

It is even considered a medicinal plant among the native (aboriginal) people of that area.

Additionally, it is also gaining fame in the US for the health-related benefits and these benefits include the claim for curing disease and inflammation.

What is the working principle of Nopal cactus?

This prickly pear cactus is likely to be helpful in lowering the sugar levels of blood and levels of cholesterol by reducing the absorption of cholesterol and sugar in the intestine and stomach.

prickly pear cactusIs it safe to consume Nopal or is Nopal healthy?

Prickly Pear Cactus (Nopal) is actually popular for its health advantages for curing diabetes, obesity, hangovers, and high cholesterol.

It also carries anti-inflammatory and antiviral characteristics.

It is quite an immediate thing to say that nopal (prickly pear cactus) is actually a Superfood but for sure, it can be a great addition to a healthy diet.

Nutrition facts about Nopal

The health benefits of nopal are because of vitamin content: Vitamin B6, iron, fiber, copper, vitamin A, vitamin C, riboflavin, Calcium, Potassium, magnesium, manganese, and vitamin K.

Nopal is also a crucial source of organic compounds, such as polysaccharides and phytochemicals that promote its health benefits.

Health Benefits of Nopal

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1. Cholesterol

According to the study of Dr. Maria L. Fernandez (in California) that is released in the “Journal of Nutrition”, Prickly Pear Pectin reduced the concentrations of LDL and dropped to 28 % in accumulated cholesterol levels.

Moreover, Researchers from Mexico have discovered that animal subjects who were on raw Nopal experienced lesser weight gains and a 34 % decrease in LDL levels of cholesterol.

2. Antioxidant

The fruits and stems Opuntia ficus-indica (Nopal) possess almost 8 flavonoids that have antioxidant characteristics.

They are also rich in vitamin C.

In the year of 2004, a study was conducted and later in the “Journal of Clinical Nutrition” issued a comparison between prickly pear fruit and vitamin C to analyze whether there is a potency difference in antioxidant.

Even though both reduced oxidative damage to lipids and better antioxidant status in healthy humans, just nopal noticeably changed oxidative body stress effectively.

3. Diabetes

DiabetesNopal has been researched for its influence and impacts on sugar levels of blood, with one study issued in the “Journal of Ethnopharmacy” in the year of 1995 searching the cactus extracts lead to a noticeable decline in the glucose level of blood somewhere around 18%.

In Baja California, the Calzada Tecnologico also found that making nopal a part of the conventional high carbohydrate contained Mexican meals for the patients of Type 2 diabetes persuades a plunge in the concentration of glucose later the consumption of the meal.

4. Inflammation

The extracts of Ethanol from Nopal cactus stems and fruits were used to observe for its pharmacological activities.

According to a Korean study (released in Archives of Pharmacal Research), discovered that the extracts decreased paw edema in the lab animals and possessed a potent inhibitory impact for leukocyte migration, which is a crucial process in the development of inflammatory illnesses.

5. Ulcers

Nopal cactus has been used in Sicily traditional medicine for years to medicate for decades to cure gastric ulcers.

Scientists from Italy treated lab animals with Nopal prior inducing gastric ulcers and discovered that this pre-treatment in lab offered a shield act against the ulcers, mostly from the mucilage that happens to be present in the plant.

6. Better sleep

better sleepingThis cactus carries magnesium that is a useful mineral for promoting sleep in the users, particularly, in people who suffer from insomnia, restlessness, or chronic anxiety.

It also happens to encourage the secretion of serotonin in the body that results in improving the levels of melatonin.

Furthermore, it also carries a little sedative effect, which decreases nerve function and offers the body a soothing effect.

Thus, it occurs to help in sleep.

7. Weight Loss (through appetite suppression)

There are a variety of substances in Nopal which can help in weight loss.

First of all, fiber can let the body experience fullness and stop the secretion of ghrelin that is a hunger-causing hormone.

Therefore, overeating is decreased.

Secondly, this plant does not contain excess saturated fat and cholesterol, but it is full of metabolic ability.

Thus, the body works at a higher level without putting on weight.

The presence of thiamin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 makes the metabolic function work swiftly.

These vitamins optimize fat torching and the alteration of food into usable energy.

8. Better Digestion process

Nopales are a type of cacti.

Therefore, they are quite fibrous and contain a lot of dietary fiber.

Dietary fiber is essential in the process of digestion as it aids the movement of bowel that makes it easier for food to pass through the digestive tract.

It also triggers peristaltic motion and decreases signs of constipation and diarrhea.

Moreover, additional fiber in the body can noticeably reduce the cholesterol.

Hence, it occurs to protect the health of the heart.

9. Elevate Metabolism

metabolism for weight lossOne of the most vital features of Nopales for health is the vitamin and minerals.

Nopales have riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and thiamin.

All these substances are actually pivotal for the metabolic activity of cells that maintain the activity of the enzyme in the body.

When the body has a healthy organ system and hormonal balance, it will support in reducing weight easily.

Encouraging healthy muscle gain, and toning the overall body.

10. Skin Care

The Phytochemical and antioxidant features of Nopales make them a great defensive system against premature signs of aging

For example age spots and wrinkles.

The free radicals left after cellular metabolism is likely to impact the skin and by taking Nopales, you can retain a young and healthy looking skin.

11. Develop strong Bones

The mineral content of this powerful cactus leaf includes an average level of calcium that is a vital part of building strengthened bones and fixing bones after being impaired.

Side Effects

Even though many people believe nopal is safe when it is part of regular food consumption, most of the people do not know the info regarding its side effects of long-term or regular consumption of nopal supplementation.

nopal cactus side effects

The side effects can include diarrhea, bloating, increased volume of stool, headache, and nausea.

Taking Nopal for enduring excess alcohol consumption.

As Nopal is likely to decrease blood sugar, consuming nopal with the medication of diabetes are likely to generate harmful effects.

Due to Nopal’s tendency to reduce blood sugar, it is vital to inhibit the use of nopal prior to going for a surgery.

Do remember, treating conditions like diabetes with Nopal and refraining or delaying standard care is likely to have severe consequences.

Moreover, as far as the safety of pregnant women; nursing mothers, children, and those with medical issues or who are on medications are concerned, it is better to confirm with your doctor.

Can I eat Nopal in raw form?

There is a particular time of the day and year for cultivating edible cactus pads.

Prickly Pear cactus is the main source of Nopales.

Despite the pad’s armament, they have been in use as an edible item possibly as long as humans have been in their native area.

There is no hard and fast rule regarding the consumption of Nopal.

People eat it raw, in cooked form or often in the form of the supplement (as there are different supplements available for different purposes).

Where to buy Nopal?

In South America; the Southwestern US and Mexico, you will easily be able to get fresh nopal cactus juice and pads.

Nopal is available in some of the farmer’s grocery stores or markets.

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The juice will likely to be available in packed or fresh form.

Additionally, it is also available online; the supplements that contain nopal are sold in a variety of drugstores and food stores.

What are the brands that contain Nopal as weight loss ingredient?

Well, Nopal is a highly effective plant and there are thousands of products available from different brands.

Some of the products that are helpful in weight loss are as follows

  • Seagate Nopal Cactus
  • Cactus Nopal Pills by Planetary Herbals
  • PhenQ
  • Cactus Nopal tablets
  • Nature Attitude Slimness 60 Capsules


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