Did you know that there’s a type of cactus that can be eaten as a vegetable? It’s called nopal (plural: nopales), and it is a staple food in Mexico as well as Central America. In fact, nopal is exported canned or pickled to various parts of the US and the world to let everyone experience this nutritious cactus that offers a number of health benefits.
Actually, you are not going to have a challenging task welcoming nopal into your regular diet. This is especially true if you like green beans — nopal tastes just like those, albeit having an entirely different texture.
Cooking nopal can be done in a handful of ways. It’s something that you may slice up and add to eggs or meat. However, the most popular way of serving it on the table is by having it added to stir-fried or sautéed vegetables. No matter the preparation, it’s for certain that this Mexican treat can make you feel full and leave your body nourished.
Speaking of which, nopal supplies your body with fiber, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamins A, C and K. It’s also a wonderful source of B vitamins. And just like many other edible plants on the planet, nopal is also packed with those free radical-neutralizing and inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
Not really considering getting your hands on nopales? Well, continue reading. Below you will come across some of the most incredible health benefits that this cactus has to offer, and they might just change your mind:
Since it’s loaded with dietary fiber and water, regularly consuming nopal can help you attain the slimmer figure that you have always wanted. Nopal feels so heavy in your tummy that having seconds and unhealthy snacks will be the last thing on your mind. And also, nopal is very, very low in fat and calories.
Blood Pressure Regulation
Nopal supplies your body with potassium — it’s that blood pressure-lowering nutrient that makes bananas very popular among people diagnosed with hypertension. Because it causes the blood vessels to dilate or widen, potassium present in nopal can help prevent the blood pressure from getting high.
Vitamin C found abundantly in nopal is something that can help make your immune system strong. So in other words, the regular consumption of this edible cactus from Mexico can make you more resistant to infections. Vitamin C is also superb at making your gums healthy and your skin looking young and beautiful.
There are a couple of nutrients present in nopal that makes this unique vegetable very good at toughening your bones. First, there’s calcium that is known to all as a fighter of osteoporosis. Second, there’s vitamin K that forces calcium to remain in your bones. By the way, vitamin K is also essential for proper blood clotting.
Another vitamin that you can obtain from nopal is one that’s good for the eyes: vitamin A. Consuming nopal as regularly as you can, eye specialists say, definitely helps in warding off problems concerning the eyes, including those very serious ones that can eventually lead to loss of vision.
Amazed by how healthy nopal is? Then make sure that your family and friends hear about this incredible vegetable by getting this article shared on your various social media accounts!