Mexico, the country of superfoods! From chocolate and cocoa to chia and chya, there are a plethora of healthy and delicious superfoods to chow down on. One of my personal favorites is the nopal cactus or prickly pear cactus, when eaten young, this delicious little morsel, which tastes a little sour almost like a pickle, has an amazing amount of health benefits! And can be prepared in many different ways.
Health Benefits of the Nopal:
- Improves digestion: because the nopal is so fibrous, it contains a very high amount of dietary fiber which is essential in the digestive process.
- Weight loss: fiber makes the body feel full, and they are jammed packed with it. This delicious plant is also very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, as well as vitamin B6, thiamin, and riboflavin, all which makes your metabolic function work quickly.
- Skincare: The phytochemical and antioxidant characteristics of nopals make them a good defense mechanism against premature aging symptoms.
- Prevents cancer: because of everything I mentioned before and the high presence of vitamin C make consuming nopal extremely beneficial for the entire immune system, particularly when it comes to certain cancers.
- Boosts Metabolism
- Builds strong bones: contains calcium!
- Improves sleep: also includes magnesium which is a useful mineral for inducing sleep and for people that suffer from insomnia.
- Anti-inflammatory: the juice that is taken from the leaves has been proven to have anti-inflammatory effects, including symptoms associated with arthritis.
- Diabetes Control: that same juice from the leaves can be a powerful regulator of glucose in the body.
- And best of all! a hangover cure: if you drink the juice from the leaves before you start drinking, it is supposed to substantially reduce your hangover in the morning…
So drink that tequila! and enjoy some nopal while you’re at it. From everything to salads to an extra ingredient in quesadillas this versatile ingredient is worth a try.