When I was younger I would visit my parent’s home at the ranch in Mexico. I remember the cactus, granada trees, and other crops that were available for you to take. The rule was that if you planted it, you could take and use as you pleased. When we visited grandma there, we were given grilled cactus or nopales with just salt. For many years I have been eating these goey prickly nopales and I always knew that it was an acquired taste, but never knew they were so good for you.
Many of us don’t count calories and eat whatever we feel like. We know that if we eat vegetables, fruits, and protein, we’re good. A lot of the food that we eat is processed and toxins are unavoidable. Just like you clean a dirty house, detoxing your body is a must. Your body has many ways it communicates your aches and pains. A lot of times we get acne or pains in our stomach, we get constipated, tired even after we drink coffee–those are all possible signs that you may need to detox your body. Eating nopales could be the easiest way to detox your body and for just pennies a pound.
Cactus is not difficult to find, it’s very popular among Mexican households and could be found at Hispanic grocery stores. There are many ways to eat cactus, but first you have to remove the prickly thorns. It’s very easy to cook, you could sauté in olive oil, grill it, or even boil it with a little bit of salt and pepper for taste.
There have been several studies on the cactus leaf and they have found that cactus has a positive effect on blood sugar levels in healthy adults and even those that have diabetes. The hypocholesterolemic and hypoglycemic effects are due to its high fiber content and pectic content. The active ingredients help prevent the absorption of excess fat and carbs. It can also raise your bad cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems. It’s full of antioxidants like vitamin A, B, and C, iron, magnesium, and rich in amino acids. Cactus juice is a diuretic and anti-inflammatory, which helps reduce urinary pains. The fibers found in the cactus can help control the production of gastric acid. Next time you enjoy nopales, think about the many ways your body can benefit from eating them.