Tidbits and Nutritional Benefits For Our Favorite Desert Flora
This high fiber fruit and vegetable hybrid can help to lower bad cholesterol, and its high water content makes it a hydrating, healthy food with a high nutrient content and low caloric value. Nopal cactus has over 200mg of potassium and only 5mg of sodium, making it a great snack option for those seeking to lower blood pressure with a high potassium, low sodium diet. This healthy snack has also been linked to lowering blood glucose levels, and is packed with amino acids, carbohydrates, beta carotene, and even protein.
Nopal Cactus grows in the U.S., Mexico, South America, and as far as the Mediterranean region and Australia. These plants thrive in dry, warm climates
Historically, nopal has identified with many uses. Its anti-inflammatory properties were utilized to help heal cuts, bruises, burns, and insect bites. To relieve congestion, the thorns of the cactus would be removed, the pads cut off and heated, then placed against the chest for relief. In Mexico, it was discovered that nopal could be used to make a bright, waterproof paint, which farmers painted along the borders of their properties to keep out predators and mark property lines with neighbors.
The fruit of the nopal cactus can even be eaten, after it’s been prepared properly of course; don’t forget to remove the thorns! Try dicing up a few pieces and tossing into your favorite pico de gallo salsa recipe, and pair with chips and nopal cactus water or nopal cactus lemonade (perfect for summer).
Want to try an easy, delicious vegan recipe for summer that uses nopal cactus? Try our recipe below (pairs perfectly with nopal cactus pico de gallo and nopal lemonade)!
With its skin-beneficial properties, rich history, and endless nutritional uses, we believe that nopal cactus is truly a wonder plant! -