7 health benefits of eating ‘nopales’

Nutritionist Gabriela Luja has put up a list of 7 health benefits this cactus has to offer

7 health benefits of eating ‘nopales’
This food possesses a large amount of fiber, which is why its consumption can help improve all gastrointestinal functions and prevent constipation - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL
English 23/04/2019 15:46 Newsroom Mexico City Darinka Gómez/Botiquín.mx Actualizada 18:05
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The prickly pear cactus, most often referred to as nopal, has been found to have many nutritional properties. Mexicans are lucky, since said cactus is an essential part of their diet.

Nopales are extremely easy to obtain in Mexican markets and come at a very low price. Nutritionist Gabriela Luja has put up a list of 7 health benefits this cactus has to offer:

1- It improves gastrointestinal function: This food possesses a large amount of fiber, which is why its consumption can help improve all gastrointestinal functions and prevent constipation.

2- It is low in calories: A single cup of this food contains barely 22 calories, which is why it is an excellent choice if you are planning to lose weight or keep your weight within a healthy range.

3- It causes a feeling of fullness: Not only do ‘nopales’ help improve gastrointestinal functions, their high fiber content also helps your stomach feel full for longer periods of time. This is known as a feeling of fullness and it will keep you from eating between meals.

4- It prevents diabetes: This was discovered by the Cinvestav Pharmacobiology Department. The regular consumption of ‘nopales’ reduces glucose levels in the bloodstream, as well as oxidative stress levels in the cells, which helps prevent the disease.

5- It helps reduce cholesterol: The same research led scientists to discover that the consumption of ‘nopales’ helped reduce LDL cholesterol levels, known as the “bad” cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart attacks.

6- It has antioxidative properties: ‘Nopales’ contain a high amount of antioxidants, which will help you maintain healthy skin and prevent cell aging, according to information provided by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations.

7- It is rich in vitamin C: The Food and Agriculture Organization also mentioned that ‘nopales’ were rich in vitamin C, which contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system, as well as the syntheses of collagen and red blood cells.
 

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