Nopal cactus, native to the United States and Central America, exhibits many natural medicinal effects. Nopales can help with diabetes, lower blood sugar levels and offer other health benefits, according to a report in the HighBeam Encyclopedia by professor of nutrition Winston F. Craig, Ph.D.
The Nopal cactus’ ability to lower blood sugar has been well documented by many studies. In traditional Mexican medicine, nopales are prescribed for the treatment type-2 Diabetes. In a study conducted by Mexican scientists, it was concluded that people with non-insulin-dependent diabetes saw a large drop in blood sugar levels after consuming broiled nopales.
People with diabetes may want to eat nopales because they can possibly regulates blood sugar with no negative side effects and no liver damage (which is one of the primary side effects of blood sugar prescriptions).
Beside lowering blood sugar levels, it has been shown that eating 250mg of nopales daily will lower total cholesterol and LDL(bad) cholesterol levels, according to studies. HDL(good) cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not affected.
To prepare the nopal cactus pad requires using a very sharp knife to cut away thorns and the darker bumps, but leave the dark skin on the outside because it contains many important nutrients. After the preparation is done, the nopales can be prepared as a side dish by simply adding your choice of seasonings, be sliced into strips and put into smoothies or diced and added to a fruit salad.