The prickly pear has been eaten by Native Indians of North America before it was settled. You can find the prickly pear in Mexico and Texas and is also called Nopal Cactus fruit. Recently in Mexico there have been studies over the effects of the Nopal Cactus Fruit and Leaf. It has been reported and studied that the extract from the nopal plant has a high anti oxidant value as well as a positive effect on glucose control.
Cactus pads contain beta carotene, iron, some B vitamins, and are good sources of both vitamin C and calcium.
The cactus also contains high fiber also known as roughage. Many people do not get the fiber that they need because of the processing of foods and the lack of nutrients in fast food. Supplementing with fiber can help improve overall health.
Nopal cactus also contains polysaccharide fibers. These fibers help with cholesterol levels. Supplementing with Polysaccharide and/or the fruit of this cactus has been shown to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and triglycerides.
This cactus also has high antioxidant properties. The vitamin and flavonoids in the nopal cactus can help reduce the stress related symptoms of everyday life. Eating or supplementing with the Nopal Cactus or Prickly pear extract can help fight free radicals that occur in the body.
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