Nopal or prickly pear, benefits and medicinal properties


What is the nopal? The nopal or also called prickly pear, prickly pear or fig tree, Opuntia ficus indica mill. , is a perennial plant of the cactus family (cactus).

Traditionally used in countries like Mexico, where it is native, cultures such as the Aztecs not only used it as food but also took advantage of it for its medicinal properties as a natural remedy to treat multiple conditions that could affect health.

In this article you will discover the different uses of nopal, what are its nutritional properties and the benefits of incorporating this food into the diet.

Nopal uses

The nopal or tuno is a plant highly appreciated for the multitude of uses it has:


Medicinal uses of nopal

Due to its medicinal properties, this excellent plant has traditionally been used to prevent and alleviate many diseases.

Below we go into detail and you will see what this plant is good for.

Gastronomic uses of nopal

The tuno is not only used for medicinal purposes. Its versatility in the kitchen is also used when preparing different recipes or dishes. From the nopal, cladodes (stems) are used, which are succulent and tender. The fruits are also eaten: prickly pears or prickly pears .

The tuno can be consumed fresh in salads, it can be added to natural juices, you can make jams, pickles, etc. It is a food that contains less than 30 kcal per 100 grams, so we can say that it is excellent for people who are overweight or obese who are on a diet to lose weight or for anyone who wants to eat a healthy and balanced diet.

Cosmetic uses of nopal

It is a plant that can be used very well to make our own cosmetic and natural hygiene products. Thanks to its medicinal properties, this plant can help us have healthier and smoother hair, delay the appearance of wrinkles and other signs of aging.

We are going to know now what the nopal or prickly pear is good for .

Medicinal properties of the nopal or prickly pear

prickly pear benefits The nopal contains water, carbohydrates, fat, soluble fiber , vegetable protein (amino acids), minerals such as magnesium , calcium, iron, potassium, B vitamins (B1, B2, B3), vitamin C, pectin, tannins, flavonoids and mucilages.

The nopal or tuna is a plant that has hypoglycemic, anti-inflammatory, cardioprotective, antidiarrheal, emollient, satiating, astringent, antioxidant, hepatoprotective action.

Benefits of using nopal

  • Helps improve stomach conditions such as stomach ulcer or heartburn
  • Mucilage repairs chapped or dry lips
  • May be effective in reducing blood fat or triglyceride levels
  • Relieves inflammation, whether of the digestive, respiratory, skin, etc.
  • Prevents the appearance of hemorrhoids
  • It fights constipation and helps us go to the bathroom regularly
  • It has a prebiotic effect, which is why it is very beneficial to take care of our bacterial flora
  • Helps prevent cardiovascular disease
  • It is satiating due to its high content of soluble fiber
  • It has a hypoglycemic effect and has been traditionally used to treat type II diabetes (nopal must be consumed before meals for the antihyperglycemic effect to occur)
  • It is very useful to cut diarrhea
  • Serves to care for the skin and smooth or reduce wrinkles applied locally on a regular basis
  • Nopal contains antioxidants that help us fight free radicals and prevent the development of cancer cells
  • It is a beneficial food to maintain the good health of our liver
  • Improves dry cough and sore throat
  • The prickly pear is very useful for skin conditions such as eczema, irritations, acne or psoriasis.

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