Since there were living things on Earth, regardless of humans or animals, we had to rely on nature. The “nature mother” always gives us precious and beneficial things necessary for life. Sunlight, moonlight, air, soil, water, and food sources create living things on the planet. Without these factors, we cannot survive anymore. From the early days of Earth, people had to find their own food sources to serve themselves. Of course, they always considered the nature as a limitless origin, in which humans and even animals can find foods and essential things for life. Perhaps, in the past, people just ate what was edible and did not aware of anything about their benefits and nutrition. Then now, we are trying to investigate what we can get from those food sources. Nopales  can be a good example. Ancient humans could know nopales but not benefits of nopales. In these days, we start to study about this food in terms of its health benefits. Actually, not many people know about this nutritional vegetable, that is why AllRemedies.com decided to conduct a new article about this topic. Those who do not know nopales in advance might be surprised a lot by the interesting fact that nopales are edible. In fact, it is even more than an edible thing because of its high nutritional values. Benefits of nopales are miraculous and attractive enough for you to keep your eyes on our information.
II. Facts About Nopales
Nopales are oval, flat, and thick modified stems of a cactus plant, which are consumed as a type of vegetables. Mexican cuisine often included the young tender pads called as nopalitos in their foods centuries ago. Meanwhile, European and American people started to take the benefits of nopales not a long time ago. It seems that the cactus species is believed to have come from dessert continents in Mexico so that people there know nopales initially. Then the benefits of nopales and their recipes would spread to other areas. Nowadays, farmers are able to grow cactus in order to harvest nopales as well, due to which they become more and more popular and are used as an interesting ingredient.
Regarding physical features of nopales, a completely grown plant might have between 4 and 10 feet in height. You will see a layer of sharp spines, known as glochids, cover the nopales surface at the nodes. Magically, in spring, you can see attractive blooms appear along the edge of each pad, which would develop into nopales fruits, subsequently. Nopales fruits are commonly called as prickly pear or tuna, which has the pear-shaped and delicious flavor. The small fruit is sweet and juicy, and many people describe that it is an interesting combination of both watermelon and strawberry flavor. Although the article focuses more on benefits of nopales, we are glad to share some additional information about its fruit, thereby staying tuned for the next parts with a lot of nutritional and health benefits of nopales vegetable, fruit, juice, as well as great recipes with these ingredients.
III. Nutritional Value
Basically, in order to identify the health benefits of nopales, we should acknowledge their nutritional content first. In general, nopales are rich in essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, B6, K, riboflavin , iron, fiber, copper, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and manganese. Moreover, nopales are also known as a good source of organic compounds that are very important for your health. Scientists have found phytochemicals as well as certain polysaccharides  in nopales, which mainly contribute to the benefits of nopales. In comparison with other nutritious foods, nopales may not be the best source of vitamins and minerals, but it can be categorized as one of the most amazing food items in terms of nutritional values.
As you can see, an abundant range of nutrients contained in nopales can prove the health benefits of nopales and extra. To explore their power in more details, you should not skip the next section of the article. Let’s see how beneficial nopales is for your health and more than that.
IV. Don’t Forget 9 Miraculous Nutritional Value And Health Benefits Of Nopales Juice & Recipes
1. Support Digestive System
Almost all types of vegetable are known as a digestive supporter thanks to their high concentration of dietary fiber. Nopales is not an exception. The fundamental benefits of nopales vegetables are its good effects on your digestive system.
As mentioned, fiber plays an important role in boosting your digestive process due to its ability to add bulk to your bowel movements, which allows them to pass through the muscles of your digestive tract easily, in turn. Besides, it increases peristaltic motion  to move the bowels along the digestive tract as well as reduces the instance of constipation and diarrhea. Of course, other vegetables can do so to your body but we still highly recommend you eating cactus pads to improve the digestion. Trying another food item can help you gain appetite if you are so bored with some traditional ones.
However, because it may be the first time some of you know this vegetable, we would like to introduce you some simple but tasty recipes, by which you can gain the benefits of nopales. Below is the most basic process that you should learn at first.
Find also: A List of 38 Best Foods High in Fiber
- Nopales: 6
- Onion: 1/4
- Tomatillo: 1
- Garlic: 1 clove
- Salt: half a teaspoon
- Tip: Wear gloves to save your hands from sharp spines. You can use kitchen tongs instead of gloves. If you work with nopales more often, you can do without gloves.
- Place nopales on the cutting board. Trim off the edge with a sharp knife. Scrape the spines and eyes until completely clean.
- Then rinse nopales with water and place them on the cutting board.
- Fill in a pot with about 4 quarts of water. Boil it up.
- Meanwhile, cut nopales into small strips
- Waiting until water is boiling, then add nopales, garlic, onion, tomatillo, and half a teaspoon of salt to the pot. Cover and boil for 10 minutes.
- Note: There might be foam during boiling nopales, so you should pay attention to prevent the foam from spilling over.
- Drain and rinse nopales. Pat them dry completely with paper towels.
- You can use prepared nopales for salads, and other dishes.
It is not difficult for you to cook nopales for the first time. Therefore, you should try out our directions and have a great meal with the interesting ingredient.
2. Having Anti-Inflammatory Effects On Parts Of Body
Actually, nopales is well known for its anti-inflammatory function, which helps to fight against inflammation in the arteries, muscles, cardiovascular system, and even gastrointestinal tract. In other words, nopales can have anti-inflammatory impacts on symptoms such as injury, arthritis, joint pain, as well as muscle strain. Experts found that nopales could reduce pain in urethra and bladder patients, which many other food items could not. Most of those benefits of nopales concentrate on its juice extract from leaves. Therefore, you can make use of the effects of cactus paddles by applying the juice to the affected areas, or you can choose to consume this food.
In addition to the great benefits of nopales, its fruit, as said before, also has the anti-inflammatory property. The actual performance of both nopales and prickly pear has confirmed their great anti-inflammatory function. Specifically, prickly pear is such a plentiful source of bioflavonoid quercetin that enhances the free-radical-scavenging capacity . According to scientists, the capacity allows your body to neutralize cell damages, which is essential to protect yourself from many diseases and unhealthy conditions.
Now is the time for you to consider another recipe to cook this ingredient. Hopefully, you find it interesting.
Recipe: Roasted nopales salad with shrimp
- Nopales: 4 (cleaned and trimmed as suggested in the previous recipe)
- Shrimp: 1 pound (shelled and cleaned)
- Olive oil (coconut oil, if pleased): 2 tablespoons
- Tomatoes: 2 (chopped)
- Chopped cilantro: 1/4 cup
- Finely chopped red onion: 2 tablespoons
- Lemon juice or lime juice
- Sea salt
- Hot sauce
- Set the oven to 375 F in advance
- Cut nopales into 1/2-inch squares
- Place nopales pieces in baking sheet rimmed before. Remember not to overcrowd the pan in order to let moisture and gel evaporate.
- Then drizzle with olive oil (coconut oil) and roast between 20 and 30 minutes. Occasionally stirring until nopales are tender
- Meanwhile, boil shrimp until pink and drain. Set aside.
- Get the nopales out of the oven and toss with boiled shrimp, red onion, chopped tomato, and cilantro.
- Combine all the remaining ingredients.
- Serve it warm or chilled.
3. Good For Metabolism
Are you so excited about the previous health benefits of nopales? What will come out right now? Can you guess? If not, let us tell you all about them.
As you can see from the nutrition facts of cactus paddles, vitamins and minerals dominate its nutritional value. Among the plenty of nutritious elements contained in nopales, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6 mainly contribute to the benefits of nopales for the metabolic process. They are all categorized as vital components of human’s cellular metabolism and regulated enzyme function. Without these elements, your metabolism may face troubles.
However, many of us may not know the actual benefits of having the healthy metabolism. In fact, it means your organ systems along with hormone balance will be optimized. In turn, it helps to increase weight loss, boost repair, promote healthy muscle gain, enhance the maintenance of organs, and tone your entire body. In other words, your body will be more likely to run efficiently.
Hence, to increase the metabolism, you should provide a higher amount of nutrients, including thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, and riboflavin to your body. We suggest you take benefits of nopales by adding this to your regular diet.
Recipe: Nopales fries with avocado sauce
- Nopales: 1 (cleaned and thorns removed)
- Egg whites: 2
- Panko bread crumbs: 1 cup
- Cumin: half a teaspoon
- Coconut flour: 3 tablespoons
- Cayenne pepper: 1/4 teaspoon
- Salt and pepper
- Ripe avocado: 1
- Mayonnaise: 2 tablespoons
- Sour cream: 2 tablespoons
- Onion and garlic powder: 1/4 teaspoon each of them
- Fresh dill: 1 teaspoon
- Lime juice from half a lime
- Salt and pepper
- Set the oven to 375F in advance. Grease a baking sheet with vegetable oil
- Combine panko bread crumbs, cayenne pepper, and cumin together in a large bowl
- Place egg whites in another bowl. Do the same with flour, salt, and pepper
- Now, cut nopales into long strips. Then dip nopales into the bowl of egg whites and transfer to the bowl of flour. Make sure ingredients are coated evenly.
- Return the strips to the second bowl and finally coat them with bread crumbs
- Keep coating the rest of nopales and place on the baking sheet
- Start to bake for 20 minutes. Remember to turn halfway through
- Meanwhile, making the avocado dipping sauce by mixing all ingredients and pulse until smooth
- Keep the sauce in the fridge until serve
Check also: For Women: Top 14 Best Herbs For Hormone Balance
4. Health Benefits Of Nopales For Improving Sleep
In these days, due to many reasons, people find hard to have a deep and healthy sleep at night. Many of them are running into troubles with insomnia, restlessness, chronic anxiety, and so on. To address these problems, they need something rich in magnesium, regardless of magnesium supplements or other kinds of sleeping pills. The benefits of nopales are not a bad application. More clearly, you should be aware that another of the benefits of nopales is to improve your sleep.
In accordance with study results, nopales is packed with a high concentration of magnesium that helps to induce your sleep. If you are suffering from one of the listed conditions, you should not ignore our recommendation. Actually, nopales contribute to inducing the release of serotonin, an essential element in your body that helps to increase the levels of melatonin, thanks for which, it partially reduces the nerve function. In conclusion, you can get the benefits of nopales juice to have a better sleep at night.
Instead of using sleeping pills and supplements but still no effects, why don’t you try this vegetable? In fact, many women, who cannot sleep at night, tried to add nopales to their regular diet and they found that their sleep would be better than before.
Forget about insomnia with our new recipe below.
Recipe: Stuffed cactus in a batter
- Nopales: 6 (cleaned and trimmed as suggested in the first recipe, select similar sizes of paddles)
- Eggs: 4
- Oaxacan string cheese
- Vegetable oil
- Make a nopales sandwich by placing a slice of Oaxacan cheese between two similar-sized cactus paddles. You can secure it with a few small pieces of toothpick
- Next, beat 4 egg whites in a bowl to make sure they form stiff peaks. Then beat in yolks and salt to taste
- In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil
- Dip the sandwich in the egg batter. Make sure it is coated evenly
- Fry nopales until golden and drain on paper towels to remove the extra oil
- Finally, top with salsa or crema to serve. Enjoy your lovely sandwich!
5. Support Weight Loss
Almost all women want a nice body without excess fat and weight, thus, they try to find out different methods to lose their weight. Along with regular exercises, they have to follow a balanced diet, which provides fewer calories but enough nutrients essential for their body. Normally, those foods items, which include a high amount of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals will appear in the weight loss diet. Amazingly, researchers also find out the benefits of nopales for weight loss thanks to various nutrients it contains.
In fact, there are a lot of components within nopales that have the ability to aid in weight loss. As mentioned, dietary fiber plays the most important role. The benefits of nopales are to fulfill your stomach with fiber and to inhibit the release of a hunger hormone named ghrelin. As a result, you can reduce overeating and support to lose weight. In addition, cholesterol and saturated fat are rarely found in nopales. Instead, this vegetable is loaded with various metabolic potential, as explained in the previous part, thus, it helps you able to work without gaining weight. One more thing to acknowledge is that thanks to the presence of thiamin, vitamin B6, and riboflavin, nopales can accelerate the metabolic process, thereby maximizing fat burning capacity as well as transformation food consumed to usable energy for your body .
In general, the benefits of nopales for weight loss are so significant that you should not ignore if you are planning to lose weight. Why don’t you try it out with our recipes?
- Finely diced nopales: 2 cups
- Corn husks: 40 (soaked in water for an hour)
- Vegetable shortening: 2/3 cup
- Masa harina flour: 2 cups
- Hot water: 2 cups
- Chicken bouillon powder: 1 tablespoon
- Baking powder: 1 teaspoon
- La Morena Pickled Jalapeno pepper: 1 can (drained, stems removed, diced to include carrots)
- Combine flour, water, bouillon, shortening, and baking powder in a large bowl. Knead until thoroughly mixed. Then stir in nopales, jalapeno, and carrots.
- Next, drain corn husks. Scoop 1/4 cup of the mixture on the corn husks. Spread it with a spoon. Wrap the corn husk.
- After wrapping the rest of the mixture, arrange tamales in a steamer. Steam for an hour to make sure the corn husks unwraps and the flour separates easily from its dough.
- Enjoy the tamales
See more: 23 Best Essential Oils for Weightloss
6. Benefits Of Nopales For Ulcers
One of the typical benefits of nopales is its ability to cure gastric ulcers. This vegetable, for a long time, has been used as a great natural remedy for ulcers treatment , in many countries like Mexico. Recently, many studies have confirmed these effects, which encourage people to take benefits of nopales more and more.
In fact, nopales is high in fibrous and mucilage content, so that it can inhibit the growth of the gastric ulcers, mostly due to the high consumption of alcohol. To reduce this painful condition and improve your quality of life, you should add nopales to the regular diet. This powerful plant will be a good solution.
You have been introduced five recipes to gain the benefits of nopales. Now, we would like to show you another interesting direction to cook this amazing ingredient.
Recipe: Nopales with chicken and red California sauce
- Nopales: 3
- Chicken breasts: 4 (cut in chunks)
- Garlic powder: half a teaspoon
- Salt and pepper
- Onion: a half
- Tomatoes: 2
- Anaheim dry chilies: 5 (washed, deveined, deseeded)
- In a saucepan, pour 500 milliliters of water. Then add the dry Anaheim chilies, onion, and tomatoes. Simmer for 20 minutes
- Next, blend everything and drain to get rid of skins
- Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry chicken breasts. After 5 minutes, combine with salt, garlic, and pepper
- At the same time, drain the excess water from the jars with the nopales. Get rid of onions and wash them with water
- Keep cooking chicken for 15 minutes. Then cook with the sauce for 3 more minutes
- Combine with nopales and cook for 5 minutes
- Finally, transfer to a plate and enjoy with red rice. Remember to add some cheese for tastier
7. Prevent From Cancers
Health benefits of nopales are abundant because it contains a significant amount of essential nutrients. Especially, the variety of flavonoid, phytochemical compounds, vitamin C along with other antioxidants contribute to the enhancement of the entire immune system. Their effects on cancer prevention are also typical benefits of nopales. 
Actually, the powerful antioxidants included in nopales can seek out free radicals and eliminate them to stop them from attacking healthy cells. In fact, scientists showed that free radicals are categorized as dangerous byproducts, which comes from the cellular metabolism. Our cells may be transformed into cancerous cells by free radicals, which is a serious issue for our health. Thanks to the operation of antioxidants, nopales helps to protect our DNA, thereby reducing the risk of cancer. Besides, the high content of vitamin A, as well as flavonoids, also contributes to the reduction in skin, oral, and lung cancers.
Cancers are the most dangerous diseases that people are always afraid. Therefore, cancer prevention is what people are concerned the most. It is so good to see another anti-cancer food in nature. Why don’t you add this vegetable to your diet?
Let’s discover one more method to cook nopales with the recipe below.
Recipe: Grilled nopales huaraches
- Tomatillos: 4
- Small nopales: 6
- Warmed black beans: 1 cup
- Serrano chilies: 2
- Fresh cilantro: half a cup
- Ground cumin: 1/4 teaspoon
- Dried Mexican oregano: 1 teaspoon
- Chopped red onion: 1/4 cup
- Mexican style cheese: 3/4 cup
- Oil: 1 tablespoon
- Heat the grill in advance
- Blend tomatillos, Serrano chilies, and cilantro until well blended
- Combine oil, cumin, and oregano. Then brush onto nopales. Grill them for 8 minutes. Remember to turn occasionally. Finally, transfer to a plate
- Now, spread nopales with black beans, and top with a tablespoon of the mixture of tomatillos, cilantro, and chilies.
- Finally, cover each nopales with cheese and chopped onions
- Enjoy it with the remaining part of tomatillo sauce
8. Good For Diabetic Patients
Vegetables, in general, are healthy for diabetic patients because they supply a remarkable fibrous content. Nopales are also among them. This part will explain the benefits of nopales for diabetes. 
One of the reasons to make nopales healthy for diabetic people, as said, is its high concentration of fiber. However, that is not all about the health benefits of nopales. In reality, researchers have shown that the extract of cactus paddles can contribute to regulating the levels of glucose in your body . Especially, it reduces the spikes present in the glucose levels that people who are suffering from diabetes type II worry about. That brings us to the conclusion about the benefits of nopales for diabetic patients. Regular inclusion of nopales is not a bad suggestion for you.
You can diversify the diabetic menu with this ingredient. Another recipe will be released to help you do that.
Recipe: Nopales salad with sweet potatoes and black beans
- Young nopales: 2 (thorns removed, cubed, and rinsed)
- Sweet potatoes: 2 (sliced, peeled, and cubed)
- Cooked black beans: 1.5 cups
- Red onion: 1 (chopped)
- Minced garlic: 2 teaspoons
- Olive oil: 1/4 cup
- Red pepper: 1 teaspoon (if you cannot stay with cayenne flavor, you can skip it)
- White vinegar: 1/4 cup
- Salt and pepper
- Steam sweet potatoes for 7-10 minutes to make sure they are firm but tender
- Skin and cube, then add sweet potatoes to a large bowl
- Add black beans to the bowl as well
- Next, cut nopales into cubes and rinse them off. Pat dry and combine with sweet potatoes as well
- Then mix everything with chopped onions
- Stir in minced garlic, salt, pepper, and red pepper (optional) to the salad bowl
- Now, combine both white vinegar and oil in a shakable container. Give it a shake and pour over the salad
- Toss it to evenly coated
- Enjoy your salad
9. Bone-building Benefits Of Nopales
As mentioned above, nopales contains such a high amount of calcium, among a variety of vegetables that creates the bone-building benefits of nopales.
Once you are loaded with a sufficient quantity of calcium, you will have a strong skeletal system. Calcium not only builds your bones but also repairs them whenever they get damages.
In short, we would like to remind you of the bone benefits of nopales, thereby consuming nopales more regularly.
- Medium-large nopales: 5 (cleaned and trimmed)
- Pasilla chilies: 3
- Ancho chilies: 2
- Roma tomatoes: 2
- Garlic: 4 cloves
- Cumin: half a teaspoon
- Chopped red onion: 1 teaspoon
- Salt: 2 teaspoon
- Lime: 1
- Cilantro: half a bunch (roughly chopped)
- Pork riblets: 2.5 pounds
- Cut nopales into chunks. Rinse off with fresh water
- Bring to boil. Then simmer for 3-5 minutes. After that, drain and shock in cold water
- Meanwhile, combine two types of chilies, garlic gloves, and tomatoes in a pot of water. Boil it up and simmer for 7-10 minutes
- Scoop them out of the water. Then transfer to the blender. Stir in salt, ground cumin, and two cups of cooking water. Blend until smooth
- Boil the ribs with 2 cups of water. Place the lime peel to the pot. Simmer the ribs for 30-40 minutes until they are totally golden brown
- Add onions and cook for 3 more minutes. Combine with nopales and reserved salsa. Keep cooking for 10 minutes
- Add cilantro, salt to taste
V – Conclusion
We have summarized nutritional value and health benefits of nopales juice along with interesting recipes to cook this ingredient. Nopales, actually, is a healthy food item loaded with high concentration of vitamins and minerals that you should not ignore. With all of our heart, we highly recommend you eating this vegetable on a regular basis. It will be very interesting if you can leave your comments, advice, and feedback after reading our topic. For more information, please visit our main Herbal Remedies page.