On last week’s episode of W.T.Food Friday Episode: Cactus!!, we ate, well, cactus! I purchased it at a local market where it was simply labeled as: Cactus/Nopales. Since it was so simply labeled, I am unsure as to the exact type of catus it was that we ate but according to https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/nopales.html , Nopales are from the prickly pear family and I believe it, especially after looking at a bunch of pictures of cacti at http://www.americansouthwest.net/plants/cacti/arizona.html . There are several types, which I was unaware of until I was doing some research for this post. I mean, I knew there were different types but there are actually waaaay more than I had ever thought!
According to the same site that told us that Nopales are from the prickly pear family, there are claims that this cactus hosts many vitamins; in particular, vitamins A, C, K, B6 and vitamin B2 as riboflavin, while also containing copper, iron, fiber, potassium, magnesium and manganese.
What is all that good for? Well, I’ll explain the benefits in a future post but if you can’t wait that long, then ask Google in the meantime. 😛 Otherwise, just know that this food has a bunch of healthy stuff in it and can also help with cancer prevention, as the content of flavonoids and vitamin A have been connected with a reduction in oral, skin and lung cancers. This food is also recommended for anyone suffering from type 2 diabetes, as it helps reduce spikes in glucose levels following the consumption of a meal.
It is also said to help with digestion, and my family definitely agreed that this food helped things ‘move along’ alright! This is not to say that we were uncomfortable, but that while the extra visits to the porcelain throne were more frequent, we were not in any pain and felt much lighter the next morning.
There are claims that this food is an aide in weight loss, and I can understand why after experiencing the cleansing effects. I will gradually add more of it into the food I prepare for my family now that I know how beneficial it is to do so. Niko admitted to me that the food is not his favorite by any means but that he does not find it to be so horrible that he refuses to eat it. I will continue to work with Nopales in the future with a variety of seasonings in order to find ways that he likes it and when I am successful, I will share his favorite recipes for Nopales with you. 🙂
Pae’ch’a! (Let it rain!)