Here’s why you should be saying “yes” to nopal.
Eat cactus? For people living in Mexico and the Southwest, the answer is a resounding yes. Nopal, also known as the prickly pear cactus, grows plentifully there and its health benefits and versatility have made it a popular household ingredient.
Nopal is actually the pad of the prickly pear cactus. The green and spiky cactus produces fruit sometime between spring and summer. The flesh of the cactus has a citrusy flavor and is used in dishes throughout Mexico and the Southwest region of the U.S., where it’s sautéed, fried and roasted. Nopal is high in fiber and antioxidants and, according to the Mayo Clinic, has been show in some studies to decrease blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes. It’s also believed to be a hangover “cure” when juiced.