Nopal can fight diabetes providing a nutritious and delicious meal

(Last Updated On: October 12, 2017)

Nopal is anti diabetic and it can lower A1c and blood sugar naturally



he burden of diabetes is increasing rapidly in the world and Latinos seem to have a disproportionate share of it. Access to healthcare is difficult to navigate to most Americans but it is even more difficult for Latinos. This spells bad news to Latinos with diabetes. Diabetes requires one on one attention, frequent education and follow ups. The end result is diabetes that tend to escalate resulting in serious complications such as amputations, blindness, wounds, and out of control blood sugars.

Doctors usually only have time to few minutes with their patients when treating diabetes. The usual treatment is a prescription for glipizide or metformin or insulin; a little pep talk about diet, pick up a few leaflets and good by. Many Latinos seeking help with diabetes lend their first visit to a doctor because they found an A1C value of 5.7% and 6.4%. Diabetes in this stage should be vigorously treated with diet and exercises and results usually are very good and fast. Treatment should be food centered and there are options available.

Nopal is a staple already present in the Latino diet and is known for its anti-diabetes properties. Since this is an easy to obtain food many can benefit from living closer to Latino population hubs which are so common in every large American urban center. But what are the good properties of nopal?

Nopal in bucketNopal are cactus naturally found in Arizona, Mexico and are low in fat, high in total fiber and soluble fiber (0.9 g/100 g), and a good source of vitamin A, β-carotene, vitamin C, and phenolic compounds. In a pilot study, Mexican Americans who reported consuming nopal had a mean intake of roughly once per week (3.8 servings/month). Eighteen percent of this subgroup reported intake of up to 2.5 servings/week (375 g/week). Because of their fiber content, nopal are commonly regarded among Mexicans as a medicinal plant for glycemic and cholesterol control. In addition, in hyperlipidemic subjects the consumption of prickly pears led to an 11% decrease in both fasting  and postprandial blood sugars. How does exactly nopal works for lowering blood sugar?

A small study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2004 shows that nopal may help fight oxidative stress (an aging-related biological process closely linked to a number of diseases). In a two-week-long trial involving 18 healthy volunteers, researchers found that nopal helped reduce oxidative stress and improve antioxidant status. Nopal also works by because it has fiber and pectin, which can lower blood glucose by decreasing the absorption of sugar in the stomach and intestine. Some researchers think that it might also decrease cholesterol levels, and it has anti viral properties. How can nopal be used?


There are several ways to use this plant. As dietary supplements (see natural food outlets), meals, and juices. The prickly pear fruit and other elements of the cactus are edible as a jelly or jam, as a fruit or as a cooked dish. For many diabetics or prediabetics, nopal is a complete replacement for prescription blood sugar drugs. It regulates blood sugar with no negative side effects and no liver damage (which is one of the primary side effects of blood sugar prescriptions). Safety note: Do not halt prescription drug use except under the direct supervision of a naturopathic physician. Most doctors have never heard of nopal, nor its blood sugar balancing effects, because the use of medicinal herbs is simply not taught in medical school. Virtually all M.D.s are nutritionally illiterate when it comes to herbs and food supplements.

Here are some recipes:

Nopales juice for Diabetes, hypoglycemia, and skin problems

Take it while fasting every day to see results.


  • A medium cactus, fresh
  • A glass of pure water
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One tablespoon of chia or flaxseed (optional)
  • A little honey


  1. Place everything in blender and blend a few minutes. Without strain, drink slowly, chew if necessary.
  2. Once you drink this juice, do not eat anything else until an hour later. Drink another glass just before the main meal of the day.

Nopal shake against overweight


  • One cup of alfalfa
  • A medium cactus
  • A glass of fresh and natural carrot juice


  1. Drink a half liter of this juice a day, a glass at noon and one in the afternoon after eating. You must drink two liters of pure water a day to remove fats and toxins. Do not eat anything fried, salty or sugar and refined or processed foods throughout the day. Drink this juice daily until you see results.

Nopal salad to lose weight and cure skin problems



  1. In a saucepan put all finely chopped vegetables with olive oil.
  2. Put them into the fire a few minutes, no need to cook much, season with salt.
  3. Eat as a main dish for lunch.

Nopal juice to lower sugar and combat obesity


  • A medium cactus
  • A glass of water
  • A well-sanitized sprig of parsley
  • One tablespoon of chia or flaxseed


  1. Blend all in blender and sip without strain.

Nopal soup for diabetics or overweight


  • 4 stalks of diced cactus
  • ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 2 finely chopped spring onions
  • 3 cups of vegetable broth
  • 8 clean spinach leaves into strips
  • 1 teaspoon of chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste


  1. Boil cactus in a cup of water with onion, garlic, cilantro and salt. Cover the pot and simmer a few minutes, over low heat. Once cooked, drain in colander and leave them there until they are cool.
  2. Apart, fry the onion and garlic with little oil, add the broth and cactus. Let boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Grind spinach in blender with cilantro and a little broth and pour into soup. Boil five minutes. Before serving, add brown sugar cubes and if desired also chopped cilantro. Serve hot.




  1. Systematic Review of Herbs and Dietary Supplements for Glycemic Control in Diabetes
  2. Risks and Benefits of Commonly used Herbal Medicines in México
  3. Lowering Effect on Postprandial Glycemic Response of Nopales Added to Mexican Breakfasts
  4. Biological Complementary Therapies: A Focus on Botanical Products in Diabetes
  5. Medicinal Use Of The Latin Food Staple Nopales: The Prickly Pear Cactus



In Category: DIABETES

Marcos Taquechel

Marcos is an RN. Thanks for stopping by and reading my posts. I hope you are able to get something useful out of this blog. Take good care of yourself and don't worry about anything until you have something to worry about.

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