el nopal a.k.a. cactus

nopales

This creature that we often see in backyards and on the side of the road is sadly overlooked as edible, tasty or healthy. Not only are nopales rich in vitamin B6, copper, iron, vitamin A, C, K, calcium, potassium, magnesium and manganese, BUT they also aid in weight loss, prevent cancer, improve skin health, protect heart health, regulate and improve digestion, boost immunity, optimize metabolic activity, build strong bones, cure insomnia and reduce inflammation throughout the body and are very beneficial to those with Type II diabetes. What an incredibly healing plant.

Nopal cacti is one of the most popular species of cacti, often seen around in yards and gardens. Nopal cacti can grow anywhere from one foot to twenty feet high. The stems are large flat green paddles with long and thick thorns. 

Nopales like these produce edible fruit called tunas or "prickly pears". They are bright red and have short thorns, making them somewhat tricky to handle, but getting through to the fruit is well worth the fight.  

 TO EAT: boil with garlic and onion and add to eggs, in tacos or make a salsa.