Nopal Cactus for Weight Loss: Can It Help You Lose Weight?
Weight loss has become such a hot topic in recent years that it’s often hard to discern right from wrong when it comes to information and methods. Some people are so focused on losing the weight quickly that they end up following dangerous advice.
Effective, healthy, and lasting weight loss takes some time and it’s crucial that you do it properly.
There are many facets to a weight loss strategy – including diet, exercise, and general lifestyle. To be successful, they all must go hand-in-hand.
Healthy eating in general is important, but there are many specific, key ingredients you should focus on that can help the process. One such ingredient is the nopal cactus.
Read on to learn about the many ways you can use nopal cactus for weight loss.
What is Nopal Cactus?
The nopal cactus – also known as the prickly pear – is a type of cactus native to the Southwestern United States and Mexico. It’s a versatile plant with many different uses.
It’s a staple in many Mexican recipes as the pads of the cactus can be eaten while the plant is still fairly young.
Let it get too old, though, and it becomes too tough for most people.
What is it Used For?
This little plant is so versatile, the list of uses is long and vast.
Fun fact – while it’s mostly used in food and supplements thanks to its health benefits, the nopal cactus can also be used as an aid to harden plaster!
It’s one small thing that companies can do to make their processes more natural.
There are some places in Mexico where it’s a very common ingredient in many dishes. This is, in part, due to the flavor and texture it adds to the dish and because it’s readily available.
However, many people also consume nopal cactus for specific health and/or medicinal uses.
There are many things that regular consumption of nopal cactus can help to prevent, and others that it can reduce or reverse.
Lastly, it’s also used – often quite effectively – in weight loss efforts.
Whether you’re adding it to your dinner recipe, blending it up in a smoothie, or taking it as a supplement, the nopal benefits are many.
In terms of maintaining good health, nopal cactus can offer the following:
- It boosts your immune system. Prickly pear is high in vitamin C and E, both of which support your immune system. A single serving includes over one-third of your daily vitamin C requirement.
- It contains antioxidants. Antioxidants work to reduce oxidative stress in humans while protecting the skin, improving vision, and increasing brain function.
- It helps regulate blood sugar. Especially for those with diabetes, regulating blood sugar can be a real struggle. While it won’t do the job on its own, there is evidence to support taking nopal cactus in addition to other diabetes medication as a way to further reduce blood sugar naturally.
- It may reduce your cholesterol levels. This is still in the early stages of study, but those taking nopal cactus have discovered significantly decreased levels of LDL, or “bad cholesterol.” They also fund that nopal cactus does this with far fewer side effects than traditional medications.
- Hangover prevention. While the night out itself is a great time, nobody likes the aftermath of too much drinking. Nopal cactus may be able to help when taken before the party. One study had its subjects feeling much better and experiencing fewer and more mild hangover symptoms when they took prickly pear extract beforehand.
- It’s anti-viral. Nopal cactus contains many anti-viral properties and may help you prevent contracting certain viruses when you take or consume it regularly.
- It’s a natural anti-inflammatory. Over the counter anti-inflammatory medication is pretty easy to get, but what if you could ease your pain more naturally? It can be applied topically to reduce swelling outside of the body. It can also be consumed to reduce internal inflammation and ease any associated pain.
- It protects nerve cells. Damage to nerve cells can cause both pain and a loss of sensation. A study done in 2014 found that prickly pear has some neuroprotective properties that help prevent nerves from suffering debilitating damage.
These are some of the biggest and most common benefits of the plant, but this list is not exhaustive.
It’s been used in ancient/traditional medicine for a long time thanks to the many, many ways it helps and benefits the human body.
Nopal Cactus For Weight Loss
In addition to helping you maintain good health in general, the nopal cactus weight loss uses and benefits are also plentiful. It works in a few different ways:
- First, it’s a very low-calorie food. While calories aren’t everything, they do play a role in any weight loss endeavor. Many weight-loss strategies include consuming fewer calories than you burn. Including prickly pear in your diet makes this easier.
- It slows the digestion of carbs. Slower carbohydrate digestion means better regulation of sugar absorption. This aids in weight loss because low blood sugar spikes your appetite and high blood sugar causes a release of insulin. Too much insulin stops your body from burning any fat that’s stored away. Properly managing your blood sugar prevents both of these extremes and ensures no weight is gained unnecessarily.
- It’s high in fiber. Fiber makes you feel full for longer, meaning you won’t feel the need to eat quite as much.
- It contains amino acids. These amino acids provide you with energy throughout the day and can prevent fatigue. This helps you power through workouts healthily and naturally.
As you can see, using nopal cactus for weight loss is an effective strategy as it offers a variety of benefits.
Nopal Cactus Side Effects
There’s no denying that there are many nopales benefits to be gained from regular consumption. But, is there anything to be worried about? Even natural ingredients and solutions can come with risks and side effects.
Thankfully, the possible nopal cactus side effects are pretty mild.
When consumed as a food or in a supplement, potential side effects include:
- Diarrhea or increased stool production.
It should also be noted that pregnant women, or those trying to become pregnant, shouldn’t take any nopal cactus supplements. There isn’t enough proof and reliable information out there yet about whether or not it’s safe in these situations.
Those with diabetes should also exercise caution when taking nopal cactus as it can affect blood sugar. While this can be a good thing for those that struggle to keep their blood sugar levels under control, it’s recommended that you speak to a doctor before using a prickly pear supplement.
Ways to Consume Nopal Cactus
So, we’ve determined that nopal cactus carries plenty of health benefits and it’s useful when trying to lose weight. If weight loss is the goal, what’s the best way to take nopal cactus?
In this case, supplementation and smoothies are probably your best bet.
Prickly Pear Supplement
You do have several different options here, but it’s important to note that not all supplements are made equal. There are plenty of pills and powders out there that very well may contain a good dose of prickly pear, but you need to ask yourself what else they contain.
You want to avoid excessive fillers and synthetic ingredients. When it comes to nopal cactus pills for weight loss, PhenQ has a superior supplement with a proven track record and a whole host of happy customers.
This prickly pear supplement combines nopal cactus with several other powerful, natural ingredients to support weight loss in five ways:
- Burns fat
- Stops the production of excess fat
- Suppresses your appetite
- Boosts your energy
- Improves your mood
These five things make the perfect recipe for healthy and effective weight loss and PhenQ’s nopal cactus pills for weight loss do it all in one.
This saves you from having to spend more money on multiple products and makes life much easier.
Nopal Smoothie to Lose Weight
Smoothies are another great way to get some prickly pear and other fat-burning foods into your system to help you lose that weight.
Smoothies are effective because it’s an easy way to combine multiple things and consume them all at once. It’s an easy way to get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables in, too.
You can experiment with different recipes, but a popular nopal smoothie to lose weight is one with pineapple. For a basic pineapple cactus smoothie, all you need is some fresh or frozen pineapple and ideally, some orange juice as well.
The cactus paddles will need to be cleaned and have the spines removed. Then, you just need to dice it up. Once this is done, throw it all in a blender and enjoy – easy as that!
Add Nopal Cactus to Your Weight Loss Strategy Today
Hopefully, this nopal cactus weight loss review has been helpful. It should be clear to you now just how many amazing prickly pear benefits there are and how useful the nopal cactus is for weight loss.
You’ve got nothing to lose by adding it to your routine so you can start reaping those benefits right away. The PhenQ supplement is a healthy, easy addition to your day so that’s probably a good place to start, with smoothies being a great way to get an extra boost once in a while!