The Prickly Pear: Roadside cactus with great health benefits


Last updated 9/13/2023 at 6:12pm

Prickly Pear found in a yard in Rainbow. Village News/Lisa Winkleblech photo

Village News Staff

The prickly pear, found locally in yards and along the roadways, is also known as the nopal or Opuntia. It is not only a staple in many traditional dishes, but it's also a powerhouse of nutrients. It has been used in Mexican dishes for many generations.

Hailing from the cactus family, both its pads and the fruit offer a rich array of health benefits:

1. Rich in antioxidants: The vibrant red and purple hues of prickly pear fruits indicate their rich content of betalains and other antioxidants. These compounds help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body, potentia...

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