The Hemp Connection + power

Our inCYST experiences with culinary cactus (nopal)

We've been doing some business with companies working with nopales (prickly pear cactus pads). I'd seen a lot of research suggesting that nopales are good for quite a few health issues, particularly blood glucose.

We started selling Ibitta's products a couple of months ago and I was amazed at where the orders were coming from — Memphis, Philadelphia, not simply Arizona and California like I'd expected! I finally called one customer to see why she'd ordered it. Apparently her mother had been bugging her to try it as it is a popular Mexican supplement for weight loss. When her mother finally gave her a bag, she felt it couldn't hurt to try it. She noticed that when she stirred a couple of spoonfuls of Pinalinaza into a glass of water and drank it before a meal, it helped her appetite. And over a couple of months she lost 20 pounds.

Another woman with PCOS, in military basic training, wrote:

I just wanted to give you an update. Although I knew that Nopales was used…in my Hispanic heritage, I didn't know that it would help me out with my sugar so much!! I ordered the products that you hosted on this site (Pinalinaz … a, etc…) and can't wait to start them! In the mean time, I am eating nopales I bought from the local store. For one week, I've eaten them in the morning every other day. I lost 3 pounds and during that week I was only able to walk for exercise as the week was too busy. I have kept track of my sugar and the nopales has regulated it so much so that now I am falling into a Hypoglycemic instead of Diabetic. I am determining how I can balance it, however this is an awesome break through for me. I was doing the military basic training for two months and only lost 5 lbs because of PCOS. Now that I incorporated nopales, the stubborn sugar is being removed!! I can't wait for shipment!! This is a big breakthrough for me, it is extremely hard for me to digest the sugar and the nopales are doing something right!!

Last Friday, I gave a presentation on PCOS at the local Indian Health Service Hospital here in Phoenix. One of my clients made a big batch of nopales salad for everyone to try. It was lunchtime about an hour and a half later, and several people noted that they weren't really very hungry.

There is research to support these testimonials. A 2007 study reported that 85 g nopales with a meal reduced the glycemic index of the meal. Way back in 1991, researchers reported that nopal had a glucose-lowering effect.

For the non-native eater, the prospect of de-stickering a cactus pad, not to mention what to do with the cactus once that's done, likely keeps many people from trying it. In Phoenix, we have a company, Oro Verde Products, that sells ready-to-prepare cactus pads as well as chopped nopales ready to add to your recipe. It's popular in salads, stews, and scrambled eggs. I've even heard of some people juicing it if they have a powerful blender. Check Oro Verde's website for information and recipes.

Ibitta's products are nice because they're powdered and mixed with flax. I've used them on my oatmeal, in smoothies, in vinaigrettes, and breadings. I even made a vanilla cheesecake with the hibiscus (Jamaica) flavored variety in the crust. They're very versatile and more user-friendly in the typical American kitchen.

These we do carry in the store, if you're interested in ordering.

If you live in Los Angeles, look for Nopatillas, a tortilla made with nopal. This would be super easy to include in breakfast burritos, lunch wraps, etc.

Wherever you are, however you eat it, be sure to try nopales. They could be a great way to help control your blood glucose.

Bacardi-Gascon M, Dueñas-Mena D, Jimenez-Cruz A. Lowering effect on postprandial glycemic response of nopales added to Mexican breakfasts. Diabetes Care.2007 May;30(5):1264-5. Epub 2007 Feb 26.

Frati AC, Gordillo BE, Altamirano P, Ariza CR, Cortés-Franco R, Chávez-Negrete A, Islas-Andrade S. Influence of nopal intake upon fasting glycemia in type II diabetics and healthy subjects. Arch Invest Med (Mex). 1991 Jan-Mar;22(1):51-6.

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Our inCYST experiences with culinary cactus (nopal) + power