Well 2018 is in full effect, and here we all are again, trying to “clean house” – meaning, our bodies – after the holiday food free-for-all. And for a lot of us, the top of the priority list is to drink more water. I did do a recent post about some botanically infused water, and it was tasty. But I have been seeing some hype about cactus water recently, and decided to do a little digging and give it a go. And since everyone is feeling the Be-Healthy vibes right now, I figured throwing out a possible hydration option couldn’t hurt, either. Enter True Nopal Cactus Water…
So what’s so special about cactus? Sure, we know they’re like the little self-contained oases of the desert, and um, don’t you get aloe from cacti? So…that’s good, right? Ok enough fooling around, here’s what’s up with Nopal cacti specifically. Nopal is more commonly known as Prickly Pear Cactus, and although it originated thousands of years ago in Chile, they can now be found all over the deserts of the Americas, even as far north as Canada. Since the beginning of the 20th century it has also been introduced to other countries around the world with suitable climates. It’s distinctive feature is its fruit (the actual “pear”), which is edible and is found most often in the Caribbean and Mexico.
The health benefits of prickly pear aren’t extensive, but are still significant. It has been used for centuries by various Latin American and Southwest Native cultures as a great anti-inflammatory, and for its antiviral properties. There have also been some studies, albeit inconclusive, that it can help certain conditions like diabetes and high cholesterol, and has even been touted as a hangover cure. So, draw your own conclusions there, I suppose. I’m not a sufferer of hangovers myself, but I would imagine it’s at least worth a try, right? One thing to be aware of though are the possible side effects of prickly pear. It is recommended that when trying it for the first time that you take it in small portions and don’t consume a lot of it at once, as it can create…digestive issues that will have you in the restroom for an extended period of time. And I’ll just leave it at that.
So if you haven’t tried True Nopal before (like me), or any prickly pear at all, what is True Nopal actually like? I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but it looks a lot like a highly filtered apple juice, with a dark golden color. It also smells quite a bit like apple juice as well, which is just fine by me; it is pretty widely known that scent plays a major role in how we taste, so to thumbs up in that department. The taste is pretty interesting. It’s like a mix of unsweetened apple juice with maybe just a hint of strawberry. If this stuff really does provide all the benefits it claims, this would be an enjoyable way to get them for sure.
True Nopal has been around for quite awhile, so it’s pretty easy to locate. I found mine in the “healthy” section at my local supermarket, where the almond milk and coconut water is located. It is about $4 for 16 oz., which is two servings. In each serving you’re only getting about 4g of sugar and 16 calories, so barring that little heads up I told you about earlier, go ahead and drink up. If you want to know more, you can check out their website, which can tell you even more about their tasty product. So if you’re in the market for a little something new in your beverage diet, I would definitely suggest giving this stuff a try, especially if you want to add a small amount to other juices or smoothies. Have a great week!