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Get on Track with Better Living

Find information, tips, and resources on managing your diabetes

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Nopal Pear Prickly May Slow Glucose Absorption

The nopal prickly pear is a common ingredient in many Mexican dishes. If you're a fan of Mexican cuisine, you may be interested to know that indulging in the tart, green plant with sharp spines and colorful flower buds can lower your blood glucose levels. Also, since people with diabetes are more susceptible to heart-related illnesses, lowering artery-clogging LDL is an important preventative step. Studies have shown that eating nopal pear can reduce bad LDL cholesterol and prevent weight gain, ultimately leading to decreased levels of blood sugar.

Nopal pear works by slowing glucose absorption. For people with diabetes, absorbing glucose too quickly causes blood sugar spikes. By the absorption rate, it will be easier to maintain normal blood glucose levels. It is important to note that although nopal pear can lower blood glucose levels, it does not stimulate insulin production in the pancreas.

You can find hundreds of nopal pear recipes online. The preparation for using nopal pear is time-consuming; however, its health benefits outweigh the inconvenience. First, cut out the cactus needles with a paring knife. Then rinse and scrub the nopal prickly pear. Finally, cut less than ¼ around the edges. Eating raw nopal pear may not affect your blood sugar levels, but grilling or boiling the plant is an effective way to yield blood sugar reductions.

Eating raw prickly pear nopal or taking nopal capsules can also help manage weight. Similar to other vegetables, nopal pears possess a substantial amount of fiber. This fiber creates a sense of fullness, helping you eat less and lose weight. For people battling weight issues, nopal pear is another way to prevent overeating.

Nausea and diarrhea are the most common side effects of consuming nopal pear; however, pregnant and nursing women, or anyone with kidney or liver disease should not consume nopal pear. Although there is no consensus as to whether nopal pear treats diabetes, evidence suggests that it can serve as an additional help along with medication, diet, and exercise. Since nopal pear can reduce glucose levels, it is important to remember that dangerously low blood sugar levels pose a serious threat. Too much nopal prickly pear may cause hypoglycemia, which can result in a seizure or coma.

Due to the serious risks associated with diabetes, it is important to maintain a daily routine of medication, exercise and a healthy diet to accompany a healthy lifestyle.