Traditionally Grown in Mexico

More commonly known as Prickly Pear, the Nopal is an edible cactus, popular in Mexico and other areas of Central America. The flat leaves, also known as pads, can be eaten cooked or raw. As well as playing a role in the diets of Mexicans for many years, the Nopal Cactus also features in traditional Chinese medicine.

The Nopal Cactus thrives in arid environments, requiring little water to flourish, and grow in abundance in Mexico where they have traditionally been harvested for their tender leaves. Once harvested Nopal is then processed into its many forms including canned, bottled or dried.

The fleshy pads of the Nopal Cactus have been used for hundreds of years to treat a range of ailments. Topically applying the plant to cuts, bruises and sunburn was common practice. One flu panacea involved heating up the pads and applying to the chest area to relieve congestion.

Nutrient Boosting

At Superfood Ingredients we supply Nopal as a soluble spray dried powder, ideal for use in beverages, sports gels, jellies and healthy snacks. By spray drying the juices extracted from the Nopal into a versatile powder format, we are able to offer a derivative that is shelf-stable, easy to use and which preserves the nutrient profile of the plant to ensure it delivers on its health benefits. As a performance enhancer, spray-dried Nopal is an ideal juice and smoothie supplement. It can also be used in flavoured waters to add powerful antioxidants.

Spray dried Nopal is not limited to beverages. This powdered form is ideal for a use in a range of applications. From supplement blends to baked goods and snack bars - this anti-inflammatory superfood can boost the nutrient profile of many consumables.

The benefits of


Nopal is a superfood not to be missed. Boasting an impressive nutritional profile, research has demonstrated that Nopal packs some notable health boosting benefits. Rich in performance enhancing glutamine, Nopal is thought to improve power, endurance and enhance post-exercise recovery. Some initial studies are being conducted researching the belief that Nopal may also be an effective supplement for diabetics, helping to regulate glycemic response. Scientific studies have also uncovered some very interesting results showing that Nopal may have a positive impact in inhibiting the growth of cancerous cells.

DNA Protector

Antioxidants are essential for the body to combat the negative effects of oxidative stress, such as tissue damage. When there are too many free-radicals in the body, and not enough antioxidants to counteract them, an imbalance occurs. Nopal has been shown to scavenge free-radicals and reduce the stress placed on the body, thus protecting DNA.

The antioxidant activity of the Nopal Cactus is responsible for the plant’s suggested anti-cancer properties. Oxidative stress can lead to the growth of cancerous cells. However cells of this nature that were exposed to Nopal, in a 2005 study, had their growth inhibited.

Superfood for Diabetics

Research has suggested that Nopal could play a beneficial role in managing the negative health effects of type-2 diabetes. A study conducted in 2014 found that type-2 diabetes sufferers showed lower blood sugar and insulin levels after a high-carbohydrate breakfast when Nopal was added to the meal. This result was in comparison to a control group who did not consume the plant with their carbohydrate heavy meal.

High fibre foods are known to be beneficial for type-2 diabetics. A high-fibre diet can help to regulate blood sugar levels as well as reduce the levels of insulin. Nopal Cactus is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fibre. Not only making this plant an ideal food for regulating the symptoms of diabetes, but it can also improve and aid digestion.

Inflammation Suppressor

The free-radical scavenging abilities of the Nopal’s antioxidants also demonstrate impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Cell damage and oxidative stress can lead to the spread of cellular inflammation, however it is thought that the consumption of Nopal can aid in neutralising these damaging effects.

High polyphenol levels found in Nopal also substantiate its anti-inflammatory effects. Studies have shown that the polyphemols in our foods can be very beneficial in helping protect against cancer, heart disease and other inflammatory diseases. One study in particular indicates that phytosterols, contained within Nopal, could help to suppress the growth of gastric ulcers.

Performance Enhancer

Nopal is a potent source of the amino acid glutamine - a known performance enhancer. A popular supplement in the sports world, this natural source has been shown to increase power and endurance during workouts.

Glutamine can also speed up post-exercise recovery and even reduce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness). Muscle wastage is often a concern of health conscious gym-goers and athletes during a period of rest. Studies have shown that glutamine plays a role in reducing the amount of muscle loss during these times.


Our wholesale Nopal Powder is available in bulk format which we ship directly from Central America to all parts of the globe.

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Nopal, often referred to as Prickly Pear, is a cactus popular in Central America. Its fleshy leaves house a plethora of healthy nutrients, including anti-aging antioxidants. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory properties, helping to relieve muscle and joint pain. Also offering a natural source of glutamine, Nopal has become popular as a natural ingredient in sports performance enhancers, aiding in sports recovery as well increasing power and endurance.

NOPAL the prickly pear