Betalains are the antioxidants found in the Nopal Cactus fruit. Research shows that the betalains can help to detoxify your body and reduce inflammation, protecting your body from many different ailments. The Nopal Cactus fruit is the only natural compound in the world to contain all 24 betalains known to man.
The nopal, or prickly pear cactus, is among the plants native to the Sonora Desert, which is in Arizona and parts of California and New Mexico.
The neon red prickly pear, the fruit of the nopal cactus, tastes like a cross between bubblegum and watermelon. To prepare prickly pear, the spines are cut off and the skin is removed. This leaves the flesh and seeds of the fruit. Both are edible raw as is, or can be juiced and added to beverages and other recipes.
We source all of our Nopal Cactus Pears locally in Arizona. We believe in buying local and supporting local farms.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF NOPAL CACTUS FRUIT
1. Betalain Rich – Betalains are widely known to help create red blood cells – The red pigment color of Nopal cactus fruit is from a group of phyotonutrients known as betalains. Betalains are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying agents that are richer in betalains than other plant foods.
2. Anti-Inflammatory – The anti-inflammatory aspect of betalains helps prevent many chronic diseases and promotes cardiovascular health. Early research indicates the betalains support nerve and eye tissue better than most other antioxidants.
3. Rich in Vitamin C, Folate, Other Nutrients – In addition to the high betalain phytonutrient content, Nopal fruit are very high in vitamin C, folate (a natural source of folic acid), manganese, magnesium, and potassium. These vitamins help bolster the immune system and support a healthy pregnancy for women, among other things.
4. Detox – When it comes to detoxing, certain enzymes in Nopal betalains stimulate glutathione production and connect toxins to glutathione molecules. Then the toxins are neutralized and excreted harmlessly.
5. Improves Digestion – A high fiber count makes beets a prime choice for those with digestive issues. Fiber helps to promote digestive and colon health by cleaning out the gastrointestinal system and making for regular, healthy bowel movements.
6. Lowers Cholesterol – While Mexicans have been enjoying nopal cactus for centuries, the vegetable is trending as a super-food in the natural health and raw food community in the U.S. This may be because of medical research in the past decade which confirmed that nopales has the ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels. A 2003 medical study published by Nuclear Medicine Review: Central and Eastern Europe demonstrated that ten patients with high blood cholesterol levels were given dietary counseling for six weeks, then asked to eat prickly pear cactus for six weeks. The scientists found that these patients' livers were able to handle the regulation of LDL cholesterol significantly better by eating prickly pear cactus.
7. Antioxidant – Prickly pear fruit has gained interest in the scientific community recently because it may contain the richest source of betalains in the plant kingdom. Betalains are phytochemicals which are unique to nopal cactus, beets, and Swiss chard. It is the chemical which gives these vegetables their ruby red color. Betalains are glycosides, which means they help to reduce blood glucose levels. Medical research performed in the 1990's showed the benefits of nopal cactus for diabetes.
The antioxidant properties of betalains protect the inner lining of blood vessels and the lymph system. A 2004 clinical study published in Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences states that the betalains in prickly pear were clearly demonstrated to protect vascular endothelial cells from the free radical effects of redox alteration from cytokines, the "signal" proteins that regulate the immune system.