We are on the constant lookout for a better way to live: A better way to manage our finances, a better way to organize our time, or even a better way to get to work to avoid traffic. One of the most important things we can search for, however, to better our lives, pertains to our physical health and wellness. Although it may seem that we must find something like pills or an exercise regimen, or special candles or clothing that will help us to achieve optimal health, we really might just need to take it down to the cell level. With an awareness of things like betalains and how to get them, we might just end up being healthier and experiencing a better quality of life.
Betalains are powerful antioxidants that work hard within the cells of your body to help reduce inflammation. Although regular inflammation can be helpful, or even healthful, an extensive or unnatural inflammation can actually do more harm than anything. Having these anti-inflammatory soldiers in your system will boost the power that your body has to get rid of harmful toxins, and point you in the right direction to live a healthy and happy life.
Betalains are found in only a few vegetable and desert fruit. They are not generally handed out in boxed cereal or TV dinners. However, it has been shown that these very important antioxidants are actually found in a special plant found in the Mexican Sonoran Desert. This plant is a “prickly pear” variety called the Nopal Cactus Plant. Inside the juice of the fruit of this plant are found 24 betalains.
The function of these specific antioxidants is really amazing, and, like mentioned earlier, must be studied at the cell level. Our bodies are constantly battling toxins and harmful bacteria from the environment. When those toxins, or free radicals (unstable molecules) reach the level of our cells, their purpose is usually to damage or destroy whatever they can. Damage from molecules such as these causes disease, again, and inflammation. These antioxidants work quickly to capture these molecules, and diffuse them before any damage is done to the cell. You can imagine how important that might be for you.
The benefits that are derived from the amazing Nopal Cactus plant from Mexico actually make up a list that is longer than you think. Not only does it supply a great source of betalains, which work to help you find a status of optimal health, but it also works to lower your cholesterol, detoxify your body, and increase your energy. All of these things combine to simply make you a better you.
Scientific research shows that betalains help to:
- Reduces the risk of blood clots—betalains protect the thin lining of your blood vessels; this helps reduce the inflammation that makes your blood sticky and leads to clots.1
- Reduces bad cholesterol—betalains strongly reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol.2
- Protects cells from toxins—betalains protect many types of cells, especially brain cells, from toxins known to trigger tumors.3
- Protects your liver—betalains provide significant protection from toxins that directly affect your liver.4
1 – “Antioxidant betalains from cactus pear (Opuntia ficus-indica) inhibit endothelial ICAM-1 expression.” C Gentile, L Tesoriere, M Allegra, M A Livrea, P D’Alessio Dipartimento Farmacochimico, Tossicologico e Biologico, Università di Palermo, Italy.
2 – Allegra M, Tesoriere L, Livrea MA. Free Radic Res. 2007 Mar;41(3):335-41.
3 – Lee MH, Kim JY, Yoon JH, Lim HJ, Kim TH, Jin C, Kwak WJ, Han CK, Ryu JH. Phytother Res. 2006 Sep;20(9):742-7.
4 – Galati EM, Mondello MR, Lauriano ER, Taviano MF, Galluzzo M, Miceli N. Phytother Res. 2005 Sep;19(9):796-800.
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