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Nutrition/Supplement benefits

 

Does Nopal have any Nutritional Value?
For over 12,000 years fresh Nopal cactus has been consumed for its legendary qualities.
Only recently, in the last 20 years, has modern science truly been interested in the investigation
of Nopal's nutritional properties.

Nopal Verde is the prickly pear cactus 'vegetable' variety of the Nopal Opuntia ficusindica species. Known as green Nopal and the traditionally consumed ancient variety, Nopal cactus is the modern name used for consumption as a food and a supplement. This original and authentic variety of the Nopal prickly pear; requires the climate and soil type that is unique to its birthplace - the high volcanic mountains of Mexico – where the ground is rich in nutrients. The ancient Mexican cultures, living in the high mountain volcanic regions, originally adopted the Nopal prickly pear cactus as a holistic food and
treasured this high mountain variety and they believed that Nopal cactus was a supreme plant and food among its kings and warriors.

There are many theories of Nopal's beneficial properties, yet a simple assessment of its nutritional content shows that Nopal could be a source to obtain additional dietary fiber and calcium in your diet .

Supplement Facts

Fiber in Your Diet:
Experts suggest that men get about 38 grams of fiber a day, and women about 25 grams.
Unfortunately, in the United States the average daily intake is about 14 grams of fiber each
day.

  • Fiber in the intestines can slow the absorption of sugar,
  • High-fiber foods generally make you feel fuller for longer.
  • Fiber maintains bowel regularity

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are the best sources of fiber in your diet. These foods are also packed with vitamins and other nutrients, so experts recommend that you get most of your fiber from these natural sources.

Calcium in Your Diet
Calcium is an essential dietary mineral commonly found in milk, yogurt, cheese, and dark green vegetables. It also is found in certain grains, legumes (including peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts), and nuts. Calcium is a major component of bones and teeth. It also is required for the clotting of blood to stop bleeding and for normal functioning of the nerves, muscles, and heart. Calcium is an important part of a healthy diet. The recommended intake differs according to age.

Incorporating Nopal into your Diet
Dehydrated Nopal Powder Nopal Powder has rapidly become one of the principal forms for consuming Nopal in many countries around the world. The reason for this is four fold.

  • The ever-increasing international demand no longer makes it feasible to transport vast quantities of fresh Nopal by air or sea.
  • Wide range of Nopal powder MESH size allows for broad formulation flexibility.
  • Powdered form is the customer's preferred form of Nopal for consumption.
  • Nopal's shelf life and nutritional value are not compromised through the gentle dehydration
    process.

Disclaimer. The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to convey medical advice or to substitute for advice from your own physician.

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult a physician before taking any nutritional supplement.

For over 12,000 years fresh Nopal cactus has been consumed for its nutritional and healing qualities. Only recently, in the last 20 years, has modern science truly been interested in the investigation of Nopal’s nutritional properties.

Nopal Verde, the Prickly Pear Cactus ‘vegetable’ variety’ of the Nopal Opuntia ficus-indica species, is known as green Nopal and the traditionally consumed ancient variety. Nopal Cactus is the modern name and is consumed both as a fresh food in Leaf or fruit and as dehydrated powder or liquid juice as a dietary supplement.

The various ancient Meso-American tribes, living in the high mountain volcanic regions of what is now known as Mexico, adopted the Nopal prickly pear cactus as a healing food and treasured this high mountain variety, believing that Nopal was a healing plant and food, prized among its kings and warriors. 

Our OroVerde® Nopal, grown in the exact same region as in ancient times, is the original and authentic variety of the Nopal prickly pear. Nopal cactus requires climate and soil types that are unique to its birthplace - the high altitude volcanic soil mountains of Mexico.

These high altitude mountain conditions - where the soil is rich in nutrients, where the Sun maximizes healthy growth, where the high altitude and unique geography of the region allows for natural occurring moisture to develop among the clouds, irrigating the Nopal during the dry season – all these benefits allow Nopal to maximize its phyto nutrient qualities.

There are many theories yet to be confirmed regarding Nopal's beneficial effects as a high in nutrient plant. The potential Nopal has in benefiting various aspects of human health are inconclusive; yet a simple and quick assessment of its currently defined nutritional content shows that certain varieties of Nopal like the Opuntia ficus indica variety is both high in fiber and a good source of calcium.  Below are summaries of what has been determined about fiber and calcium in the Human diet.

Fiber

(From the NIH News in Health August 2010)
The strongest evidence of fiber's benefits is related to cardiovascular health. Several large studies that followed people for many years found that those who consumed the most fiber had a lowest risk for heart disease. The links between fiber and cardiovascular health were so consistent that these studies were used by the Institute of Medicine to develop the Dietary Reference Intakes for fiber.

Experts suggest that men get about 38 grams of fiber a day, and women about 25 grams. Unfortunately, in the United States we take in an average of only 14 grams of fiber each day.
High fiber intake seems to protect against several heart-related problems:
"There is evidence that high dietary fiber consumption lowers 'bad' cholesterol concentrations in the blood and reduces the risk for developing coronary artery disease, stroke and high blood pressure," says Dr. Somdat Mahabir, a nutrition and disease expert with NIH's National Cancer Institute.
The consumption of Fiber may also lessen the risk for type 2 diabetes the most common form of diabetes. Fiber in the intestines can slow the absorption of sugar, which helps prevent blood sugar from spiking. "With diabetes, it's good to keep glucose levels from peaking too much," explains Dr. Gertraud Maskarinec of the University of Hawaii.
Weight loss is another area where fiber may help. High-fiber foods generally tend to make one feel fuller and for longer periods. Fiber tends to add bulk but offers few calories as a result. "In studies where people are put on different types of diets, those on the high-fiber diets typically eat about 10% fewer calories…" says Slavin. Other large studies have found that people with high fiber intake tend to weigh less.
Scientists have also looked into links between fiber and different types of cancer, with mixed results. Much research has focused on colorectal cancer, the second-leading cause of cancer death nationwide. Protection against colorectal cancer is sometimes stronger when scientists look at whole-grain intake rather than just fiber. One NIH-funded study of nearly 500,000 older adults found no relationship between fiber and colorectal cancer risk, but whole-grain intake led to a modest risk reduction.
Different types of fiber might affect your health in different ways. That's why the Nutrition Facts Panels on some foods list 2 categories of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber may help to lower blood sugar and cholesterol. It's found in oat bran, beans, peas and most fruits. Insoluble fiber is often used to treat or prevent constipation and diverticular disease, which affects the large intestine, or colon. Insoluble fiber is found in wheat bran and some vegetables.
Whole grains, fruits and vegetables are also packed with vitamins and other nutrients, so experts recommend that you get most of your fiber from these natural sources. 

One 3.2 gram serving (level teaspoon)of Nopal powder contains over 7% of the recommended daily value for fiber.

Dietary Fiber   1.81g

Soluble Fiber 0.48g

Insoluble Fiber 1.33g

 

Calcium
Calcium is an essential dietary mineral commonly found in milk, yogurt, cheese, and dark green vegetables. It also is found in certain grains, legumes (including peas, beans, lentils, and peanuts), and nuts.
Calcium is a major component of bones and teeth. It also is required for the clotting of blood to stop bleeding and for normal functioning of the nerves, muscles, and heart.
Calcium is an important part of a healthy diet; however, the recommended intake differs according to age.
The results of epidemiologic studies regarding the relationship between calcium intake and colorectal cancer risk have not always been consistent.
In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research (WCRF/AICR) published the most authoritative review of existing evidence relating food, nutrition, and physical activity to cancer risk. The report concluded that calcium probably has a protective effect against colorectal cancer(1).

Nopal powder is high in calcium.  One serving 3.2g of Nopal powder provides 10% of the daily value for calcium.

Calcium and Osteoporosis:
Adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

Calcium and Colon/Rectal Cancer:
Some evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of colon/rectal cancer, however, FDA has determined that this evidence is limited and not conclusive.
Recurrent Colon Polyps:
Very limited and preliminary evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of colon/rectal polyps. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence to support this claim.
Hypertension:
Some scientific evidence suggests that calcium supplements may reduce the risk of hypertension. However, FDA has determined that the evidence is inconsistent and not conclusive.

Calcium and Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension:
Four studies, including a large clinical trial, do not show that calcium supplements reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension during pregnancy. However, three other studies suggest that calcium supplements may reduce the risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that calcium supplements reduce the risk of pregnancy-induced hypertension.
Calcium and Preeclampsia:
Three studies, including a large clinical trial, do not show that calcium supplements reduce the risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy. However, two other studies suggest that calcium supplements may reduce the risk. Based on these studies, FDA concludes that it is highly unlikely that calcium supplements reduce the risk of preeclampsia.

Dehydrated Nopal Powder

Nopal Powder has rapidly become one of the principal forms for consuming Nopal in many countries around the world. The reason for this is four fold.

  • The ever-increasing international demand no longer makes it feasible to transport vast quantities of fresh Nopal by air or sea.
  • Wide range of Nopal powder MESH size allows for broad formulation flexibility.
  • Powdered form is the customer’s preferred form of Nopal for consumption.
  • Nopal's shelf life and nutritional value are not compromised through the gentle solar/shade dehydration process, with temperatures not exceeding 40 degrees C

1. World Cancer Research Fund/American Institute for Cancer Research. Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. 2007. American Institute for Cancer Research, Washington, DC. Retrieved February 20, 2009, from:
http://www.dietandcancerreport.org.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this website is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended to convey medical advice or to substitute for advice from your own physician. 
This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Consult a physician before taking any nutritional supplement


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