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Nopal Cactus (Opunita Ficus Indica) has been used as a medicinal food for thousands of years by the Indigenous people of Mexico. Nopal powder’s unique phytochemical, vitamin and mineral profile make it highly nutritious and extremely beneficial for maintaining the body’s systems in optimal condition i.e. supports pancreatic, insulin and blood sugar functions; lower cholesterol function; enhanced bowel function/removal of bowel toxicity; immune system function; and the timed-release of nutrients.
Nopal has been shown in studies to stabilize and regulate blood sugar by increasing the body’s levels and sensitivity to insulin. It has an extremely low Glycemic Index (GI) of 7. This low GI score along with the fact that it is high in mucilaginous fibre means that it also assists the slow, gentle absorption of other foods, herbs and supplements taken with it into the blood stream. This also means that unhealthy foods, like high GI foods, will also be absorbed into the blood stream at a slower rate, giving the body more time to deal with the toxicity.
Nopal is often used as a slimming supplement because of its high fibre content it absorbs water when eaten giving a gentle feeling of satiety. This along with the fact that it regulates the blood sugar levels, means that it may help to reduce carbohydrate cravings and to control the appetite. Nopal’s vegetable protein helps the body pull fluids from the tissues back into the bloodstream thereby helping diminish cellulite and fluid retention.
Nopal Cactus is native to the southwestern desert regions of the United States and Mexico, and has a whole range of health benefits (all proven in numerous studies, both animal and human). These include the ability to:
- Lower blood sugar levels by blocking absorption of sugar in the intestinal tract
- Lower overall cholesterol levels, improve the ratio of HDL to LDL cholesterol, and lower triglycerides by preventing the conversion of blood sugar into fat and by eliminating excess bile acids, which would ultimately be converted into cholesterol
- Lower blood pressure
- Induce weight-loss by curbing appetite and facilitating the breakdown and excretion of fat
- Prevent ulcers
- Support the liver and pancreas as demonstrated by improved liver function and increased insulin production over time
- Block the absorption of fat
- Cleanse the bladder and lymphatic systems