The Prickly Pear Cactus has been around for ages as both a food and medicine used by Central and South American natives. It is believed that the use of this special plant dates back to the time of the Aztecs. In fact, the Spanish explorers quickly grabbed onto the significance of this plant and brought varieties back to Europe to grow.

One reason the Prickly Pear Cactus is so popular and so good for you is because it contains a special class of natural antioxidants called betalains. These, red, violet, yellow, and orange pigments, known as betalains, are found only in certain plants, such as the Prickly Pear Cactus, beets, Swiss chard, and a few types of mushrooms.

The pigment is noticeable in many other inedible plants, such as flowers of many species, including the bougainvillea.

It is believed that betalains may be natural cancer fighters, and it is particularly believed that the betalains found in the Prickly Pear Cactus contain very high antioxidant characteristics.

According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “Our results show that cactus pear fruit is a source of bioavailable betalains and suggest that indicaxanthin and betanin may be involved in the observed protection of LDL against ex vivo-induced oxidative modifications.”

In layman’s terms, betalains appear to lower the “bad” cholesterol levels

Here are some other benefits of drinking the juice from the Prickly Pear Cactus and the betalains it contains:
1. Lowers cholesterol
2. Helps the liver stay healthy
3. Counteracts stress in the body
4. Cleanses the colon
5. Helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body
6. Boost the immune system
7. Protects cells and organs against damage
8. Reduces the chance of blood clots

Made from the Prickly Pear Cactus, Nopalea Juice is becoming increasingly popular as people turn to it for relieve and help with the above eight items, but also for even more. Those who regularly drink the juice from the Nopal cactus say they find relief from joint pain, fibromyalgia symptoms, acne, diabetes, and other forms of pain.

The renowned Dr. Oz Mehmet has touted the benefits of the Opuntia (Nopal) Cactus on his television show at least during two episodes. During one, he did a demonstration about how eating the Prickly Pear Cactus helps regulate blood sugar levels and therefore can help people suffering from diabetes.

He also joked with comedian Jimmy Fallon about the Prickly Pear Cactus Juice’s ability to relieve the symptoms of a hangover. He named the cactus one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

He spoke about how it was highly fibrous, as well.

Teens have told tales about how drinking Nopalea Juice has cleared up acne like prescription medication could not. Drinking this juice has relieved joint pain, swelling, and other chronic pain.

It is a natural anti-inflammatory and natural antioxidant, so it can offer consumers a double whammy of goodness for those who drink it. Its popularity is growing globally as people realize the importance of drinking a juice that not only tastes good but also is good for you.

6 thoughts on “So Many Reasons To Drink Nopalea

  1. belle

    Do you know a good diet for Lupus? Fatigue?
    I have SLE Lupus and have a poor diet, what things do reccommend? Certain foods to help or to avoid? What dishes? What medications or health food products?
    What can help me with the faitigue as that seems the worst.

    1. mgunnycappo

      Lupus is a difficult disease and healthy eating is very important in your overall care. I would stay away from anything that ‘boosts your immune system’ like Goji berries and the lot. Lupus is an auto immune disease wherein you have an overactive immune system so you definitely don’t want to bolster it. Avoid fast foods and foods high in fat and sodium. If you are taking steroids this is especially important. Additionally, stay away from foods high in sugar if you are taking steroids as this can cause you to have a spike in blood sugar. If you are on blood thinners you want to maintain your level of green leafy veggies as the vitamin K found in these foods can cause your blood thinner to react differently. Additonally, stay away from alfalfa sprouts as these have been shown to increase the inflammatory response.

      Other than that I would just eat a balanced diet. Some doctors recommend that people with Lupus Nephritis stay away from foods high in protein however studies show that this doesn’t really do anything.

  2. drmathtutor

    Weight Loss Exercises For Lupus Patient?
    Exercises For Lupus Patients. I am trying to find weight loss exercises for Lupus patients. I was recently diagnosed with SLE. I used to be able to do heavy cardio exercises and weight lifting. Now, sometimes a brisk walk leaves me feeling faint and in pain. I have gained over 20 pounds (prednisone). Even after having 4 children, I didn’t have weight problems. But this past year I started ballooning up. I am trying to find exercises that are comparable to my weight lifting and cardio (kick-boxing ) exercises. So far, no luck. I am at the point of cosmetic surgery. I try to avoid looking at myself in the mirror.

    Also, I found out about an 800 calorie cookie diet last year. I am seriously considering trying it out.

    Does anyone have any exercises that have worked for you?

    Let me know.


    (This is from my posting on another site.)

  3. Chelsea

    Effective diets and exercises to lose weight?
    I am getting married the end of September next year(2011). I would like to lose about 10lbs in the next few months for wedding dress shopping…and 25lbs total before my wedding. I am 5’4 and weigh 150lbs. I have SLE Lupus so I can not and do not want to take diet pills. I get exhausted easily when exercising due to having Lupus and I get very sore from little exercise. But I still would like to know some good types of exercises. I would like to know some diets, foods, exercises, etc. that are effective at weight loss. I would really like to target my tummy fat. Please let me know anything that has worked for you!

    Thanks in advance! (:

  4. kaeylarae

    Coeliac Disease? Systematic Erythromatus Lupus?
    Ok. I have Coeliac or Celiac Disease. I was wondering if anyone out there can help me. I know in some cases SLE can be associated with this. I tick a good few of the boxes with SLE symptoms IE, Rashes that wont go away.On my arms but especially purplish spots on my legs that dont go away when pressed.Also Joint pain in bones and and swelling,depression,severe weight loss,muscle loss..Severe unknown cause of Anaemia requiring regular blood transfusions.I haven’t had a period since i was 32 as I had an Hysterectomy.I have had checks done to see if I am bleeding internally but these were negetive.Seizures and blackouts.poor memory..Just to name a few. My doctor does suspect I have SLE but I haven’t had more intensive tests done as yet. Can anyone tell me a bit more about the possible link between the 2 diseases and also as I am seeing my doctor this Friday.Should I bring the matter up again?. I hate being ill. I just want to know what is happening to me. I have been ill since I was 29 and I am now 38.I lost 7 stone (yes I was hugely overweight) but this was done without dieting.The weight has just fallen off me.I am tired all the time.I don’t sleep well due to the pain I am in and also have Scoliosis of my upper spine.Any info would be of great help.Many Thanks in advance

    1. Ginny Jin

      You definitely have an autoimmune problem. The rashes and blackouts are more suggestive of Lupus. But you can have 2 illnesses at the same time. My opinion is that you have an extremely comprised immune system caused by one of the following – environment (poor living conditions), stress, travel, bad sleep pattern, or excess use of alcohol/caffeine/soda.You no doubt have a wheat/diary intolerance. Cut those. Take magnesium for nerve function. Try pilates.

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