Posts in Nutrition

Why is vitamin C an ideal nutrient for overall health?

May 19th, 2020 Posted by Nutrition 0 thoughts on “Why is vitamin C an ideal nutrient for overall health?”

During the last three months of covid crisis, we all have heard the claim that having a vitamin-rich diet, especially in vitamin C, may prevent or even heal the body from this virus. We have also heard the other side of the story that “no supplement, diet, or healthy lifestyle other than staying home, practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and applying proper hygiene can prevent or protect us from it.

These two sides of the coin obviously leave us with two options to follow, either to eat plenty, tons of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals or do nothing, but just keep ourselves in isolation, wear a mask, stop seeing and hugging our loved ones, use hand sanitizers and wait until others tell us what it is next. I think this is the perfect time to do the former. Now more than ever we must be proactive with our health and become aware of how what we eat, think, and feel can and do either save our lives or make us ill. It is time to use our critical thinking, our intuition, and great wisdom.

We all know that vitamins are essential micro-nutrients required for various biochemical and physiological processes in the body. They are classified as fat-soluble (A, D, E, K) and water-soluble vitamins (C and B complexes) getting vitamin C a great deal of attention among them during the pandemic due to its role as a powerful immune booster.  However, it must be outsourced either from food or supplements since the human body cannot synthesize it naturally, due to the lack of an enzyme named gluconolactone oxidase.

 

6 MAIN HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN C

It has been proved that Ascorbic acid – for its organic compound name:

  1. stimulates the immune system by enhancing T-cell proliferation to attack infections
  2. is essential for the development and maintenance of connective tissues and bone formation
  3. fights inflammation and accelerates wounds healing
  4. increases metabolic functions: activates B vitamin and folic acid, converts cholesterol to bile acids, lowering blood cholesterol levels, converts cholesterol to bile acids, lowering blood cholesterol levels as well as the amino acid, tryptophan into the neurotransmitter serotonin, increases the absorption of iron in the gut by reducing ferric to ferrous state, synthesizes collagen and carnitine in the connective tissue
  5. neutralizes free radicals, prevent and reverse cellular damage as a potent antioxidant
  6. reduces the severity of allergic reactions

 

NATURAL SOURCES OF VITAMIN C

It is important to aim to obtain the daily Recommended Daily Amount of vitamin C, with or without coronavirus, from the food we eat. Therefore, more than ever, we need to eat nutrient-dense whole fresh foods that provide us with this essential nutrient.

According to the Government of Canada, the safety “daily value used in nutrition labeling is based on 60 mg of vitamin C for a reference diet.” However, experts in medicine and nutrition, recommend a safety intake of up to 2000 mg a day for good health. This daily value intake may seem a lot and hard to get from the food itself.  However, here I am listing the top foods rich in this vitamin C for you to see how easy it is to meet the 2000 mg a day through diet alone so that you strive to reap all its health benefits without taking dietary supplements so that your intake does not depend on them.

Source: “Complete Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Supplements,” Griffith, Winter H.

Eating a variety of nutrient-rich foods will provide you with all the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for great health. Work on incorporating fruits and vegetables to all your recipes, from meatloaf to soups, eat them as a quick snack with hummus, chili pepper, dips, and salsas, or include them in your sandwiches and wraps, add them to your cereals, but most importantly, enjoy a jar of dark leafy greens and fruit smoothie as a filling and low-calorie healthy jumpstart breakfast.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nopalcan: 100% Dehydrated Organic Nopal Cactus Powder

May 5th, 2020 Posted by Nutrition 0 thoughts on “Nopalcan: 100% Dehydrated Organic Nopal Cactus Powder”

What is Nopal Cactus?

Nopal (or nopales, the plural form in Spanish) is the edible soft pad of the prickly pear cactus.  Because nopales are commonly referred to as prickly pears in English, it is important to clarify that cactus pads (nopales) and prickly pear fruit (tuna) are not the same things.  Most of the literature found on nopal cactus powder available today refers to the cactus pad and the prickly pear interchangeably.  However, although both, the cactus pad and fruit have extraordinary healing properties, we must look at their health benefits separately.
Nopalcan is the purest form of nopal cactus in powder which makes it an excellent source of insoluble and soluble fiber, and some indications of calcium (molar ratio .348 oxalates to 1 calcium – the more mature the nopal, the less oxalate), iron, as well as vitamins A and C, all macro and micronutrients necessary in the human diet.  When nopal pads are dehydrated, their nutrient content per net weight increases, as does their shelf life.  Dehydration also makes it easier to have daily dietary fiber intake from nopales in higher doses.

Where does nopal cactus come from?

Grown in the high mountains of the central and semi-arid regions of Mexico, Nopal is the common culinary name for the pad of the prickly pear cactus of the species Opuntia ficus-indica.  Nopal cactus was a very important plant to the indigenous people of Mexico in pre-Hispanic Aztec and Maya times due to its use in religious celebrations and disease treatments.  Most importantly, it was used as a holistic and medicinal food.  For over 7,000 years, nopal cactus pads have been well known for their nutritional value not only in Mexico, but in more recent years all over the Americas, Africa, Australia, and the Mediterranean.

The amazing health benefits of Nopales (Nopal Cactus Pads)

Due to its high content of natural dietary fiber,  nopal cactus can help in the digestive processes, in the treatment of obesity, in the control of hyperglycemia (type-II diabetes), hyperlipidemia and hypercholesterolemia, and fat levels (high LDL cholesterol and arteriosclerosis).  In addition, nopal cactus powder produced from mature nopal pads is a natural source of the 17 amino acids, including the six essential ones.

In recent years, studies and scientific papers on Nopal Cactus have proven the healing power of this edible pad.  Due to their relatively high amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals, but most of all, due to the high content of dietary fiber (soluble and insoluble) in mature pads, nopales are considered the Superfood of the ancient Aztecs.

Nopal cactus pads are well  known for its ability to:

  • aid in weight loss
  • assist in the digestion process and liver functions
  • facilitate the absorption of nutrients
  • normalize bowel movements
  • detoxify and clean the bowel
  • lower blood cholesterol levels
  • reduce blood pressure and inflammation
  • control blood sugar levels
  • regulate enzyme and hormone activities
  • help build strong bones and healthy teeth
  • increase energy levels
  • boost the immune system
  • create feelings of overall well being

The synergic effects of NOPALCAN in your daily life

Taking dietary fiber from nopal cactus powder provides physical, psychological, and spiritual advantages. By adding more soluble and insoluble fiber into your diet, you reduce the rate of entry of glucose into the bloodstream, producing the right amount of insulin to drive nutrients into the cells, and storing the necessary amount of glucose in the liver and muscles for future usage. Your brain gets signals of satiety, letting you consume the right amount of calories based on your body biochemistry and activity level. As you consume the right amount of calories, your eating slows down, which makes all digestive processes, absorption of nutrients and waste elimination, faster and more effective. As the efficiency of these processes increases, so does your metabolic rate, which in turn makes you burn fat faster; resulting in weight loss. While all of these processes are occurring, your body saves higher levels of energy to be used for more physical, mental, and spiritual daily activities, such as exercise, playing with your kids, spending quality time with your loved ones, achieving personal and work goals, and much more. The higher the energy levels in your body, the more feelings of joy, love, peace, and bliss, as well as a general sense of wellbeing, are experienced.

Acai Berry

Taking dietary fiber from nopal cactus powder provides physical, psychological, and spiritual

 

 

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