Study done by SpringerLink – Read it Here
Betalains can have a positive impact on your health! These powerful cactus fruit nutrients help support the body’s ability to fight inflammation at the cellular level.
In addition, these nutrients will strengthen your cells so they are resistant to toxins and bad bacteria. They are like body armor around your cells.
Each betalain contains a powerful protein matrix with anti oxidant and anti inflammatory characteristics. Research shows they can also help protect your body from free radical damage. They are water soluble and are found in only a few of the world’s plants.
All known autoimmune diseases such as lupus, chrons disease and fibromyalgia are caused by or associated with chronic inflammation in the body.
The pigment in foods like beets are betalains that give the beet its rich red color. The pigment in the nopalea cactus fruit originates from the same source and gives it a vibrant magenta color.
Benefits of Betalains
- Contains soluble fiber that reduces bad cholesterol – LDL
- Contains carotenoids and flavonoids which also help prevent LDL or bad cholesterol from being deposited in the arteries.
- Protects cells from toxins, especially those in the brain
- Protects the liver from toxins
- Contain both potassium and magnesium
Researchers have discovered 24 different kinds of betalains. Most plants containing this powerful anti oxidant produce only six to twelve different kinds. A higher concentration of these substances can be found in plants that live in hot climates. The harsher the climate the more the plant produces to protect itself from the heat.
Betalains act to clean up the dead cells and help to prevent them from becoming a target for disease and was found to be a potential cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and COX-2 inhibitor. It also showed a weak effect on lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced nitric oxide but no effect on either lymphocyte proliferation or phagocytic capacity.
Beneficial nutrients and antioxidants like Betalains, help bring health benefits such as reduced inflammation, protection against premature aging and detoxification of your body which. are some of the health aspects which millions of people world-wide seek answers for.
The word betalain comes from the Latin name for the common beet (Beta vulgaris), from which betalains were first extracted. Beets and the fruit of many cacti have their dark red colour because of the betalains they contain. The most heavily studied betalain is betanin which is commercially used as a natural food dye. In recent years it has been found that betalains are also natural antioxidants. Studies have also shown that betalains may exhibit anti-cancer activity.
Interestingly enough, betalains are only found in a few of the world’s plants.
Scientific research shows that betalains help to:
- Reduce 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.
- Reduce bad cholesterol – betalains strongly reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol.
- Protect cells from toxins — betalains protect many types of cells, especially brain cells, from toxins known to trigger tumors.
- Protect your liver — betalains provide significant protection from toxins that directly affect your liver.
Betalains were recently identified as natural antioxidants. However, little is known about their bioavailability from dietary sources. This study explains the results.
About 70 betalains are known and they all have the same basic structure in which R and R may be hydrogen or an aromatic substituent. The pigment color is attributable to the resonating structure. The absence, or presence, of resonance may give a yellow or red color, respectively. The isolated pigment of beets is stable in the pH range of 4 to 6. At low pH it degrades very rapidly. This is a very important factor as far as food preparation is concerned because, of course, you want to have your red pigment to be stable, and beet pigment is not. One of the most impressive, unique examples for this that I have seen was when one of the students in experimental foods was making apple jelly. She started off with a beautiful red color using the beet pigment. However, when it was done cooking, it was alight transparent color just like the original apple juice. The pigment had been degraded.
Certainly, the primary vegetable that these pigments are the beet vegetables. It is fascinating that betalains are present in pokeberries. Evidently, pokeberry had a brief claim to fame as an adulterant for wine many years ago, when a pokeberry plant in the corner of the vineyard was assurance against a crop of grapes low in pigment content. The addition of pokeberry juice to wine was outlawed in France in 1892. Apart from being a potent colorant, pokeberry juice contains purgatory and emetic substance. At this time, betalains as an FDA approved red dye are being evaluated.