The Nopal cactus belongs to a special group of plants that contain a very unique class of anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants help to reduce free radicals. I go over this in other posts but I will summarize it again. Free radicals are atoms that cause damage to cells. All matter (what the physical universe is made up of) is made up of atoms. Free radicals are formed as a part of our normal metabolic process and are caused by things such as pollution, radiation, herbicides and cigarette smoking to name a few. All atoms have smaller particles that revolve around them called electrons. Free radicals are short at least one electron thereby making them very reactive and unstable which causes damage to other cells. Anti-oxidants are compounds that have extra electrons to give or share so they give them up to the free radicals, which in essence, neutralizes them. Free radical damage accumulates as we age and is thought to be a contributing factor to the aging process.
The Nopal cactus contains a group of anti-oxidants called betalains. The Nopal cactus, as I mentioned earlier, is part of a small group of special plants that contain betalains. In fact, it leads the group by containing the highest amounts. Betalains have been proven to reduce the risk of blood clots, to reduce bad cholesterol, protect the liver, boost the immune system, and aids in detoxification.
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