PC. Luis Quiroz Ravines
Originally from America, the prickly pear or nopal was brought by the Spanish to Europe and from there distributed to other countries. Total production is estimated at 500,000 tons per year, with Mexico, where it is known as nopal, and Italy the world's leading producers.
This delicious and healthy fruit has a nutritional value greater than other fruits in several of its components. 100 g of the edible part have 58 to 66 calories, 3 g protein, fat 0.20, 15.50 carbohydrates, 30 calcium, phosphorus and vitamins 28 (carotene, niacin, thiamine, riboflavin and ascorbic acid) .
Prehispanic cultures gave great importance to the medicinal use of nopales in the treatment of different diseases. They used the seeds of tuna to stop the flow; to eliminate fevers ate juice; the fruit was useful for excess of bile; the flesh of the tuna and roasted stalks were used as poultice; for the treatment of hernia, irritable liver, stomach ulcers and erysipelas, using the root; mucilage or baba of tuna served for hands and chapped lips.
Recent studies point to its remarkable ability to control diabetes. Professor Winston F. Craig states that “prickly pear”, nopal or tuna, can help with diabetes by reducing levels of blood sugar. The property of the stalk of the tuna for lower glycemia has been well documented in numerous studies.
In traditional Mexican medicine, the nopal is used to treat diabetes type 2. Mexican researchers found that people with diabetes – "not dependent insulin" who were given penca of tuna or nopal, experienced a significant reduction in their sugar levels.
Scientists say that the tuna regulates blood sugar levels without negative side effects and without causing damage to the liver (which is one of the primary side effects of prescriptions for diabetics). The prickly pear or nopal paddle is a key ingredient in many nutritional supplements for diabetes, such as V-2 Glucotor that is sold internationally.
A recent study has shown that daily consumption of 250mg pulp plant reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. However HDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels were not affected. Some of these medicinal properties seems to be the mucilage, pectin or "slime", which is a complex polysaccharide composed of arabinose and xylose. In India, the tuna is used to treat whooping cough and asthma.
It is advisable to use the stalk prickly pear as a parallel or complementary to conventional treatments and no to replace the drugs prescribed by the doctor.
Currently in Mexico studies are conducted to use the palette or penca of nopal as an efficient water purifier. Norma Alcántara, of the University of Tampa and colleagues working in a filtration process based on organic nopal. The first filtration system of this type will be tested in the city of Temamatla where water is turbid and with high arsenic content.
NOTE: Luis Quiroz Ravines is a Peruvian journalist specializing in Natural Health, author of an effective treatment to stop hair loss naturally. Learn MORE at: hairlossnaturalsolution.com/