Like carotenoids and porphyrins pigments, betalains too is a signalling molecule in nature. These powerful nutrients, help support the body’s ability to fight inflammation at the cellular level. Betalains contain a powerful anti oxidant and anti inflammatory characteristics. Betalains strengthens the cells and make them resistant to toxins and harmful bacteria. They are water soluble and are found only in very few plants in the world. Nopal fruit, Dragon fruit, Beets and Swiss chard are few foods, loaded with betalains. It is the betalains pigment that gives the beet its rich red color and the nopal fruit and dragon fruit the vibrant magenta color!
Radical scavenging activity
Betalains, are the most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge the damaging particles in the body known as free radicals, which damage the cell membrane and tamper with DNA. It is critical that we consume natural foods rich in antioxidant properties. So, choose betalains rich foods to shore up the protective layer of the body.
Betalains protect againts premature aging
Betalains helps us to make our skin look young, help resist infections from harmful bacterias and viruses. Our skin gets damaged due to pollutants, toxins, and radiation that leads to thinning, sagging, and withered skin. Betalains fill in the gaps of the cells and gives them a firm, roburst, glowing nature at any age. They stimulate cell production & repair that keep your skin firm and youthful. Betalains, the wonderful & powerful antioxidants, protect the skin from premature aging and wrinkles. No wonder they are the real body armor around the cells!
Improves blood sugar levels
Betalains contains soluble fiber that controls blood sugar and reduces LDL cholesterol. Dragaon/nopal fruit consumed before meals keeps full for a longer time that prevents food craving, later. The soluble fiber in the fruit that helps attract water and form a gel, will slow down the digestion. It also delays the emptying of the stomach that makes you feel full. Slower stomach emptying affects the blood sugar levels and have a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity.
The soluble fiber interferes with the absorption of dietary cholesterol. Bio-available betalains from these foods are involved with the reduction of LDL cholesterol by interfering with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
The redox potential
Betalains protect cells from toxins, especially those in the brain. Betalains neutralizes toxins by increasing the liver detoxification enzymes that help eliminate the toxins from the body. This redox potential helps protect the brain, liver and kidneys!
Good health is everything. So opt for complex carbohydrates with high biological value proteins, vegetables & fruits and of course aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity, every day.
Pietrzkowski Z, Argumedo R, Shu C, Nemzer B, Wybraniec S, Reyes-Izquierdo T, Betalain-rich red beet concentrate improves reduced knee discomfort and joint function: a double blind, placebo-controlled pilot clinical study, Nutrition and Dietary Supplements 2014:6
Luisa Tesoriere, Mario Allegra, Daniela Butera, and Maria A Livrea Absorption, excretion, and distribution of dietary antioxidant betalains in LDLs: potential health effects of betalains in humans Am J Clin Nutr 2004;80:941–5. Printed in USA 2004 American Society for Clinical Nutrition
Nurliyana, R., Syed Zahir, Mustapha Suleiman, K., Aisyah, M.R. and Kamarul Rahim, K. Antioxidant study of pulps and peels of dragon fruits: a comparative study International Food Research Journal 17: 367-375 (2010)