Pico de Orizaba

Pico de Orizaba
Taken from Huatusco, Veracruz, the closest town to Margarita's family's ranch.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A letter about Nopales (Prickly Pear Cactus Paddles) and a possible cure for Ulcerative Colitis and other forms of Chronic Inflamation and Prevention or Control of Diabetes; along with apples and pro-biotics.

Hi Emily. I was wondering if you have a whole foods supermarket in Nashville like the Organic Supermarket that was in Amherst Mass when I was in college and opened up in NYC in the late 90s (I don't remember its name.) The reason I ask is because it seems that I've stumbled across something for inflamation and ulcers, that tranquilizes the digestive tract: Prickly Pear "Nopal" Cactus Paddles... You would dice them and cook them well in any stew or blend them with fruit in your Nutri Bullet. I had all of this in the front of my mind last night. But elected against going onto the internet at 3am... and then didn't sleep well (probably from a late coffee) and now don't have the info in the front of my mind... It seems that the Mucilage (the gooey sap you find in Nopals, very similar to that in Okra) prevents ulcers and/or creates a protective lining on top of the mucus membrane of the intestines... Someone gave me a bag of freshly cut Nopales from his ranch last week (I've never liked them due to causing blockage since many people undercook them) and I prepared them in a stew. It turns out that the Nopales slowed everything down. However, unlike other "binding" foods that slow things down, I didn't feel the sensation of blockage and the accompanying tension and fatigue below. I knew the stuff was there, since I was well aware of how infrequently I had gone to the bathroom. But, it was as if there wasn't anything there in waiting... Plus, I have a very good scale here with us that gives me my weight by the gram (2.25 pounds to the Kilogram). So I know if something (like 1 pound of digested food) is still in my gut... I would consider combining Nopales (if you can find them in Nashville) with chlorophyll and see if things change for you. Nopales are touted for dis-inflamation, removal of LDL cholesterol from the body, and for slowing down the absorption of glucose in the blood stream (prevention and control of diabetes)... However, I think looking more closely at them we should find that they would have cured your Ulceritive Colitis that continues affecting your J-Pouch... I was thinking that you should mention this to your Dr. Chen (is that his name?) at the Cleveland Clinic and see if he has heard about Nopales and their mucilage? If not, for looking into possibly creating an investigation... If not, at the very least I will be my very own test bunny... Ross

Emily hasn't responded to the letter, although she recently sent me a message that I don't give up on her (don't write her off as someone who doesn't respond to messages)... When I returned to Guadalajara last Tuesday, I did a short investigation into Nopales and many other things and have learned that even more important for inflamation and the immune system are the Prickly Pears themselves (the fruit called "Tunas" here in Mexico)... It turns out that in India, the scientists are comparing Nopal to Turmeric (the most powerful natural anti-inflamatory used in the diet on the planet). But, in their research, they've found that the fruit also is extremely high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals. I was reading about the Flavanoid Quercetin in apples and wondered if Nopals also contained quercetin, since it seems that Nopals relax my digestive tract and remove certain types of irritations in my J-Pouch etc as do apples. It turns out that the Prickly Pear fruit is very high in the cousin of Quercetin: Betalains and also are high in anti-oxidantes. I imagine it is the mucilage in the cactus paddle that acts like the quercetin, dietary fiber and pectin in apples. I swear by apples for tranquilizing the digestive tract. However, I believe that Nopal is even stronger in its curative powers. That said, I wouldn't remove apples and add Nopals. Each has its place in the diet. The truth is that when you place something new in your diet, you remove space for other things you were eating. I imagine that those things that are left out offered less overall satisfaction for your mind and body. On another note; George Matejan of "The World's Healthiest Foods" www.whfoods.com mentions that apples help with mast cells and decrease histamines in the body; decreasing risk of alergic reactions. He also writes that the combination of the pectin and dietary fiber of Apples causes people to eat 15% less calories in meals that follow eating apples, meaning that their bodies sense greater satisfaction after eating apples.

Before leaving for Aguascalientes in April, I was experiencing distinct issues of irritation and inflamation in my J-Pouch called Pouchitis. I read that pro-biotics (like yogurt) help reduce inflamation that causes pouchitis. I bought a package of Yakult "sugar free" and read its label: Glucose, Sucrose and Fructose. Sugar free? But, we're in Mexico where anything can be printed or published or sold, with the exception of the truth. So, I decided to look up other sources of pro-biotics and read that eating apples removes the need for consuming dairy based pro-biotics (Yakult, natural yogurt). I also read that berries (especially Raspberries) are very high in healthy bacteria. However, raspberries and black berries are also very high in histamines... So, eat raspberries and immediately eat an apple... ;-) And then eat 3 eggs or a steak or a chicken breast. Did you know that the amino acid Methionine in eggs or animal muscle helps remove unmetabolized histamines from the blood?

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