Not only that, but I was shopping at Von's the other day and I saw that they are stocking fresh nopalitos in the produce aisle. Maybe this is not new, but maybe it is.
|Antioxidant molecules from plants|
And finally, I was at the American Chemical Society Southern California Undergraduate Research Conference in Chemistry and Biochemistry and I heard a student from California State University, Dominguez Hills speak about the anti-oxidant properties of aloe compared with cactus and a traditional burn creme. Based on the DPPH-free radical scavenging assay, Nopal (lyophilized powder form) had about 40% higher antioxidant activity than Vitamin C, Aloe Vera, and an over the counter burn creme.
Kenneth R. Rodriguez and his colleagues Anthony Jones and Barbara Belmont at California State University, Dominguez Hills measured gallic acid equivalents in the Aloe Vera, Nopal and Burn Creme. Gallic acid is the building block of tannins, a fundamental unit of the polymers responsible for the astringency of drinks like tea, wine, and pomagranate juice. Tannins are also prominent in persimmons, berries, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, cloves, tarragon, cumin, thyme, vanilla, cinnamon, red kidney beans, and chocolate.
|Familes of plants that are rich in tannins|
Nopales are in the Caryophyllales family, not marked on the diagram at left, right across from Saxifragales. Caryophyllales is a family comprising two other superfoods: spinach and chard. They are all members of the Basal Eudicots.
In conclusion, I've lost track of why and what I meant to write about. This is another "molecular story" brought to you by the American Chemical Society and the California State University System. I've written before about the benefits of sour cherry juice, and this post is an extension of that discussion. Cyanidin (a molecule, C15H11O6+, similar in structure to Rutin) found in sour cherry juice reduces the levels of an inflammation marker (interleukin-6) in long-distance runners. Cheers to your health!
- Howatson, G., et al. "Influence of tart cherry juice in indices of recovery following marathon running." Scandanavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports (2010) vol 20, pp 843-852.
- Vogt, T. "Phenylpropanoid biosynthesis." Molecular Plant (2010) vol 3, pp 2-20.
- Elumalai, S., et al. "Epigallocatechin gallate incorporation into lignin enhances the alkaline delignification and enzymatic saccharification of cell walls." Biotechnology for Biofuels (2012) vol 5, pp 59.